When we last spoke with Jensen, she was preparing for her dream job in Arts Administration having begun the Professional Certificate during the pandemic. Today, she is weeks away from finishing the certificate and has made a career shift towards non-profit management!
You mentioned AES courses being a “catalyst for your career pivot (from artist to non-profit administrator)”. Can you provide an example(s) of your classroom experiences and knowledge helping in your new career?
I am currently the administrative support associate for a philanthropy-serving organization. Taking AES courses helped me throughout my job search through giving me a great overview of how to approach working at a non-profit, including overall best practices and strategies, financial needs, grantwriting skills, and more.
Taking Cultural Equity in the Arts helped me recognize my deep commitment to EDI and gave me the tools to identify organizations that share my commitment during the job search. During my first staff meeting at my new position, we discussed the creation of our new theory of change—I was able to hit the ground running due to the Strategic Planning course. Everything I learned in the Financial Management course helped support me as I learned how to navigate and take ownership of financial systems of my new organization.
Who inspires your personal creativity and passion?
My personal creative inspiration and passion comes from many sources: the artists I’ve collaborated with in my performance career, the students I’ve watched flourish and blossom through being introduced to the stage, the activists and community organizers working towards justice, and the creators manifesting a just world on stage for audiences to witness.
Any last thoughts about your experience with AES classes or pivot in your career/creative life you would like to share?
Looking back to a little over a year ago when I decided to take the plunge and take Introduction to Arts Management, I always had an inkling that I would love (and thrive in) arts management. Taking AES courses has not only proved that inkling right, it has given me the tools to succeed, the drive to explore this aspect of my career further, and a network of artist-administrators to learn with.
One of the best parts of taking courses at AES has been realizing, through the example of our professors, that:
A career as an administrator does not take away from your identity and career as an artist—it enhances and enriches your creative practice, through giving you the tools to better plan programs, fund and market your work, and develop systems that support making great art and impacting the community.