Executive Director Search Announcement

Dear Art Access Community,

After four and a half fantastic years as the Executive Director of Art Access, I will be leaving the organization and Utah this summer. 

I have been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to lead Art Access. It was an absolute dream job for me, and I have loved every part of it from getting to know the Utah arts community, working with local artists, becoming part of the Utah disability community, and being a part of the Art Access family.

I have decided to take the next step in my career and life, and I will be moving to Cleveland, Ohio this summer. While I have loved working in arts and cultural accessibility, as a social worker my heart is in social services. The Covid-19 pandemic has given us all time to slow down and reflect and I believe it is time for me to shift my focus back into the fields of community services, gender-based violence, behavioral and mental health, children's services, and more.

Art Access is starting the search process for my replacement today, and I believe that we will find someone who can take our work to the next level, grow our programming and make Art Access an even stronger organization. We plan to have overlap with myself and the new Executive Director in the summer, to ensure a successful and smooth transition. I believe with every change comes an opportunity, and every Executive Director brings something new, and I am excited to see what the next Executive Director will bring.

I am so proud of everything that Art Access, our team, and our community have accomplished in these last four years. Some of the accomplishments I am most proud of include ending our fiscal year in the black with a surplus; creating Breaking Barriers, a new accessibility advocacy training program in partnership with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and the Dumke Jr Foundation – and by June we will have provided over 400 hours of training and consultation to over 30 cultural organizations; bringing back the Partners Artist Mentorship program and providing intensive 1:1 mentorship and arts instruction to over 10 emerging artists with disabilities and more.

In my final months as Art Access's Executive Director, I look forward to connecting with our supporters, funders, artists, and community partners. I am also thrilled to end my time with Art Access with a full spring and summer of accessibility advocacy work including another cohort of Breaking Barriers, continuing consultations with cultural organizations, developing resources and training materials, and releasing our Arts and Cultural Accessibility in Utah Report. 

If you know someone who you think would be a great candidate for Art Access Executive Director please share the linked job description and application instructions. Art Access will be accepting applications through April 30, 2021.

With love,
Shandra Benito, MSW

Executive Director Application
Announcement Video