Milwaukee-based nonprofit Arts @ Large, Inc.has named Sean Kiebzak as its new chief executive officer.
Kiebzak has worked with A@L in various roles for more than 10 years, most recently as the chief operating officer, and is the son of the organization’s founder and former CEO, Teri Sullivan.
“Working alongside Teri, who also happens to be my mother, I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve learned from one of the best in the industry. I will undoubtedly have some very big shoes to fill,” Kiebzak said.
Sullivan and co-founder Kim Abler strated the arts organization in 2001 out of the trunks of their cars to bring equitable arts-integrated learning experiences to youth across the city of Milwaukee.
In 2019, Arts @ Large completed a $6.4 million renovation projectto transform a three-story, 129-year-old building at the southeast corner of Washington and 5th streets into a center for arts-based initiatives and its new home. The 11,000-square-foot Arts @ Large Community Center, at 1100 S. Fifth St., houses a student art gallery, multiple art studios, a professional development hub, a public and private event space and office space for five area nonprofits and small businesses.
Kiebzak worked side-by-side with Sullivan on the renovation project. Kiebzak also conceptualized a new career development program engaging high school students from Bradley Tech and Trade School as paid interns to work alongside the contractors who built the A@L Community Center.
“At A@L, we see everything as a learning experience,” Kiebzak said. “Even in the midst of full construction, we could tease out a lesson that we could share with our young leaders.”
Today, the program has grown to employ more than 20 youth each year, providing opportunities to build skills in a variety of career-based tracks including environmental justice, youth activism, digital and multimedia arts, business leadership and arts administration.
Over the past decade, he also has played a leading role in organizing community partners to redevelop a city park in Walker’s Point into an Eco-Arts Park, and oversaw the implementation of hundreds of artist residencies serving tens of thousands of Milwaukee youth.
“As COO, Sean worked hard to provide the Milwaukee community with meaningful arts experiences,” said A@L board chair Leila Sahar. “His past experiences and continued growth have broadened his knowledge and ability to be the leader we all want to be in charge at A@L.”
Following her retirement, Sullivan will continue to work with A@L as the CEO Emeritus.
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