A busy few years has kept me away from my online updates. But, have no fear. I’ve been hard at work on many projects.
I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Tennis and Tutoring as Executive Director for nearly 3 years. Jumping in to a small organization in the middle of a capacity building process was extremely exciting and challenging. I loved getting to know the families and children, as well as getting back into the game of tennis myself. The icing on the cake was having the chance to attend the 2018 US Open in New York. Seeing the superstars of tennis play so close up was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Seth and I. I was grateful for the trusting founders of the organization to let me lead and I learned so much about all aspects of nonprofit management. In January of 2019, I sealed the envelope on my last grant application for the organization and stepped aside as a new ED took over to lead the next chapter for the organization. Despite the success, I had a deep urge to get back to the arts organizations that truly make my heart sing.
As an ENTHUSIASTIC ENFJ/P, typically I am overjoyed at the opportunity to try new, do new, eat new, see new, feel new things. I love project-based work. I get excited to work with a new team, or fight for a new cause.
However, this last year has been a challenging one professionally, as I have had to change professional course many times due to circumstances out of my control, projects cancelled, positions re-organized, budgets slashed. I’ve been doing far more administrating than music-making, which I have been grateful for, but, as any musician can attest, it does leave a bit of a hole.
Fairly typical for those of us who work with small nonprofit organizations, “ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” are common and expected. However, I have previously had the stability of working for 3-8 years at other organizations, where I got to feel the support of a full-time team when times were challenging. But, since moving to Utah, my experiences have been primarily remote work, for organizations too small for an office. The missions were valiant and the work was exciting, but I definitely learned that I am at my best when working with a real team, getting my hands dirty each day.
Exciting things are coming, though. Thanks to the support of my wonderful friends and colleagues, the network and the universe are all bringing me opportunities and I’m trying to be open to all of it.
This summer I got back into the opera world as Public Relations Director for Opera NEO in San Diego and got to spend 6 weeks in Southern California supporting their 8th Summer Festival and Workshop. It was so great for my musical heart to be immersed in the music and see our emerging artists face challenge and grow throughout the summer. Plans are in the works to continue supporting them in the summer and, hopefully, throughout the year, through strategic planning, and communications and board development. It will be very fun to help them build toward their 10th Anniversary in 2021.
Next up, I’ll be assisting Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Utah with their Student Series, a fundraising campaign that engages young people to make a difference for their friends and neighbors battling blood cancers and to fund the research to help find a cure.
Throughout the year, I’ll continue acting in the simulation programs at the University of Utah College of Nursing and School of Medicine. Some of my favorite memories of working in Utah are of my experiences interacting with the doctors and nurses of tomorrow and helping them learn and grow. It challenges my acting skills to a degree that you just can’t replicate on the operatic stage. In my first week on the job a couple years ago, I got interviewed on KSL for a feature that looked in to the simulation program at the U.
I currently serve on the executive committee of the board for Community Education Partnerships of West Valley City and have been organizing my community and testifying before the state legislature in an effort to save a nearby beloved roadway and open space. Now do you see why I haven’t had much time for blogging?
Hopefully, I’ll get back to my friends at Utah Symphony | Utah Opera at some point to sing some more with the chorus as well. Aida and Candide were so much fun to sing with a group of exceptionally dedicated chorusters.
Here’s to making our garden grow!