Isabella Szabo to lead Springfield Area Arts Council

Following a nationwide search, Springfield resident Isabella Szabo has been chosen as the next executive director of the Springfield Area Arts Council. She will assume her new role Feb. 1.

click to enlarge Isabella Szabo to lead Springfield Area Arts Council
Szabo has been the manager of the University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery since 2022. She also is a UIS Art and Artifacts Committee member, an instructor at the Springfield Art Association and an independent curator.

“In my role as executive director, I am dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural landscape that encourages dialogue, diversity and meaningful engagement,” Szabo said. “Through the Arts Council’s spectrum of art disciplines, I aim to inspire creativity, provoke thoughtful conversations and ultimately contribute to the positive transformation of our community.”

Szabo will replace Sheila Walk, who has worked at the Arts Council since 2008 and served as executive director since 2018. She plans to retire from that role as of Jan. 31, although she will continue to manage the Arts Council’s education program.

click to enlarge Isabella Szabo to lead Springfield Area Arts Council

“The Arts Council is so happy to have found a qualified and enthusiastic candidate from the Springfield area. Isabella has many ideas and skills that will energize the Arts Council as it approaches its 50th anniversary,” Walk said.

The Arts Council, serving Sangamon and Menard counties, is responsible for organizing First Night Springfield, Artist on the Plaza, Poetry Out Loud, Friday Night Jazz & Blues, Art After Hours and Music at the Market. The organization also participates in other programs, such as the Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series.

Szabo, a visual artist, holds both a bachelor’s degree with a ceramics emphasis and a bachelor’s in global cultures and languages from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She studied abroad at the Université Angers in Angers, France.

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