Anjana Utarid

The board of directors at Sebastopol Center for the Arts (SCA) has announced that Anjana Utarid, SCA’s executive director for the past two years, will be stepping down from her position as head of the arts center. The newly established role of Creative Director will be filled in the interim by longtime Visual Arts Director Catherine Devriese. Matthew Groff, who is currently director of operations, will be interim managing director.

“We want to extend a deep debt of gratitude to Anjana for her dedication to the center and for her many positive contributions. Anjana has been instrumental in placing SCA on the threshold of a bright new era and we all wish her the very best in her future endeavors,” the board announcement said.

The board blamed changes in funding for community organizations and the arts as the reason for the change.

Jeanne McGlothlin, co-director of the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, which is run under SCA’s umbrella, described the challenge this way.

“Anjana’s first day on the job Coffey Park was in flames and she had been evacuated from her nearby home. Yet there she was, in sweats, eager to begin. And here we are, two Octobers later, having endured a flood, another firestorm, county-wide evacuations, power blackouts and an economy reeling to keep up with basic human needs of its citizens. A non-profit arts organization is way down the list for funding or sponsorship monies. We were all entirely unprepared for the gravity of these events and implications for the Art Center.”

“It’s a challenging time of transition for all of us,” McGlothlin said. “My hope is that the board of directors will strengthen it’s own resolve with strategic planning to support and preserve this tremendous community asset for all.”

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