Hello! My name is Jenni Lien and I received Bachelor of Arts degrees from UW-Madison in 2019 in anthropology and art history, with certificates in material culture and archaeology. I’m extremely proud to be a double badger – On Wisconsin!
Before finding my way to the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, I was on a quest to find a career path within the arts and cultural sector that I found both exciting and challenging. In the past 6 years, I’ve visited 70 unique museums in 13 different states spanning 7 countries. That’s a LOT of museums!
During that time, my professional experiences have ranged from participating in international archaeology and paleontology excavations, curating art exhibits on 19th-century ceramics, providing exhibit and historic house tours, to writing original research on colonial life in western Massachusetts. After trying on many different professional “hats”, I began working at Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, WI, where I currently serve as the Institutional Giving Coordinator. I love working with the incredibly passionate staff, volunteers, artists, donors, and patrons at Overture Center and helping to support our free and low-cost education and engagement programs which reach nearly 300,000 people each year.
Working at a performing arts organization during the pandemic made me realize the impact the arts have on my own wellbeing and that of my community. My educational background is rooted in history and research, however my passion for the arts kept drawing me back to the nonprofit creative sector. I pursued the Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program through the Bolz Center for Arts Administration because I believe the intersection of art, history, and storytelling can be powerful tools for positive social change – and I’d like to play a role in that effort.
I am optimistic about the future of the arts industry and I believe the global pandemic, despite its incredible hardships, will be a catalyst for positive change for nonprofit arts organizations and society at large. The pandemic has forced organizations throughout the country to really think about what inclusive and innovative business models look like in the 21st century – and how to best listen to and serve their community during difficult times.
At the Bolz Center, we are taught by professionals in the industry about thoughtful leadership and sustainable business strategies for nonprofit organizations. I’ve enjoyed learning from the dedicated and talented faculty, staff, alumni, and student cohort, and I’m eager to apply what I’m learning in the program to think creatively, push boundaries, and implement new ideas that merge the arts and business sectors. After I graduate from the Bolz Center, I hope to continue working with arts and cultural organizations and further weave my passions for art, history, and storytelling.