WBCA Welcomes a New Leader

White Bear Center for the Arts recently welcomed Chris Scholl as its new executive director, starting a new chapter in the art center’s 55-year history. Scholl, a devoted arts administrator, began his career in an art studio. He spent years working as an artist, constructing sets and working in theaters, and eventually achieved an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After moving into administration, he received an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He has spent his career helping arts institutions, like the Jungle Theater and Ashland Productions, grow their impact upon their stakeholders and communities.

Scholl was drawn to White Bear Center for the Arts as a financially strong institution with a long history and a deep 

reservoir of affection among its students, volunteers, and donors. “The chance to be a part of a vibrant art center that commits to teaching a wide variety of mediums for all abilities, and honors the talents of professional artists and community members through beautiful gallery exhibitions, is a unique opportunity,” Scholl said. “I’m excited to explore the many ways that White Bear Center for the Arts can continue to build our arts-loving community in this area and beyond.”

This fall, Scholl is looking forward to the abundance and variety of programs offered at the art center. “One of the things that drew me to WBCA is our embrace of the entirety of the arts,” he said. “Simply paging through the fall catalog makes that clear, with classes offered in clay, fiber, drawing, painting, writing, wellness and more.” Scholl also mentioned the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read program as another focal point of this fall season. “That partnership has allowed us the means to draw our community together to investigate the words and intentions within Ross Gay’s gorgeous book of poetry, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude.” There’s a lot for community members, and for Scholl, to dive into at the start of this new chapter. As Scholl said, “Poetry, digital art, studio art: that’s only what you’ll find here today. Art is exploration, and we have galaxies of worlds to explore together.”

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