Art Center director's priority
is to make art accessible to all
By DON FABER
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Marsha Chamberlin doesn't mind telling
you she entered arts management "through
the back door."
How else to explain why a social worker
with a background in criminal justice got to
be president of the third oldest arts organiza-
tion in Michigan.
Chamberlin was recently honored by her
board of directors for 20 years of leadership
as president of the Ann Arbor Art Center,
whose main ol ' "ty.
When she s n ur people
worked with a budget of $80,000.
Today, the AAAC has a staff of 25 and an
operating budget of more than $1 million.
"When I came here," says Chamberlin,
"the Art Center was run like a club by an able
group of volunteers.
"I was given the charge of going out into
the community. Now we've opened up and
we re much more of a community-based or-
For example, in 1984 Chamberlin intro-
duced Art Start, free art instruction to low in-
come families in such community centers as
"We -u:u to make art accessible," says
C' in, "so I got a list of community
ce»^u ^nd took the program into the neigli
"It was the social worker in me. We're com-
munity-based and we have a responsibility to
reflect the community."
The Art Center reaches more than 200 kids
a year through Art Start.
See CHAMBERUN, C2
NEWS PHOTO *ALAN WARREN
Marsha Chamberlin, president of the Ann Arbor Art Center,
stands in the center's gallery with artwork by Linda Soberman.
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