Welcome back to our blog, which has been too quiet for too long!
We’re starting a new ongoing feature: welcome to Team Member Tuesday! We’ll be spotlighting a Division team member every week. This week, we’ll kick off with one of our newer program managers, Michelle Smith Grindberg.
Position: Arts Consultant
How long have you been with the Division?
I began my position in April 2015.
So what exactly do you DO?
I manage grants for Arts in Education and Underserved Cultural Community Development, as well as serve as the Art Education Specialist. In this capacity, I want to engage in collaborative conversations with other state and national arts education managers and educators, regarding best standards and advocacy avenues for arts integration in our schools and creative, lifelong learning methods.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The People. Talking with, guiding and helping the people who devote their lives working in non-profit organizations across our diverse state is personally gratifying. Arts and cultural organizations tremendously rely on grant programs, support and partnerships. They provide a wonderful array and breadth of programs and projects that benefit our children, citizens and communities.
Are you an artist yourself?
I consider myself foremost and inherently an artist. I am an expressionistic, surrealistic and representational painter, primarily working with oils on canvas and mixed media on paper. I create anthropomorphic characters of animals in natural and man-made existences and narratives of their imagined, interconnected lives.
What do you like to do for fun?
I am an environmentalist at heart and love exploring the great outdoors of our natural world, and engaging in activities including hiking, kayaking, tennis, gardening, and exercising. I am an avid soccer fan and love hanging out with my family and Siberian husky
If you could go anywhere in the world to see art, where would you go and what would you see?
I would visit Paris and the Louvre, to visually experience a living art history textbook through their comprehensive collections of 7,000 years of western art.
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
While on vacation, my husband and I were snorkeling along a beach coastline in The Keys. Unfortunately, he never truly learned how to swim while growing up in North Dakota. We were in the shallows but suddenly became caught up in a strong undertow as it was pulling us straight out to sea. Thankfully, after keeping him afloat and swimming us safely back to shore, I learned I could have been a lifeguard!
Is there anything you’d like to add?
With a background in art museum collections and exhibitions management, I hope everyone and their children will visit and support their local and regional museums! Be inspired.
You can check out more of Michelle’s artwork at www.paintedanimals.com.