Tell us about your new position.
The External Relations Officer is a new position for Theatre Aspen responsible for maintaining and growing Theatre Aspen's communication with patrons, donors, vendors and community members. This position combines responsibilities usually split between Marketing and Development Departments in order to create a united, cohesive message that tells Theatre Aspen's story. This position manages giving programs, special events and marketing campaigns.
What led you to want to work at this organization?
I worked as an Administrative Apprentice in Theatre Aspen's Apprenticeship Program during the summer of 2016 and was extremely impressed with the Theatre Aspen team. They are a group of caring, talented and scrappy individuals who work really hard and have fun doing it. The theater itself is a tent with no running water — we're basically camping all summer — but the production quality could make you believe you're in any city's intimate theater house. Artists from all over the country and abroad, including Broadway performers and designers, come to Theatre Aspen. This unexpected combination makes Theatre Aspen a gem in one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
What are you most looking forward to about the position?
I'm most looking forward to broadening Theatre Aspen's connection to the community. The team and I are working to create some new talk-back sessions at the library surrounding the shows in the summer season. I'm also developing an inaugural meeting for one of our major group of supporters. Because my position is brand new, I have lots of opportunities to innovate and grow Theatre Aspen. I'm looking forward to discovering how we can best reach and engage our community.
What do you think will be most challenging about this position?
The Aspen community is unlike any I have ever worked in before. The permanent population makes it a small town, but Aspen's international reputation as a luxury resort town draws people from all over the world. Aspen is also located in the wealthiest county in the state of Colorado. It will be challenging to develop marketing and development communications for such widespread groups while still appealing to the town's permanent population. I'm looking forward to investigating all these groups. It will give Theatre Aspen an even stronger reputation locally and abroad.
How did CCM Arts Admin prepare you for this position?
CCM's Arts Admin program prepared me to work at Theatre Aspen by providing a well-rounded exposure to the various administration departments. Theatre Aspen has a very small administrative staff and a tight connection with a dedicated board. The Arts Admin coursework and projects gave me opportunities to analyse each department of administration. I now have the skill sets to approach various Theatre Aspen situations well-armed with applicable knowledge, skills and opinions. I am able to lend a hand with Operations, chime in on Education initiatives, and bring my own approach to Marketing and Development. I can also see how all the pieces fit together and effect one another. The Arts Admin program has given me a great set of tools to bring to my new job!
What do you hope to accomplish or learn through this position?
As the External Relations Officer for Theatre Aspen, I hope to make the organization's interactions with all our constituents as easy and clear as possible. From buying a ticket to hosting an event in the tent, anyone contacting Theatre Aspen should be able to easily find and understand the information they need. My goal is to make the patron and donor experience comfortable by providing a high level of customer service.
Is there anything else you want to share?
The Arts Admin program has been hugely supportive of my efforts to apply for and land this job. The faculty allowed me to stay on in Aspen a few weeks after the fall semester began and encouraged me to travel to New York to pitch myself to the Executive Artistic Director during the middle of the fall semester. The Class of 2017 has also been extremely supportive. They have let me bounce ideas off of them, provide brilliant suggestions and guidance, and boost me up when I need it. I am extremely grateful to all the women in the Arts Admin program, my 2017 classmates and the faculty!