Leadership Change at the Utah Arts Festival

Utah Arts Festival

After 25 years working with the Utah Arts Festival, 15 years as Executive Director, Lisa Sewell has decided it’s time to step aside and let a new leader take the reins of the organization.

Sewell explains why she decided to step down, “My entire career has been imbedded in the work I have done for the Festival and I have treasured all 25 years of the experience. It’s been a pleasure to serve as its leader for the past 15 years. There comes a time to step aside and allow a new leader to imprint their artistic vision, direction, and leadership onto the organization. I believe I have served out my tenure in that role and look forward to supporting the new director as they take us into our next chapter.”

Sewell took over as Executive Director during a time of transition and ushered in a new phase of the Festival, responsible for stabilizing the organization’s financial footing and reigniting energy and freshness into its artistic programs. She will be replaced by Aimée Dunsmore who has worked 11 years as the Festival’s Development Director, and additionally over the last two years as the Festival’s Assistant Director, reporting directly to Sewell.

Aaron Garrett, Utah Arts Festival Board Chair says, “The Board of Directors thanks Lisa Sewell for her many years of successful leadership of the Utah Arts Festival, and we are proud and excited to announce that Aimée Dunsmore will be taking over the helm of the organization. Aimée is a tremendous leader who will provide the Festival with the stability and vision we need to take the organization into the future. She has our full confidence!”

During a unique time of uncertainty, Dunsmore will focus on bringing the Festival into a new reality with many new challenges. Dunsmore said, “It’s an incredible honor to be asked to take a leadership role in this amazing organization and build on the great work Lisa has done. This has been a year of tremendous change and growth for our whole team. We learned a lot and ultimately, I believe the Utah Arts Festival is coming out of 2020 stronger and more determined than ever to evolve, adapt, improve and continue our work to bring the community together through art. I’m excited to lead the charge as we enter this new chapter.”

Sewell supports the Board’s decision to promote Dunsmore as her replacement saying, “I can’t think of a better individual to take over the helm of the Festival. I have absolute confidence in Aimée’s ability to lead the organization into the future and I look forward to seeing it change, develop, and grow in the coming years under her leadership.”

Sewell’s last day with the Utah Arts Festival will be October 30th. Dunsmore will begin her role as Executive Director on November 2nd.

Image credit, Utah Arts Festival.

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