Sioux Falls Arts Council Names Transition Executive Director

Ann McKay Thompson

Sioux Falls, SD – (December 4, 2014)  The Sioux Falls Arts Council has named board member Ann McKay Thompson as Transition Executive Director effective January 1, 2015. Thompson will serve in a full time capacity as she works directly with the organization’s implementation of the Sioux Falls cultural plan and leads the search for a permanent full time executive director.

Current Executive Director Nan Baker, who serves part time, will step down on December 31, 2014. Civic and family commitments prevent Baker from transitioning to a full time role.

“This is an exciting time as we look to the future of arts and culture in Sioux Falls,” said Sandra Pay, President of the Arts Council board of directors. “The adoption by the city of the new cultural plan, Sioux Falls Imagined, and the expectation for the Arts Council to administer the plan makes it clear we need full time leadership. Ann Thompson was active in helping develop the plan. Her leadership experience will guide us as we take the first steps in achieving its far-reaching goals.”

Thompson, who has been coaxed out of retirement, had most recently served as Director of Workforce Development at Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Systemand Assistant Executive Dean of University Center in Sioux Falls. She brings significant background in the arts, humanities, education and leadership to the position, including:

•           The President’s Advisory Committee for the Arts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

•           Founder and President of the South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium.

•           President of the South Dakota Art Museum Board.

•           President of the South Dakota Humanities Council.

•           President of the Black Hills Playhouse Alumni Association.

•           Board member – South Dakota Symphony.

•           Board member – SculptureWalk Sioux Falls.

•           Board member – South Dakota Heritage Center.

•           Board member – South Dakota Visitor Industry Alliance.

•           Sioux Falls Arts Council representative to the Sioux Falls Convention

and Visitors Bureau.

•           Member of the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club.

•           Former winner of the National Press Woman of The Year

Thompson is also a noted speaker and an award-winning author on subjects of leadership, management and education. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota holding both a BA and an MA in Communication, and a certificate in policy and initiative development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Sloan School of Management as Bush Leadership Fellow.

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