Michael Dagen is resigning as executive director of the Nemeth Art Center, effective Sept. 1.

In a news release, NAC Board Chair Dawn Rossbach said, "In the last four years, Michael brought forth a vision to include contemporary art, local and regional artists and artists from both coasts to our community. These artists challenged our viewpoints to look at life, cultures and history with new perspectives, not to mention the artwork created experiences for us to savor and enjoy."

Rossbach said Dagen "worked tirelessly and fostered relationships with local businesses, regional and national organizations," plus "wrote countless grants for our organization and secured grant monies to begin restoration on the historic Hubbard County Courthouse building along with spearheading our fundraising efforts."

Dagen praised the Park Rapids community for welcoming him. " I truly appreciate the relationships that have grown over the past four years," he said. "It was my goal to rejuvenate the reputation and perception of the Nemeth Art Center, and I think we have been successful in that effort by hosting events like the Halloween Happening, Wild Rice Festivals, this year's Second Saturday Happening concert series and a slew of high quality, distinct exhibits that couldn't be found anywhere else in rural Minnesota."

Dagen noted that the historic Hubbard County Courthouse "has served Park Rapids well for the past 118 years and this structurally sound building is well worthy of preservation."

"I am confident that if a committed architect with a local connection can be found, a complete restoration of the historic Hubbard County Courthouse will be realized and the building will once again serve all of Minnesota as the majestic symbol of pride that it was destined to be," he said.

Dagen and his wife, Chelsey, will continue to reside in Hewitt. He said they plan to stay connected with friends and colleagues in the Heartland Lakes.