Archive for February, 2019

Expanding Access, Supporting Growth, and Investing Locally

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

2019 is well underway and we are in full swing – engaging and supporting the arts and humanities ecosystem in Montgomery County! To all our colleagues who were impacted by the recent government shutdown, we are excited to have had you back with us and grateful the furlough has temporarily ended. It is our hope that good minds will continue to work together to find a solution that brings stability and ensures the government remains open without further interruptions. The Arts and Humanities Council thanks you for your continued work and commitment to strengthening the creative economy during this challenging time.

We also want to send our gratitude to everyone who offered free and discounted opportunities, not only for our comrades, but for all furloughed government employees. The support you showed was indicative of how the arts and humanities are critical to our society. They are a fundamental part of creating and maintaining a healthy community. As stated in Americans for the Arts’ Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018 study, 81% or 4 in 5 Americans believe that the arts are a positive experience in a troubled world. The impact you had will not soon be forgotten. We are confident that should another shutdown occur, our Arts and Humanities sector will be ready to open our doors and hearts to those in need again.

Moving forward, it is also critical that our arts community continue to rally behind one another as we champion funding for the arts at Maryland Arts Day on February 14. Join us for this statewide advocacy event, celebrating Maryland’s arts community and the role we play in the economic and cultural vitality of the state! Let’s do our part to ensure that all voices are heard, and that Montgomery County’s culturally diverse community continues to thrive. Register here.

As always, thank you for sharing our commitment to creating an equitable playing field for all Montgomery County residents. Our unified efforts ensure we will expand access to cultural expression and continue producing excellence in the arts and humanities.


Suzan Jenkins,

AHCMC Welcomes Sierra Smith

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Classical Saxophonist Sierra Smith kick starts her career as an arts administrator by joining our staff as the new Programming and Operations Coordinator. We sat down with her to chat about her background in the arts, her role at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and more!

AHCMC: So, tell us about yourself.

Sierra: I am a native Washingtonian and thrilled to work with the AHCMC. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Morgan State University as well as a certificate in Management of Successful Arts & Cultural Organization from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. I’ve dabbled in many fields but am glad to start my career as an arts administrator.

AHCMC: What led you to the arts field?

Sierra: When I finished undergrad, I was prepared to teach music or perform it and I realized that I didn’t want to do either of those things. I enjoy doing the work that goes into programming whether it be a holiday concert or art exhibit and I wanted to be in a position that would allow me to support and promote the great work happening in the community.

AHCMC: What interested you to come work for the AHCMC?

Sierra: I wanted to start my career as an arts administrator somewhere that I could see myself being for years to come and fortunately I didn’t have to look far. I was also attracted to the opportunity to work with AHCMC’s CEO, Suzan Jenkins. Suzan (in my world) is the equivalent of a Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos but for the arts and for her to not only be a woman, but a woman of color, made the AHCMC my top choice. In addition, as a musician and patron of the arts I wanted to make sure that the programming happening throughout the county mirrors the county’s rich, cultural diversity.

AHCMC: Tell us a fun fact!

Sierra: I’m a collector! I have an expansive shoe collection, watch collection and t-shirt collection. I’m also REALLY into astrology.

AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the Programming & Operations Coordinator?

Sierra: I am looking forward to becoming more coherent with the arts in Montgomery County. I am also looking forward to sharing and learning about all the cultural events the county has to offer.

AHCMC Welcomes Brittney Dubose

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Hailing all the way from the great state of Texas Brittney Dubose, a marketing professional with a love for the performing arts, joined our staff as the Marketing and Communications Manager. We sat down with her to learn about her upbringing in the arts, her interest in working for AHCMC, and more.

AHCMC: So, tell us about yourself.

Brittney: I was born in Washington D.C. but raised in Dallas, and I am thrilled to be back in the DMV! I have a Master of Public Administration, with a focus in Nonprofit Management, from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor of Science in Film, Television, and Digital Media from Texas Christian University. Prior to joining AHCMC, I served as the Special Projects Coordinator with the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA). In this role, I worked to rebuild and expand OCA’s brand, create sustainable digital marketing strategies, and increase the visibility of the Dallas arts community. Independently of OCA, I freelance as a digital marketing contractor with artists and arts organizations – producing engaging video content, designing marketing collateral and developing social media marketing campaigns.

AHCMC: What led you to the arts field?

Brittney: I have been involved in the arts my entire life. I began dancing at the age of four and acting around the age of eight. Growing up, my parents owned a fine arts studio and so my childhood was filled with classes, rehearsals, and performances. I loved every bit of it! I believe I was fortunate to have been exposed to many different art forms, cultures, ideas, values, etc. from a young age. After college, I began my career in arts administration as a teaching artist and a programs specialist. I quickly realized how much I enjoyed seeing how the arts positively impacted the lives of my students, and I wanted the opportunity to share these stories with anyone and everyone. Thus, my career focus shifted from programmatic to communications.

