Sheila Smith

Sheila M. Smith has been Minnesota Citizens for the Art’s executive director since 1996 and serves as chair of Creative Minnesota ( She was a leader in the 2008 “Vote Yes” campaign, passing a Minnesota state constitutional amendment to create 25 years of dedicated funding for the arts and environment. She also served on the board of the Minnesota United campaign to defeat the constitutional amendment that would have denied the freedom to marry.

Sheila has been chair of the State Arts Action League, part of Americans for the Arts, and was recipient of the 2009 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award which honors an individual who has dramatically affected the political landscape through arts advocacy efforts at the state level. An adjunct professor for the University of Minnesota and Metro State University, she teaches and lectures nationally about the arts, grassroots advocacy and other issues.

Sheila has a masters in arts administration from St. Mary’s University and a B.A. in Shakespeare from St. Olaf College. Before joining MCA, she served as staff at the Minnesota State Senate and lobbied local governments for Continental Airlines in Houston, TX.

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