Introducing Development Director, Amy Nance!
By A Noise Within
November 14, 2016
What do you do here at A Noise Within?
I am the Development Director which means I work with the board of directors and manage all aspects of fundraising.
Tell me a bit about who you are and your background.
I have been working in fundraising for over 20 years, and in the Los Angeles area specifically for the last 15 years. I went to the University of Redlands and received a degree in English Literature and Religious Studies, and then attended the Claremont school of theology
I thought I would be a college professor. When I went to college, I had to take something like 8 core classes in religion. So many of the professors I had were really interesting and to me that it just made sense to finish out the degree.
When I graduated I did some paralegal work in an energy corporation in Boston for about a year and then decided to go to grad school to study the morals and ethics in theology.
While in graduate school I started working for the Development department as my student job. It was a small organization, which meant I got to have a seat at the table. Because I was able to be involved and contribute ideas, which I might not have been able to do at a larger non-profit, I got a taste of development work that eventually turned into a career.
What do you love about development?
I love the relationships. Additionally, in the last 10 years or so, it has become possible to collect much more data and information about our organizations than we ever could before. I love to look at the numbers. They can sometimes tell a different story than what we thought we knew about the organization, which is always such an exciting surprise.
Why did you want to work here?
When I came to interview here, one of the primary reasons I wanted the job was because how much the people who come to ANW love this theatre. I don’t think most people realize how different that is. I’ve been at a few other non-profits and that dedication is so unique. I believe a huge reason for that is the personal relationships that Geoff and Julia [ANW’s Artistic Directors] have with so many of our patrons. It really extraordinary for two founders like Geoff and Julia, to pay such close personal attention to each and every patron that walks through the door, and that is so different. It’s a real personal touch.
Another reason I wanted to work here was that it’s somewhat of a small staff, its a tight-knit organization, which makes it feel like a family.
What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Measure for Measure – it’s a wacky look at love and relationships. It’s a comedy, so like all Shakespeare plays it gets wrapped up in such a crazy way in the end. I love it.
What was your first theatre experience?
I think my first theatre experience was in 3rd or 4th grade when my family did SummerStock theatre together in Redlands, CA where I grew up. The first production I was in was Fiddler on the Roof, and I was probably 8 or 9. SummerStock is a community theatre program—that puts on musicals and they’ll have someone qualified with some real clout like Geoff or Julia to direct us, but then it’s mostly just community members who audition. We participated for like 5 years. We all had to audition separately, some of us were in the chorus, some of us had roles. I have such fond memories of it.
Do you go to the theatre with family?
I will take my kids to the theatre all together at least once a year, but my daughter who has a strong interest in theatre will go with me fairly regularly. Since she hopes to be an actress, it’s been so fun to take her to the ANW performances this season. I truly believe that God puts us in the right place. She’s my last child at home, and now I get to share this passion with her. It has worked out so perfectly.
Why do you think theatre arts/arts education is important?
I think the most compelling thing to me is to watch how arts education will enhance a kid’s ability to understand. Theatre arts in particular is so amazing in that way. A kid can read Shakespeare, which by the way was never meant to be studied in the classroom—and think they understand it, but when they come to see it, their comprehension increases significantly. An arts experience—whether it be going to a play or a museum—enhances a child’s ability to understand in a way that nothing else can.
What are your passions outside of work?
I try to spend as much time as I can being of service. I volunteer at a rehab center for women in Pasadena—I’ve been volunteering there for 2 years now. I believe that service is such an important thing. When you give back, you get so much, it just makes you feel good. I’m also a huge baseball fan. I love the Cubs, but more than that, I’m a fan of my son. He plays for the Loyola Marymount University baseball team now and he’s been playing since he was 4 years old. Whatever team he plays for is the team I’ll root for!
What are you excited about for ANW this season?
Coming into an organization, and having the opportunity to raise money, raise awareness, and build relationships around the anniversary year is so special. Additionally, I am a huge fan of Man of La Mancha, so I am so excited to see that show come together. I also cannot wait for the gala and the runway show is so cool to me, I think they are going to be such a blast.
What are your goals/dreams for ANW’s development department?
I, of course, want to help ANW achieve the goals that have already been set for getting the budget where they want it. I think it is so achievable, and we are going to make it happen. Additionally, I’d love to see my department grow. I think more people could discover that they love A Noise Within, and we just don’t have the manpower yet to reach out to as many people as we would like to.
To welcome Amy to the ANW family or get in touch with her about a donation or lead, send her email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.