Meet Alison Bastian!

Dear Members of the SCAC Community,

It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the first director of the St. Charles Arts Council. I have a passion for the arts and this city, so I am excited to give back to both by heading an organization that directly nurtures and supports the local arts.

My background includes time spent working as a professional artist (I exhibited work at SCAC’s inaugural neXt Gallery back in 2011!) (see below), teaching at Chicago arts organizations such as Marwen and Hyde Park Arts Center, and working for museums—most recently with the Field Museum’s anthropology collections.

As a visual artist, I have come to value organizational support in the form of exhibition opportunities, promotion, and networking with other artists and art advocates. This support system is integral to a professional artist’s success. As a community member, I understand that having access to arts education and programming leads to an overall greater quality of life and that a thriving arts and culture sector promotes economic growth. The St. Charles Arts Council bridges those needs of artists and the needs of the community, making the arts visible and accessible for mutual benefit. I am thrilled to continue this important mission and look forward to hearing from constituents to learn how SCAC can serve you.

One of my primary goals for SCAC this year is to grow our volunteer base. For those of you who currently volunteer with SCAC, I thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to meeting and thanking each of you personally. This organization is dependent on its volunteers. We always have a need for assistance, but there are specific openings that we are looking to fill this year, and if we decide to take on new projects, we will need additional support. Please email us at info@stcharlesartscouncil.org if you have an interest in participating in any capacity.

Another aim for the year is to get closer to realizing our vision for an arts center in St. Charles. This has been a goal of the Council since its inception, and this year I hope to work with the board to set the wheels in motion. This means securing a space and raising funds from a variety of sources. Here, community support will be crucial. We hope that we can count on you to support this endeavor—as an advocate, volunteer, or donor.

St. Charles has been a welcoming host for several established cultural organizations, events, and programs over the years, and it has cultivated an impressive collection of public art by local, national, and international artists. The arts have had solid support from the St. Charles community and residents of the Fox Valley area, but if we, as a city, want to become a destination for arts and culture, we need to envision and foster a dynamic, living and breathing arts scene. This requires public and civic commitment and an understanding that the arts are integral to the health and vitality of our community. The arts enrich our lives, promote healthy conversation, and connect us through a shared humanity. I look forward to working with you all in 2018 to strengthen the arts in St. Charles and to create a vision for SCAC’s role in this endeavor.

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