Staff Feature: Karen Yates


Who are you? How’d you get here?

Karen Yates
Engagement Manager

I came to A&BC close to a year ago. I was transitioning out of a performing arts practice of many years—directing, performance, writing. The ability to stay close to the arts, continuing to utilize my skills, really appealed to me. I love that I get to be around arts supporters who are willing to be engaged by creativity in all its many forms through the arts organizations A&BC serves.

What do you do?

I am in charge of the newly minted Membership Program, which allows people to become involved with A&BC or continue to stay involved through networking and art events throughout the year. I oversee many of the more public happenings that A&BC holds. One of my primary aims is to bring our arts clients and business volunteers together at social functions. Another is to make sure there’s a high fun factor at our gatherings!

Recently, at the musical performance at our annual luncheon, guitarist Bill Brickey, part of the group ShooBooty, led the audience in a sing along. And at our Holiday Wonder party, people decorated snowflakes in honor of their friends and watched a dance and jazz piano performance. These sorts of things are a little out of the ordinary but allow people to enjoy themselves. Next up, we’ll be doing a tour and networking event at the creative tech incubator 2112 on May 18.

What’s the most pressing challenge arts organizations are facing today?

Arts organizations increasingly have to prove their relevancy and worth in everyday life. While people who join A&BC already know that the arts give folks a feeling of well-being, pleasure, and connection, for others it becomes a harder sell when it comes to city, state, and federal budgeting.

It’s important to continue to see performances and go to art shows. There are free public art events every day. We live in a vibrant city with so much happening!

Where can we find you next?

On Sunday, April 29, I’ll be going to the Bridge Dance Festival at Links Hall to see J’Sun Howard, Darrell Jones, Justin I. Mitchell, and Damon Green.

Learn more about the benefits of our exciting Membership Program. Sign up today!