New director takes helm at Columbus Arts Council

May 10, 2011 12:10:00 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


Tina Sweeten has hit the ground running. The new executive director of the Columbus Arts Council is immersing herself in the operations of the nonprofit agency that brings visual and performing arts, concerts, classes and exhibits to the Friendly City and surrounding areas. Following an extensive search, the Arts Council Board of Directors announced Monday the selection of Sweeten to serve as its new executive director, effective immediately. 


Sweeten brings more than 18 years experience in supervision and management of budgets, staff and volunteers, strategic planning and program development to her new position. 


Arts Council Board President Elizabeth Johnson has served as interim director during the search. 


"Tina''s background made her an ideal fit," Johnson said. "Working with volunteer organizations has been a top priority in her life, and we look forward to having her leadership and vision as we continue to serve the community through arts education and programming." 


"I''m very excited to begin working with the board of the Columbus Arts Council as we collaborate to bring more programs, funding opportunities and events to the organization," said Sweeten, who is busy this week getting acquainted with her new office and programs at the Rosenzweig Arts Center in downtown Columbus.  


The incoming director most recently served as field supervisor of the Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University. She holds a Master of Arts degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University. She also holds an Advanced Graduate Study Certificate in organizational psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn., and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in sociology at MSU.  


In addition, Sweeten, who currently resides in Starkville, holds a Graduate Diversity Certificate from MSU and maintains professional certification as a volunteer administrator. She also earned certification from Hamline University in outcomes and performance management. 


¬†Experienced in grant-writing, Sweeten currently serves on the boards of directors of the Center for Policy, Planning and Performance, the MSU President''s Commission for the Status of Women, and Clay County Day Care Center.  


"Tina also has a lot of experience working with programs focusing on youth and senior services and with programs for people with mental and physical disabilities," Johnson added.  


Longtime CAC board member Ralph Null served on the search committee. 


"We''re delighted to have as our new director such a well-qualified and enthusiastic leader to help the Arts Council move forward in its mission and service," he remarked. "Her years of experience and education has made her uniquely qualified.."  


"I''m honored and very happy to accept this challenge," said Sweeten. "And I appreciate the board''s trust and confidence in me to oversee the continuing legacy of the Arts Council."

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.