American Craft Council (ACC) has selected Andrea Specht as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on May 9, 2022.
An experienced arts executive, administrator, and nonprofit professional, Specht joins ACC from Normandale Community College Foundation, where she has been serving as Executive Director and Vice President of Advancement since 2019. While there, she launched three foundation work groups, comprised of board, staff, and community members, to study key issues and make data-driven recommendations for ending student hunger, developing an alumni/student mentorship program, and strengthening the foundation’s scholarship program. Additionally, Specht launched a live, virtual fundraising event, more than doubled the unrestricted contributions, and created Normandale’s first position focused on social media strategy and execution.
Prior to her time at Normandale, Specht served as Executive Director and Chief Advancement Officer of Artistry, in Bloomington, Minnesota. She currently serves on the board for the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and has previously served on the boards of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Bloomington Noon Rotary Club, The Rose Ensemble, and the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. Specht holds a bachelor of arts degree in studio art from Macalester College and a juris doctor from the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Gary J. Smith said, “I’m delighted ACC will be welcoming Andrea as our new Executive Director. She is an experienced executive with a long, productive tenure at an arts organization, and immediately bonded with those who interviewed her. She is an energetic and compassionate leader who knows how to make things happen. With an innovative new director taking the reins as in-person craft marketplaces reopen, this is an exciting time to be associate with ACC.”
Kristin Mitsu Shiga, Chair of ACC’s Executive Search Committee added, “ACC is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access across our mission and programs, and in our team. In service of that commitment, Arts Consulting Group embraced a non-traditional, multi-faceted approach to guide our extensive national search, and brought forward many outstanding candidates. We are now thrilled to welcome Andrea to lead our hard-working team. Her proven record of nonprofit leadership and passion for craft, paired with her genuine, down-to-earth nature made her our unanimous choice for Executive Director.”
“I am honored by the ACC’s faith in my leadership and excited to step into a role that will capitalize so fully on my diverse experiences as a visual artist, attorney, nonprofit executive, and arts advocate,” said Specht. “To me the work of advancing craft – with its deep connections to culture and history and its remarkable capacity to help us understand ourselves and others – is the work of advancing more vibrant and just communities. It’s extremely compelling work, and I look forward to collaborating with the ACC’s talented staff and board to realize our organization’s full potential. I’m excited that I’ll have the chance to meet so many of our artists and supporters at our Baltimore marketplace right after I start.”
“Congratulations to the search committee, board, and staff of American Craft Council on the appointment of Andrea Specht,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “With her commitment to public policy and advocacy, as well as her ability to recognize, respect, and promote diversity and inclusion in all its forms, we are excited to see the great things ACC will do under Specht’s leadership.”