associate director and director of development for the Green Street Arts
Center, says funds raised each year provide programming and scholarships for
the center's students.
Green Street Art Center's Associate Director Oversees Fundraising Campaign
|Q: Jessica, when did
you begin your career at the Green Street Arts Center?
A: I have been at Green Street for two years. I started in August of 2006 as
the first director of development and marketing for the center.
Q: You were recently promoted to the associate director and director of
development. Please explain how your job has changed.
A: As director of development and marketing, I acted as the primary
fundraiser for the organization. I also worked on Green Street’s marketing
campaign and day to day marketing tasks. In my new role, I remain the
primary fundraiser for Green Street. As associate director, I oversee the
marketing department, as well as the front operations. I serve as supervisor
for our administrative assistant, Rachel Roccoberton; our three fabulous
front desk receptionists, Cookie Quinones, Rose Foundation and Sylvia
Riveria; and our incredible technical coordinator and security guard Eggie
Quinones. The role of associate director allows me to work more closely on
strategic planning and organizational management for Green Street as well.
Q: Do you have any personal goals for your new role?
A: One of my most personal goals is to do what I can to ensure that any
child or young adult who wants to participate in our programs can do so. I
was lucky enough to grow up in a middle class family and my parents got me
involved in whatever activities I was interested in. But, I never had an
outlet like Green Street, a place to create, explore, learn and feel safe.
Growing up, I found solace in the arts and I know how they can change a life
and open up the world to someone who might otherwise feel lost. In my small
way, as a fundraiser, I am driven by my own experiences in the arts to raise
the money Green Street needs to be able to provide those kinds of
experiences for children today.
Q: Who benefits from the programs?
A: Green Street’s evening and weekend program offerings are an incredible
resource for adults, children and families. People can come to Green Street
to take a salsa or sound recording class, they can enjoy a jazz or
theatrical performance during our Limelight Series or engage in thoughtful
discussion with Wesleyan faculty during a Sunday Salon Series event. It’s
all right here. It still amazes me how much Green Street has to offer. I’m
hoping to give salsa a try myself this fall.
Q: Why is fundraising so crucial for Green Street? How is the center
A: Like all non-profits, Green Street relies on the funds raised each year
in order to keep running, to provide programming for our students and
scholarship support for our neediest students. The contributions we receive
from individuals, foundations, corporations, the city and state, and from
our benefit events directly impacts our students. Much of the money raised
goes directly to support the children in our After School Program.
Ninety-Seven percent of the students who attend Green Street require
financial support in order to participate in the program. Additional funds
raised also allows Green Street to develop and grow the programming offered
to the students in the After School Program. Green Street students are able
to explore such classes as digital photography, sound recording, movement,
break dancing, hip-hop, salsa and many, many more because generous donors
help to make our programming possible.
Q: Are there any new programs this summer at GSAC that the public should be
A: Our summer season has come to a close, but we’re gearing up for our fall
programming and its looks to be one of the most exciting to date. Green
Street's fall programming will be online (http://www.greenstreetartscenter.org)
by August 1. We hope that members of the Wesleyan community will join us for
our new monthly photography meet-up, Flash Forward, and an open mic designed
for prose works-in-progress, Writers Out Loud.
Q: Will the Salon Series continue?
A: Yes. Several faculty members have generously volunteered their time for
our monthly Salon Series, hosted by David Beveridge, the University
Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, professor of chemistry. At 2 p.m.
Sept. 14, the Salon’s topic will be “Election 2008: Race, Gender, Age and
Media.” The discussion will include Melanye Price, assistant professor of
government; Martha Gilmore, associate professor of earth and environmental
sciences; and Ed Moran, associate professor of astronomy.
Q: Where did you attend college and what did you major in?
A: In college I wanted to study theater and started by going to the
University of Connecticut. After a year, I wanted to get more involved in
directing. And I desperately wanted to move to New York City. I transferred
to Marymount Manhattan College and graduated with a bachelors of arts in
theater with a concentration in directing. MMC was the best choice for me,
it offered the liberal arts education I was looking for, but also allowed me
to focus on my interests in theatre. While I was at MMC, they began offering
arts administration courses, which I became involved in. I liked the classes
I took and realized arts administration would be a way for me to work in the
arts, knowing that my directing career probably wouldn’t pay the bills. My
time at MMC laid the groundwork for most of my work now—from fundraising,
non-profit management to leadership development.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about your role at the GSAC?
A: I encourage everyone to come down to Green Street to check it out. There
really is something for everyone. And I could use a salsa partner for the
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection
editor. Photo by Adam Kubota.