Gems, our treasured Finance & Operations Manager, stepped out from behind the scenes to speak with us as part of our end of year fundraising campaign. Read more below about the lessons they learned this year, and how they’ll carry them into 2021. Support Artist Trust’s work at artisttrust.org/donate/.
What is your role at Artist Trust and what do you enjoy about it?
I am the Finance and Operations Manager. I enjoy being able to provide the tools and supplies my coworkers need to do their jobs and report on the financial activity of the organization to ensure we are fiscally stable and responsible with our donors’ funds.
How are you involved in the arts?
I played in punk bands and organized DIY art and music events for close to 15 years. I have also used performance art, photography, and video to explore queerness and gender identity. While I still try to make music with friends for fun, or occasionally slather myself in glitter and makeup, over the last few years I have shifted my main artistic focus to learning lapidary art and stone sculpture.
What has 2020 taught you both personally and professionally?
To remain critical of my own complacency in power structures that perpetuate harm.
How will you carry those lessons into 2021?
By holding myself accountable to confronting my fear of conflict and engaging in more meaningful and vulnerable conversations.
What excites you about what you’ve learned/the changes Artist Trust has made or will make?
I am grateful for the rare opportunity to participate in dismantling an institution and rebuilding it as a non-hierarchical structure in community with the artists it is meant to serve.
What is your vision for a stronger Artist Trust?
An organization guided by artists, where power is re-distributed to people from whom it has historically been withheld.