Leadership Transition at Free Arts of Arizona

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona announced the appointment of Matt Sandoval as its new executive director effective Nov. 6, 2023.

“The Free Arts mission and vision is a passion for me and many others that I am honored to serve alongside,” Sandoval said. “I am excited to continue the great work of Free Arts by expanding our program statewide, creating new partnerships and developing our conference learning opportunities to impact others by providing mentoring and programming in the arts.”

Sandoval has served as the Free Arts VP of programs since October 2022, overseeing intentional art-based mentorship for program recipients. In his new role, he will work with staff and the board of directors to strengthen the Free Arts mission, forge new relationships with community partners and expand the organization’s programming to reach and provide more Arizona children with a trauma-informed approach that will help them build resilience, connection and creativity.

He brings more than 20 years of experience to the position, having previously worked in a variety of human services and nonprofits, including serving on several boards for groups that support youth and community development with a special emphasis on serving multicultural, multilingual and first-generation college students.

Sandoval will take the reins from current executive director Alicia Sutton Campbell after 11 years of service.

“I am honored to have worked for Free Arts during this exciting time in its history — expanding services to children and families, and securing a permanent home at The Bob & Renee Parsons Place for Art and Transformation,” Sutton Campbell said. “I look forward to seeing the next phase of growth that Matt and the talented staff will usher in.”

Sutton Campbell joined Free Arts as the director of programs in June 2012, before becoming executive director in July 2014. Under her direction, the organization grew from 10 to 29 employees, which allowed it to expand services to foster care and kinship families as well as young adult program alumni. The organization utilizes more than 800 volunteer mentors who work together to serve nearly 7,000 children statewide each year.

For more behind this Frontdoor, visit FreeArtsAZ.org.

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