Suzanne Fetscher — Art Inspired: On Life and Meaning

suzanne fetscher

Suzanne Fetscher creates spaces for artists to change the world. For 18 years, she served as the president and CEO of the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, a contemporary art and artist-in-residency center, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previously she served as Executive Director of the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Suzanne served three terms as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artists’ Communities, on the International Advisory Board of Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan, and on The Advisory Board and as Treasurer of Res Artis, the international consortium of artists-in-residence programs. She spent several post-graduate years teaching design and drawing, serving as adjunct instructor at Rollins College and at University of Central Florida, and as a full-time visiting instructor at Stetson University. She earned a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Central Florida and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Florida.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in arts administration and a story of arriving full circle in life. 

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • Suzanne talks about her transition into retirement and how she is feeling emotionally about leaving the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.
  • She describes the mission and work of the McColl Center and what distinguishes it from other residency programs.
  • She reflects on the origin of the McColl Center and how it has evolved.
  • She discusses how she came to be hired at McColl Center and why she left her previous position at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
  • Suzanne shares what she is most proud of during her tenure at the McColl Center and what innovation has to do with it.
  • She talks about what is happening at art institutions and in arts administration today.
  • She shares where she grew up and her family life as a child.
  • She discusses where she went to college and what she studied.
  • Suzanne talks about the person she met as a coed who changed her life.
  • She explains what she looks for when she looks at art and what makes art good.
  • She tells a story about community engagement as artistic expression.
  • Suzanne shares what the arts mean to her and what’s next.

Mark Peres adds a personal word that begins this way, “Somehow if I could recover deep data files in my brain, I’m sure there is a fragment memory of having met Suzanne in Florida long before we met in North Carolina…”

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