Following a months-long national search, Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council has announced Robyn Awend will serve as its new Executive Director, to start on August 8, 2022. She succeeds founding director David Jordan Harris, as he retires after 18 years at the helm of the innovative and influential Jewish arts nonprofit.
Awend joins Rimon with over 15 years of experience in nonprofit arts and community development, most recently as the Twin Cities Cultural Arts Director for the newly combined Minnesota Jewish Community Center. She was instrumental in making Rimon the successful organization it is today through her many years of service on its Advisory Board.
“Robyn Awend brings to Rimon the sensitivity and awareness that comes from being a working artist as well as the vision and leadership skills we are seeking in a new Executive Director,” said Michael Stanfield, chair of the Succession Committee. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Robyn will be succeeding David Harris.”
In addition to her nonprofit experience, Awend is a working printmaker and mixed-media artist. A recipient of several Rimon grants herself, she was also a featured presenter in Rimon’s annual benefit, P’Chotchka, in 2021. Awend holds a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Curatorial Studies and a Master of Arts in Printmaking from the University of Dallas, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Alternative Methods Printmaking from the University of Arizona.
“I am both honored and thrilled to serve as Rimon’s next executive director, carrying on David’s longstanding legacy and his profound impact on our community,” Awend said. “I am deeply inspired by Rimon’s mission and the important work it supports and produces on a consistent basis. This work is central to my core values and passions.”
Awend’s hiring is the culmination of an extended search process undertaken by Rimon’s Advisory Board and community members, with financial support from the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.
“This is an ideal outcome. Few people know the organization as well as Robyn or understand its origins and impact as comprehensively as she does,” Harris said of his successor. “With her passion for the arts and the community’s — both artists’ and audiences’ — deep respect for her, I know that Robyn will bring invigorating, stylish energy to Rimon and take it to the next level.”