Jennifer Swan-Kilpatrick speaks at the Erie County Budget Hearing for Arts and Cultural Funding.

Jennifer Swan-Kilpatrick

Graduating Class (Year): 2009

What you are up to now?

Executive Director of Arts Services Initiative of WNY (ASI) - the regional arts council for Western New York.

What led you into arts management?

My initial love of music. I originally wanted to work for record labels to sign and tour musicians (at a time when the record label industry was becoming irrelevant). Going into the program introduced me to the non-profit world and after graduation that's exactly where I placed my focus. I found working regionally and statewide on arts policy issues and best practices is just as vital as working on national and international levels for arts and culture.

Most memorable experience in the Program?

Summer School program in Sweden and Finland.

What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

Keeping an open mind and cultivating relationships are key. If something scares you or makes you feel uncomfortable, do it anyway and jump in head first, you most definitely are going to learn something, even if it's who you don't want to be or something you don't want to do.

Advice for current/prospective students?  

Things may not always turn out the way you planned, but use as that fuel to continue moving forward. One key arts management concept I've learned over time is that we are all entrepreneurs - creative, artistic, and managerial entrepreneurs.

From an alum...

Going into the program introduced me to the non-profit world and after graduation that's exactly where I placed my focus. I found working regionally and statewide on arts policy issues and best practices is just as vital as working on national and international levels for arts and culture.

Jennifer Swan-Kilpatrick .

Headshot credit - Elaine Stickney