Performing Artist • Arts Educator • Nonprofit Advocate


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!

Angela Keeton Joins Board of Salty Cricket

It is fall here along the Wasatch front--and what a spectacular show we have had here in our new home, in a very new landscape. We have been so thrilled to find that Salt Lake City has no shortage of fantastic arts opportunities and organizations to choose from. The vast availability of family-friendly programming has also been impressive and fun to explore with our son.

In August, thanks to being in the right coffee shop at the right time, I was introduced to Victoria Petro-Eschler and Nathaniel Eschler, respectively the Executive Director and Artistic Director of Salty Cricket Composers Collective. Their passion for new music and for developing the future generation of musicians was immediately infectious and I was ready to walk on fire for them and their work in this community. This wife and husband duo bring past experience on the east coast for building and leading El Sistema inspired afterschool programming for students from under-served communities. Since moving here two years ago, Nathaniel (a composer) and Victoria (a musician with a music therapy, musicology, and administrative background) have picked up where they left off and have partnered with Salty Cricket to develop a community education arm within the existing eight year old organization.

If you haven't heard about El Sistema and the force it has become for social change over the last 30 years, check out this profile on founder Jose Antonio Abreu's Ted Talk.  Like what you see? Want to dig further? Then I encourage you to view the new documentary by Jamie Bernstein called Crescendo: The Power of Music which follows two East Coast Sistema programs that have experienced exponential growth-and for very good reasons! You will laugh, you will cry, and you will want to host a screening at the theater and do a fundraiser for these awesome human beings.

I look forward to helping bring my experience to the board of Salty Cricket and help support them as they get this new community change project off the ground. I hope my time at Minnesota Opera, working in schools and developing an El Sistema inspired program for the operatic artform will give them helpful ideas and insight. In the meantime, Salty Cricket's GraceNotes program is off and running at Jackson Elementary on the West side of SLC, with nearly 30 students participating in it's launch in October. The future is very bright for these enthusiastic students.

Want to know more about the work of Salty Cricket? Interested in sponsoring one of the young musicians in the GraceNotes program so a student has a free, safe, music-filled place to go during afterschool hours? Let's have coffee and talk about how you might like to be involved. Or, you can simply head over to Salty Cricket and share what you can. Every bit makes a difference. As Victoria said, "Give me $5, I'll turn it into $10!" And she will.

Warm and grateful wishes!