AHCMC: Do you still perform?

Brittney: Yes, but more acting than dancing. I am very passionate about storytelling and am excited about what opportunities may come my way in the DMV.

AHCMC: What interested you to come work for AHCMC?

Brittney: Providing artists with resources that support and empower them to achieve their vision is very important to me as a marketer and an artist. AHCMC provides these kinds of innovative services, and this is my opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to implementing creative strategies that ensure the arts remain a vital part of their community.

AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the Marketing & Communications Manager?

Brittney: Two things: one, I’m looking forward to cultivating relationships with artists and organizations in Montgomery County. Two, advancing the mission of AHCMC by highlighting and sharing the amazing work of our arts and humanities sector.

AHCMC Welcomes Ana-Alicia Feng

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Meet our new Grants Program Coordinator Ana-Alicia Feng, a marketing and fine arts professional from Montgomery County. We sat down with her to learn about her interests in the arts, what she is most looking forward to doing in her role, and more!

AHCMC: So tell us about yourself. 

Ana-Alicia: I am a local! Born and raised in Rockville, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in painting, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, and a minor in art history from the University of Maryland, College Park. I was raised in a multiethnic household among dedicated patrons of the arts. I’ve been fortunate to have been exposed to many languages and cultures, and have been participating in activities of Montgomery County’s various arts and humanities organizations for as long as I can remember. Having recently developed a passion for evaluation, I am thrilled to interact with the field of my home community in a professional setting and see how I can contribute to AHCMC’s grants process.

AHCMC: What led you to the arts field?

Ana-Alicia: I have had a passion for creating art since a very young age; I took private lessons in fine arts, piano, and chorale music, making these a priority in my education and afterschool activities. Coming into university with the intention of becoming a freelance artist, I found myself pulled towards the administrative side of art. I enjoy organizing and improving the administrative tasks so that programs and services may flow effortlessly in order to increase public interaction with the arts and humanities. Having added a marketing degree, I am able to assist the art that I so cherish flourish by working behind the scenes and beyond the tip of my paintbrush. Of course, I will never let go of the initial compulsion to create art that drove me to this field to begin with and continue my artistic practices whenever I can!

AHCMC: Tell us a fun fact!

Ana-Alicia: I help teach kids Chinese yo-yo, also known as diabolo! I learned it as an extracurricular activity at my Chinese school and now go back as a volunteer to teach.

AHCMC: What interested you to come work for AHCMC?

Ana-Alicia: I have had several wonderful internships at institutions such as the National Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection, however drawing from those experiences, I am delighted to now serve the local community that I grew up in. AHCMC lives by their mission to cultivate and support excellence in the arts and humanities, expand access to cultural expression, and contribute to economic vitality in the region. I am honored to be a part of such an organization. At the time of my hire, AHCMC was looking to undergo a change and I wanted to participate in that transition to keep the organization moving forward with its mission.

AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the Grants Program Coordinator?

Ana-Alicia: I am looking forward to interacting with our creative community, updating FluidReview, and working with the grants team to streamline processes, both for the benefit of the field and AHCMC. I mentioned that I’m newly interested in evaluation, so I’m eager to listen to responses and incorporate feedback as best I can.

AHCMC Welcomes Karen Judson

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Karen Judson, an experienced grants manager from the Washington region, recently joined our staff as the new Grants Program Manager. We sat down with her to chat about her first few weeks at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, her interest in working in the arts, and more.

AHCMC: So tell us about yourself.

Karen: I’m an almost lifelong County resident. I like living in Montgomery County – in many ways the County is unique in all it has to offer its residents. In my personal life I enjoy travel, reading, theatre, and spending time with family and friends – I’m married with three grown sons. My background is in social work but my most recent work experience has been in grants management and program development.

AHCMC: What have your first few weeks at AHCMC been like?

Karen: Interesting – there is a lot to absorb! I’ve been spending time getting acquainted with the many different funding opportunities that AHCMC offers and the grants process overall. I’ve also begun sitting in on meetings with applicants so I’ve started to get to know a few of the people and organizations we work with.

AHCMC: What led you to AHCMC?

Karen: The Grants Program Manager position at AHCMC represented two special opportunities – to continue to positively impact the community through grant making and specifically to help advocate for the arts and humanities. Now that I’m at AHCMC I’m learning more about the many individual artists and arts organizations that make up the county’s diverse arts scene, and how AHCMC constantly assesses and re-assesses how best to support the work that they do and the vital contribution they make to life in Montgomery County. What I’ve always enjoyed most about grant making is working with effective nonprofits to help them put forward the strongest most compelling proposal for funding they can. I’m very excited to be here!