Effective July 1, Creative 360 will welcome Laura Vosejpka as their Executive Director. The arts and humanities nonprofit located at 1517 Bayliss St. in Midland is eager to start this next chapter in their 26-year history.
Vosejpka comes to Creative 360 from Helena College University of Montana where she served as CEO and Dean. She has, however, called Midland home for more than 28 years. Her time out of state brought the realization that Midland would always be home, and she was anxious to return. The opportunity at Creative 360 sealed the deal for her return as she has been a supporter of the organization for years.
“Creative 360 has always been a special place where I’ve enjoyed spending time,” explained Vosejpka. “I have a strong, personal connection to the mission and when I saw the opportunity to return to Midland and lead this fabulous organization, I couldn’t pass it up.”
Vosejpka brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Creative 360. She earned her Bachelors degree in English and Chemistry from Ohio State University in 1984. In1989, she received her Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied organic and inorganic chemistry. This educational combination of humanities and science brought opportunities to serve in a variety of capacities in higher education and industry.
She began her career on the faculty at Alma College, served as the Assessment Coordinator for Northwood University, was a professor of physical science at Mid Michigan College, and was the founding Dean of the College of Sciences and Liberal Arts at Kettering University in Flint. Vosejpka also worked for The Dow Chemical Company both as an R&D Specialist and as Executive Communications Director for Global R&D.
In 2015, Vosejpka was selected to serve on a study committee for National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., exploring the evidence behind the assertion that integration of learning experiences in the humanities, arts and STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) lead to improved educational and career outcomes. Their publication, Branches from the Same Tree: The Integration of Humanities and the Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education, was published in May of 2018. Vosejpka continues to work with NASEM to present this research at a universities and conferences, including MLA and AGU.
“My work with the National Academies team has given me great insight into the importance of arts and humanities to learning, well-being, and successes of many kinds,” said Vosejpka. “I’m looking forward to bringing this knowledge into the Creative 360 experience.”
Creative 360, has not been immune to the challenges facing nonprofits during the world’s current situation. After a five-week closure, the organization is taking measures to keep visitors and staff safe and healthy by limiting services and class sizes. Board President Ashley Ghose said, “We are confident that Vosejpka’s experiences with fundraising, grant writing and leadership will bring new and creative ways to serve our region in these challenging times.”
As they welcome a new executive director, the Creative 360 staff and board would like to thank board member Carol Speltz who has served as Interim Executive Director since the beginning of 2020. Under her leadership, the nonprofit has successfully navigated the sudden changes brought about by Covid-19, and then a flood to the lower level of their building.
“Carol did much more than fill the gap as we went through the search and hiring process,” said Ghose. “She brought creative solutions to the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced this year. We are grateful for her continued dedication to Creative 360.”
About Creative 360
Creative 360 is celebrating 25 years as a not-for-profit community arts and wellness organization. 25 years ago, Cynthia Keefe and Linda Z. Smith founded “The Creative Spirit Center” with a vision to make creativity accessible to all. Since then, the nonprofit has become Creative 360 and welcomed countless people through its doors to express, expand and experience the creative process in all its forms. Creative 360’s mission is to create environments that allow people of all ages and abilities to experience the creative process, and to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellness through the arts and humanities. The organization’s core values of inclusiveness, creativity, respect and community drive the culture at Creative 360. Activities at Creative 360 are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Midland Area Community Foundation and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.