“For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt the power of the arts in my life and the impact it had on me and others – as an actor, an audience member, and eventually as an arts leader.”
My love of the arts led to a 30-year career in arts and nonprofit administration. The raw, organic life behind the scenes has always been as fascinating to me as being onstage. This influenced my work with the Omaha Symphony (NE); Columbus Symphony Orchestra (OH); and most recently the West Michigan Symphony (Muskegon, MI). Many people play a role in the success of a performance — or an organization — from the ticket office to the volunteers, from the stage manager to the production crew, from the artistic team to the administrative team. Nothing could be more true: “All the world’s a stage.”
I love big projects! During my 12 years as President/CEO of the West Michigan Symphony I looked for a project that would capture the imagination of the community — something innovative, exciting, and unexpected. I found the opportunity in an historic downtown building that was in rough shape but had great potential. I took the risk, created the vision, and was the driving force in building The Block, an intimate 1,800 sq. ft. performance space. Audiences were diverse in response to our accessible/inspirational concerts presented in a space that was welcoming and inclusive. Several of our concerts included outstanding performances by the adventurous music ensemble, Helix Collective!
In 2017 I moved to Bozeman, Montana to be close to family and to explore new ideas. I’m now involved in my new community and have also launched a consulting business that reflects on where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, and how that now informs my work helping to connect arts and non-profit organizations with community.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with Helix Collective as a board member as they continue to represent a diverse set of artists and perform in spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to the communities around them. That fits beautifully with my vision and mission!
Susan Robinson is happily retired after a thirty year career in finance at Macy’s. She is a member of the percussion section of the Sycamore Community Band and has served on the board of the Cincinnati Opera. Other volunteer activities include the Cincinnati Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and its recent refugee resettlement project and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program of United Way and the IRS. Susan loves to hike and travel, especially in and around L.A. She is married to Jim and they have three daughters.
Brittany A. Gash has been in Marketing and Development for just over a decade and has a great passion for the arts. A storyteller – she considers it her job to shape honest, engaging, provocative, inspiring, and motivating narratives, that show the community why they should invest in the art being produced in Los Angeles. Her philosophy is that well-planned strategies and relationship building are the keys to long-term patron loyalty, a strong brand identity, increased revenues, and community engagement.
She has spent the majority of her career as an independent consultant within the nonprofit arts and has had the pleasure of working with a variety of arts organizations from theatre and music, to dance, visual art, and film. Some of her most notable clients include LA County Arts Commission, Ford Theatres, Brazilian Nites Productions, The Da Camera Society, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Towne Street Theatre and many more. She specializes in brand management, digital marketing, donor cultivation, social media, public relations, and fundraising. In her free time, she also offers a variety of consultation and coaching services for independent artists and enjoys teaching courses on Public Relations, Social Media, and Branding.
Brittany received her MBA from the University of Maryland and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, with a Public Relations emphasis from California State University, Northridge. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Emerging Arts Leader/Los Angeles, and the Boards of the Jane Austen Society of North America/Southwest and Helix Collective. To learn more about Brittany visit her website at www.BrittanyGash.com.