ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Arts Council announced the new director is Kathryn Hill of North Aurora, formerly of St. Charles.

Prior to coming to the TriCities a few years ago, Hill lived and worked in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and spent 10 years as the director of Art Reach, according to a news release. Art Reach is a nonprofit organization created in 1981 with the goal of keeping arts and culture alive in the community.

The release notes that SCAC shares a similar mission, and describes Hill’s experience and talents as a great asset.

“My interest in the arts goes back decades, and my belief in the role that the arts plays in providing a community with texture, value and improved quality of life is immovable,” Hill stated in the release. “I’m excited to use my arts management experience in this new position and look forward to working with local artists and community members to grow an awareness of the tremendous artistic resources that we have in our own back yard.”

The outgoing director, Alison Bastian, has been working closely with Hill and the SCAC Board to ease the transition as they develop a shared strategy for the Arts Council moving forward, the release stated.

Among the council’s initiatives is the ninth annual ArtsFest, the SCAC’s signature event, returning from Sept. 6 to 15. ArtsFest involves visual, performing and literary art venues all over town.

New this year, the SCAC will partner with the St. Charles History Museum to host a kick-off party the evening before ArtsFest, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 5. One can meet other art lovers, learn about the upcoming ArtsFest programs and events, and celebrate the local arts. Featured will be the unveiling of Rita Grendze’s public art installation titled “Synapses 4: community,” a temporary site-specific installation designed for the facade of the museum specifically for ArtsFest.

“We’re bringing back the best of last year with the second annualGallery Crawl and Poetry Crawl, both utilizing nontraditional and traditional spaces for the display of art and poetry,” the release stated. “You can also look forward to a fantastic array of performing arts programming, music, art classes and more.”

A call for artists and poets has gone out. Artists are invited to submit their work to the ArtsFest Pop-Up Gallery. Entries should be emailed to artistliaison@stcharlesartscouncil.org by Aug. 12. Poets are encouraged to submit a St. Charles-themed poem for the second annual ArtsFest Poetry Crawl. Submissions should be emailed to tmcwhitworth@gmail.com by Aug. 9. Complete submission details can be found on the website.

The ArtsFest Gallery will be open from Sept. 6 to 28. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 6 for an opening reception, and then noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and other hours by appointment.

It is not mandatory for artists to staff the gallery, but encouraged. Anyone interested in volunteering to staff the gallery may contact 630-443-3794 or email info@StCharlesArtsCouncil.org.

The annual membership drive for SCAC is underway. Visit the website for information or call 630-443-3794. And to enjoy the council’s Public Art Project, visit ArtinPublicPlacesSTC.com.