Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Wenatchee, WA and really enjoyed and benefited from the vibrant arts community there. I was able to take piano and cello lessons, play in both high school symphony and chamber orchestra, and participate in community productions through the local symphony and musical theatre groups. I attended Luther College in Decorah, IA (go Norse!) and continued my music education through piano lessons and playing in the Symphony Orchestra while majoring in Communication Studies. One of my favorite college memories is traveling to Vienna, Austria, with the Symphony, where we lived and rehearsed for a month, and then performed in the Vienna Konzerthaus. A once in a lifetime experience! I also had the opportunity to intern for a semester at The Kennedy Center, which really opened the door to my future in arts marketing.
After graduation, I became the Institutional Development Apprentice at Imagination Stage, a children's theatre in Bethesda, MD, where I gained experience in every department of the theatre. It was a whirlwind, wonderful year, but I realized that "West Coast, Best Coast" was definitely true and I moved to Seattle where I have been Marketing Director of Early Music Seattle for two years.
I play cello in a few community orchestras and enjoy biking to work (when it's nice outside!). I'm an avid reader and absolutely love how stories can transport me to a different world, even while I'm trundling along on a bus. I like hiking and kayaking and exploring the Pacific Northwest, but my favorite way to workout is attending Barre Class. Shout out to the folks at Fremont Health Club that will help me keep a healthy lifestyle through grad school!
How did you find the Arts Leadership program?
I found the Arts Leadership program through the network of the Market the Arts Task Force, a monthly meeting of arts marketers in Seattle. Many members of the group have their MFA in Arts Leadership which peaked my interest and as I looked into it more; I found that the program could enhance the skills I already had, and help in my weaker areas. Because I was already working in the field, it was important that I found a program that wasn't just classroom learning, and the practicum aspect really solidified my decision.
What subjects are you most looking forward to learning or practicing?
I'm looking forward to the financial management class actually, because it will be different than what I normally do all day! I'm also looking forward to the public policy and advocacy for the arts class. I attended Americans for the Arts' Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, last March and was very inspired by the number of arts advocates and the work we were able to do in just a few short days on the Hill. I look forward to building on those skills and using them more at home!
What are your goals for the future?
I hope that the Seattle arts community can grow and continue to be a model of arts and culture for other cities and that through that growth, more people have access and want to participate. It all starts with education, and without an investment in the arts, there will be no future musicians, performers, and artists, let alone the patrons to support them, and I can neither imagine nor want to live in a world like that. Personally, I hope to attain a leadership position where I can advocate for the arts-filled world I and so many others envision.
Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Arts Leadership Programs Director
Rachel Betron, MEd
Student Financial Services