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SAGE Welcomes Jill Benson to Executive Director Role

Starting January 4th, 2021, SAGE Community Arts will be under the direction of Jill Benson as the new Executive Director. Jill also previously served on the SAGE Board of Directors.

Jill Benson smiles for the camera wearing dangly earrings and a black sweater.
New SAGE Executive Director, Jill Benson

What excites you most about joining the SAGE Team and local artist community?

The diversity that is the SAGE Team and the local artist community is truly unbelievable. I was so thrilled to be part of the team as a board member and to have more chances to interact with the team and community. The new opportunity as Executive Director will further allow me to learn more about the SAGE team and artists and better promote them to the Sheridan Community.

What are you looking forward to working on most at SAGE?

The entire mission of SAGE to "See Art. Create Art. Promote Art." is very exciting. I have immensely enjoyed promoting art in the community through our exhibitions and getting to learn about the artists and their collections of work. I believe it adds that extra spark to a piece of art when you get to learn the story behind its creation. I am equally excited to work closely with our art education programs and create art within Sheridan. An arts education throughout all ages of the community is vital to its diversity and growth.

What is your "art story?" Do you consider yourself more of an artist, or more of an art-appreciator?

I received a Studio Art and Art History education from Montana State University and have dabbled in creating my own art since. Through the journey of art school and afterwards, I have learned that I do not have the drive to create and promote my own art to the higher levels, but I truly have a passion for promoting and learning about other artists' work. Hearing the dedication and energy they have for their mediums and the journeys they have taken to get their art out to the public is very inspiring and drives me to help get their message out there as well.

Jill and husband Adam Benson on the trails

How long have you been in the Sheridan-area? What are some of your favorite things to do in the area?

My husband and I, along with our two wonderful and troublesome dogs, moved back to Sheridan the summer of 2019. We had visited many times, because Sheridan is my husband’s home town and have always been excited about the great progress of Sheridan and its willingness to grow and embrace new ideas and adventure.

Mario and Elle, Jill Benson's canine assistants

I would consider us very outdoorsy and active people. We really took to that this past year with enjoying the new-to-us sports of trail running and skate skiing. The dogs, Mario and Elle, get to enjoy both activities with us. I am and have been for many years a lover of the Cloud Peak Wilderness and cannot wait to adventure more through its beautiful country.


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