Spotlight on Community

The Northern Lights Arts Council has two new faces that will share the responsibility of leadership as the executive director position, formerly held by Carla Gemmill, has been split into two new positions – Executive Director of Marketing/Programming and Executive Director of Finance.


Posted 10/29/2016

By Melissa Anderson

Amber Benoit now holds the position of Executive Director of Marketing/Programming for the NLAC while April Smith  is the Executive Director of Finance.

“I have always loved the arts, and I also have a passion for being involved in the community,” Benoit said, “This position gives me a wonderful opportunity to do both.”

Benoit moved back to Langdon five years ago after living in the Fargo/Moorhead area and was very pleasantly surprised to see all the things that were going on in this small community and county, many of them thanks to the Northern Lights Arts Council.

“I think it’s important for community members of all ages to have different activities and events to take part in, and I am loving having the chance to help make those things happen,” Benoit said.

Smith wanted this position for multiple reasons. One of the reasons being her belief in  the NLAC as a great asset to the community and something she wanted to be a part of.

“Another reason being I work from home, and I wanted something that would allow me to get out and be involved in the community,” Smith said, “Also, I knew I would enjoy the finance part of the position which is something I do not focus on within my full-time career.”

Both will work to fill the position left by Carol Hart and Gemmill.

“I am hoping to continue in their footsteps. I have a great co-director to work with in April and a very knowledgeable Board of Directors,” Benoit said.

There are some events that took place a few years ago that Benoit believes would be fun to bring back again and also has a couple new ideas up her sleeve. Benoit will constantly be seeking out new and fun events, programs, and is also open to suggestions.

“Since I am taking on the finance portion of the executive director position, a lot of my work will be behind the scenes,” Smith explained, “However, I hope to continue the great work the NLAC has been doing for years.”

Because Benoit and Smith are each tackling different aspect of the position of executive director, the two each have set goals for their individual responsibilities.

“My goal is to continue to promote the importance of music, theater, and art in our communities,” Benoit explained.

She hopes to be a friendly face that anyone can approach with questions, concerns, or ideas. She also looks to keep promoting the NLAC in a way that gets the word out efficiently, effectively and  to support the NLAC’s  mission.

Smith’s goal in her position is to continue to receive funding from various grants that she will be responsible for submitting as well as look for additional funding opportunities.

“I would also like to look for new and different activities to bring to the area through the NLAC,” Smith added.

Upcoming events sponsored by the NLAC include:

• Wine and Canvas – Cross Theme – Friday, November 18 – registration opens Nov. 4.

• Langdon Area Christmas Tour of Homes – Saturday, Dec. 3.

• Auditions for the February Musical will be happening in December (dates TBD)

Ongoing events include the Art Student of the Month which has one student per month being chosen from county schools  and then  featured in the paper and their artwork displayed at Langdon’s General Store.

A new NLAC sponsored event is the Art in Unexpected Places.

“ We will have more to come on this,” Benoit stated.

To make sure you stay up-to-date with the NLAC be sure to “like” their Facebook page or visit their website: