Salida Council for the Arts welcomes Sheila Sears who will judge the Valley Visions show. Show awards will include first, second and third place titles, as well as a People's Choice award to be selected by viewers at the opening reception.
Sheila served as the Deputy Director of Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), our state arts agency. Prior to her public service career, Sheila’s career was in management of small to medium-sized nonprofit arts and arts education organizations. She served as Executive Director of Young Audiences, a statewide artist residency and arts education organization, and as Executive Director of Fremont Center for the Arts in Canon City. She was appointed by Governor Owens to serve on the Colorado Council on the Arts, and by Governor Hickenlooper to serve on the Historic and Scenic Byways Commission.
She has worked as an advisor to various organizations and agencies and is a consultant for the Colorado Main Street Program.
During her time at CCI, Sears oversaw the arts education programs, managed various grant and leadership programs, the Colorado Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate programs and represented the State across Colorado’s rural communities. She created a Native American Aftershool Arts program and initiated the agency’s partnerships with local arts and government agencies and private foundations.
She defines her greatest professional accomplishment as connecting people and communities across the state (she has visited 62 of Colorado’s 64 counties!) In her recent retirement, she has been practicing her personal creative pursuits including creative writing, fiber arts and gardening, and continues to be a resource for artists and arts organizations across the state.