New Huron Valley Council for the Arts Director Brings Creativity and Listening
(Lara Mossa, Oct. 9. 2019)
HIGHLAND TWP, MI – Sioux Trujillo’s vision for the arts is that of the community. The new executive director of the Huron Valley Council for the Arts has spent the first few weeks of her job listening, she said.
“I don’t go into an area and put my vision on it,” said Trujillo of Brighton. “I try to listen to what is needed in that area and the people we already serve.”
Appointed by the board in September, Trujillo has a wide range of experience that ranges from working as the Community Impact Manager for Creative Many of Michigan to Curator of Fine and Performing Arts at the Detroit Zoological Society. Among other accolades, she is the organizer of Ice Scrapers for Detroit’s annual Noel Night and sat on the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council for six years. She has won awards such as the 2009 Joyce Foundation Emerging Leaders of Color Fellowship and a Michigan Educational Grant.
Based in Highland Township, Huron Valley Council for the Arts supports activities in Oakland and Livingston counties. The 21-year-old nonprofit group organizes music programs within local schools as well as events such as Arts and Greens, which is a holiday art bazaar in White Lake Township that features local artists’ work and children’s projects. Another major activity hosted by the Council is the Our Heroes concert, which features veterans’ artwork and music.
In addition, the organization has an art shop that sells jewelry, paintings, photography and books among other gifts. Artists who pay a membership fee can sell their wares there and also volunteer at the store. Located at the Council offices at 205 W. Livingston Road, the shop is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Membership fees range from $35 a year up to $1,000.
Trujillo is the only paid staff member for the Council that relies heavily on volunteers. The group has about a dozen core volunteers and many others who contribute to events. Right now, there are 11 board members, but the organization is currently looking for more.
“I’ve worked for larger arts organizations in the past,” she said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to work for a smaller organization because of the commitment of people bringing arts to this region. It’s all volunteers. No one is getting paid, and it’s hours and hours of their time to run an organization that does a lot of things.”
Trujillo likes art because it brings people together, she said, adding that it boosts students’ academic performance as well as leadership qualities among professionals.
“It doesn’t matter what language you speak or where you’re from art and music are bridge builders,” she said.
An artist herself, she paints and does textiles from the Pioneer Building in downtown Detroit as well as a home studio. She is married with two children and earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts with honors and a minor in art history from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Some of her goals are to grow the group and also meet with other arts organizations and artists in the area.
“I want people to feel like they can come and talk to me,” she said.
For more information, go to the Council website at www.huronvalleyarts.org.