Introducing Rumriver Art Center’s Board of Directors. Would you be a great fit for the board? Find out below.

What image comes to mind when you envision a ‘Board of Directors.’ 

I asked a few people what they thought and here’s what I heard (paraphrased by me):

  • Members are typically formal and analytical.

The next one made me chuckle:

  • I think you need silver highlights in your hair (demonstrating wisdom of course).

If you also have a preconceived idea of a ‘Board Member,’ read on. You may be surprised that diversity in age, occupations and backgrounds are highly valued. We aim to provide a clear picture of Rumriver Art Center’s Board of Directors. You might even find that you’d be a great candidate! 

P.S. Silver highlights are welcome, but certainly not required. Our current board has a dynamic mixture of various personality types: innovators, visionaries, problem solvers, organizers… They provide excellent leadership and guidance.

Our thriving Board now welcomes applications for new leaders in our Art community.

I had the opportunity to glean insight from Rumriver Art Center Board member Stephen Savior.  

Stephen is a Tool Designer in the manufacturing industry, and manages a team of custom engineers. He is also a husband and father to three children ages 11, 8 and 3. Rumriver Art Center is like a second home to their family between Stephen’s ceramics endeavors, board membership and his children’s art classes. 

Steven didn’t think of himself as ‘a typical board member.’ It helped that RRAC Co-Founder Susan Yee called out his potential. Or as Stephen jokingly puts it, he was ‘voluntold’ for the position. If you’re waiting to be called out, consider this article your gentle nudging. 

What does it look like to serve on a Board?

As a board member, you help to chart Rumriver Art Center’s future!

To break that down into actionable steps: 

  1. There are Board meetings (Monday evenings, 6x year) 

“While the meetings are impactful and taken seriously, there are also moments of laughter. It’s not a stuffy boardroom.” Stephen assures. 

  1. Board members sit on a Committee. A couple options include: Community & special events committee or Finance.  Committees meet about 6x per year. 
  1. Your presence at major events and gallery shows is encouraged. This is a great way to engage with our thriving art community. 

Term commitments are two years. 

What might motivate someone to volunteer their time on a Board?

Board member Deanna Asp states, “RRAC is a quirky, fun, welcoming  place that cares for everyone that walks in the door. I have developed many relationships through classes, volunteering and serving on the board. I love the encouragement of the art process and support from the teachers, staff and students at the art center. I feel fortunate and grateful to have RRAC in my life.” 

An appreciation for Art and desire for Rumriver Art Center to remain community driven is a common ingredient amongst our board members. 

For Stephen, “My main goal is to keep the heart and quirkiness of Rumriver Art Center the same as we continue to grow.” 

Stephen has a special understanding of the power and impact of art.

As a high school Junior at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, Stephen attests he wasn’t the most well behaved student. But Stephen’s art teacher Aaron Olson took him under his wing, mentored him and even brought him to Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) drawing classes. Stephen’s trajectory took a positive new direction. 

“He had a big impact on me and gave me a focus. He was a special guy who changed my life through art.” Stephen said. 

In addition to the importance of offering vibrant art programs in our community, Stephen recalled another experience that bolstered his commitment to Rumriver Art Center. 

“I helped at the Gallery Show ‘All about Birds’, which happened alongside the North Artists Studio Crawl. Seeing the hundreds of people that came through caused me to realize how important this place is to our community. People love this place!”

Who is a good candidate for a Rumriver Art Center Board Member?

You don’t have to be an artist.. just an art enthusiast. We are looking for individuals from a variety of backgrounds with all different skill sets. 

Ideal Board Member share these qualities:

  • You want to help Rumriver Art Center thrive and remain community driven. 
  • You’re open to new ideas, and not egotistical
  • You have a heart that desires all to access and enjoy art. 

Board member Sharon Allen states this beautifully, “When I first encountered the Rum River Art center, I could see and feel the community environment that has been cultivated. I feel that art should be enjoyed by everyone regardless of their life origin or status.” 

We desire representation of ALL members in our community. Diversity enriches our leadership and ability to serve our community. 

While ALL ages are encouraged to apply, one current initiative is to grow engagement with our young adults. Gaining a young adult board member would offer RRAC valued insight and guidance. 

We hope this article provides a clear picture of Rumriver Art Center’s Board of Directors. We invite you to take one of these next steps:

  1. Still have questions? Email your questions to: with the subject line ‘Learn More about becoming a board member.’ 
  2. Apply to become a board member:
    • Applications for the next two year term are due by the end of May.
    • New Board Members will be brought into the group in July.
    • We accept interest in the supporting committees anytime throughout the year.
  3. Thank a board member for guiding Rumriver Art Center to thrive! Click here to leave a brief thank you or message. Your encouragement goes a long way!

As Rumriver Art Center co-founder Susan Yee states “We couldn’t do it without the support of our board. Thank you for helping us support our community by keeping the Arts alive and well.”

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