2015 Strategic Plan

VISION:  The Shiawassee Arts Council envisions a vibrant community where the arts inspire our innovative spirit, celebrate our cultural diversity and encourage community involvement.

MISSION:  The purpose of the Shiawassee Arts Council is to sponsor and encourage participation and appreciation of the arts in Shiawassee County and its surrounding area. SAC may research, plan, develop and present quality arts and cultural activities that educate, entertain and enhance the quality of life in our community.

WHO WE SERVE:  The Shiawassee Arts Council, a non-profit organization, incorporated in 1972, serves our constituents (members, artists, volunteers, donors), residents of Shiawassee County and the surrounding areas of Chesaning in Saginaw County, Ovid and Elsie in Clinton County, in addition to gallery visitors and tourists from around the mid-Michigan area and beyond.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES: The Shiawassee Arts Council offers at its facility, the Shiawassee Arts Center:

  • Featured Art Exhibitions in River Gallery, Moore Gallery, Hebert Gallery and Docent Gallery with “Meet the Artists” receptions
  • Artist Consignment Space in Gregoricka Gallery, Hill Gallery, McEwan Gallery and Voight Gallery
  • Frederick C. Frieseke Gallery, display of original paintings and reproductions of the well-known Owosso-born impressionist artist
  • Specialty Gift Shop
  • Year-round Multi-Media Art Classes, Camps and Workshops for Children and Adults
  • Annual Countywide High School Scholarship Show with over $75,000 awarded to talented young area artists since 1972
  • Special events and activities including Art in the Park during the annual Curwood Festival, ArtWalk, Tour Our Town, Art a la Carte and Owosso Bike Fest
  • The River Gallery and Cottonwood Terrace are available for business and personal rentals


GOAL #1: Strengthen the economic sustainability of the Shiawassee Arts Council by growing the Endowment Fund


a) Expand base and diversity of donors by increasing number of members, dollars donated and member retention

b) Increase number of sustaining donors and major donors through planned giving


GOAL #2:  Increase awareness of the Shiawassee Arts Center


a) Take advantage of marketing opportunities by pooling resources with other non-profit organizations to obtain more “bang for the buck”

b) Hire a Marketing Director

c) Deepen relationship with local and statewide arts organizations to increase knowledge, effectiveness and capacity


GOAL #3: Build bridges between the Shiawassee Arts Council and key institutions (business, local government, philanthropy, etc.) to increase partnership and cooperation.


a) Work to promote opportunities for more arts education and understanding between and among these groups

b) Strengthen connections and where appropriate promote policy changes with key groups that work with the Shiawassee Arts Council

c) Offer the Shiawassee Arts Center as a venue so that other nonprofits have a place at the table on decisions regarding future ideas and plans


Brief History of Shiawassee Arts Council

       The Shiawassee Arts Council (SAC) was established in Owosso in 1972 to facilitate the creation and appreciation of art by adults and children throughout Shiawassee County and the mid-Michigan area. SAC operates the Shiawassee Arts Center through a 99-year lease with the City of Owosso. Located in Curwood Castle Park overlooking the Shiawassee River in downtown Owosso, the facility has nine galleries, multiple classrooms, permanent art collection and staff offices on three levels totaling 8,700 square feet. In 2008, SAC completed a major expansion of the Center, increasing gallery and education spaces by 2,200 square feet. The expansion was funded through organizational revenues, local grants and private support from two major donors. The Arts Center is accessible to persons with disabilities by a three-floor elevator addition funded with a 2014 MCACA capital improvement grant and matching funds from a donor bequest. The Arts Center is open year-round according to a regular schedule and admission is free at all times.

SAC operates as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation with a staff of seven and a volunteer board of 20 members. In 2014, membership totals 1,216, with nearly half of those, 510, serving as volunteers sometime during the year. Exhibitions in 2014 featured the work of 218 artists from the local area and across Michigan, working in many media, highlighted by free, monthly public receptions with the exhibiting artists. Consignment galleries provide a sales outlet for local artists and a means of revenue for SAC. One gallery is dedicated to the work of Owosso-born and internationally renowned impressionist artist, Frederick C. Frieseke (1874-1939). Adjacent to Curwood Castle, the onetime writing studio of author James Oliver Curwood, the Arts Center is a popular destination for local citizens and visitors alike, with over 31,000 visitors recorded in 2014.

SAC acts as an “umbrella organization” for the arts organizations in the community providing meeting, classroom and workshop space for other local arts and civic groups. SAC works with other organizations, businesses and individuals to fund and produce initiatives promoting the creation and appreciation of art. Successful program partnerships include annual Creative Arc classes for developmentally disabled youth with Arc Shiawassee 2010-2015; annual Community Education Afterschool classes with Owosso Public Schools; five Summer Art Camps with DeVries Nature Conservancy 2009-2015; nine annual Celebration Youth Arts Month exhibit with Wendy’s Restaurant of Owosso, 2014-15 Tour Our Town with Friends of the River, Owosso Historical Commission, Steam Railroading Institute, OCP and DNC; and annual Art in the Park with the Curwood Festival.
Multi-dimensional art classes, including, but not limited to drawing, watercolor, pottery, jewelry, glass fusing, for children and adults are offered by SAC throughout the year, with 1,988 students served in 2015. Ongoing Saturday classes are offered to children from pre-school through eighth grade. Multi-media Summer Art Camps are offered for school-age students. SAC’s classes also feature sessions designed specifically for senior citizens and persons with disabilities with The Creative Arc program. SAC provides annual scholarships to support the education of artistically talented area high school students, with more than $75,000 awarded since 1972.

For more information visit SAC at www.shiawasseearts.org and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Shiawassee-Arts-Center-111569842213473/

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