It’s #membermonday! Check out this week’s featured member, Ana Gonzalez. Ana has been a Capitol Post Co-Working member since February of 2017. Read more about her journey below.
Ana Jimena Gonzalez
Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP)
So, what do you do and how do you do it?
I help plan and implement ASAP’s stand-up comedy, improv, creative writing, and storytelling classes (and workshops and performances)! This work involves creating and stewarding our partnerships with local arts organizations. My favorite aspect of this work is preparing teaching artists to work with the military/veteran population for the first time! I get to tweak curricula alongside these artists, expose them to military culture, and equip them with a trauma-informed approach to art education.
Tell us how you ended up where you are in your company.
I joined the ASAP team as Program Coordinator a year and a half ago! At the time it was just Sam, our Executive Director, and I. As we prepared to grow our staff size, I transitioned into the Program Manager role. As of today, I’ll have two weeks left with the organization before heading off to grad school. I’m excited for the organization’s new chapter and really thrilled to leave its programs in the care of our incredible new Program Manager, Val Smith, and Program Coordinator, Sarah Timreck.
Why did you decide to focus on providing services for veterans?
I’m really committed to the idea of expanding access to the arts and have worked towards that goal in museum and government settings. I took a break from that work in 2016 to become a field organizer in Aurora, Colorado. Several of my volunteers were veterans and I was confronted with my own ignorance around veteran/military issues. I learned about ASAP shortly afterward and was thrilled. The organization offered me an opportunity to explore the work I care about while building upon the powerful learning experience I had in Colorado.
Who has influenced you the most in your career?
There are two people: Georgina Valverde and Sara Ray Stoelinga. Georgina was my supervisor at the Art Institute of Chicago. She exposed me to the advocacy that takes place within a museum. She worked tirelessly to highlight objects in the museum’s collection that aren’t often exhibited and the power to engage a more diverse audience. She also took it upon herself to organize immersive gallery experiences for union members, students in low-income schools, and English Language Learners. Sara was my professor and is the director of the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Labs. She is one of the busiest people I know and she ALWAYS makes time for students. She has a holistic approach to teaching and cares deeply about the well-being of the people she works with. Both Sara and Georgina are endlessly curious. When I think about the kind of working person I want to be, I think of these two women.
What are your goals for 5-10 years from now?
As I mentioned, I will be heading off to grad school soon! I will be pursuing an M.A. in sociology. My goal is to pursue a PhD and conduct social stratification research!
We wish Ana the best of luck in grad school! We will miss her terribly but know she will go on to do great, great things!
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