This “accidental” arts administrator first discovered Americans for the Arts during the conference in St. Louis in the early 90s. I was working as the curator of education at Laumeier Sculpture Park at the time and was privileged to provide tours for conference-goers. Like a puppy first discovering a familiar species in the neighborhood, I was spellbound by the unique gathering of arts professionals. Through good fortune, I became a member and have attended almost every conference since 1995.

Many people know that March is Women’s History Month, but how many arts organizations succeed in engaging their whole community in the celebration? Every March, two organizations in Albuquerque New Mexico, Harwood Art Center and Littleglobe, do just that.

The city of Nashville, Tennessee, is sometimes referred to as the “Athens of the South,” a thriving hub of arts and culture with a diverse population and a world-famous music scene. At the forefront of the city’s cultural blossoming is a longtime member of Americans for the Arts, the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, or Metro Arts.

Students enrolled in Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) Arts Management Programs (Undergraduate & Graduate) produce two-day music festivals, art competitions, face and body paint tailgating activities, art crawl events, and reality TV shows as part of an academic service learning project and student organizational activity designed to give members their first experiences as arts administrators.

Americans for the Arts is my “go-to” network for information and essential tools about arts in communities. Whether it is Animating Democracy, the Public Art Network, in-depth arts research or strategies for advocacy – I know I can find resources on-line and through their amazing and accessible staff. They provide the links to a nation-wide coalition of innovative thinkers about the intersections of arts and community.

My membership with Americans for the Arts has helped me see my potential as a leader in the arts marketing sector. It led me to pursue my lifelong dream to attend graduate school abroad, living and studying in Dallas, Montréal, Bogotá, and Milan. My experiences in this graduate program allowed me to learn from leaders in international cultural management, visit well-known cultural institutions and facilities, and pursue my career in arts marketing.