Sarah has served as the Executive Director of ArtsConnect since 2012. ArtsConnect is a nonprofit organization based in Topeka that is focused on supporting the creative sector in all disciplines and broadening the understanding of how the arts make our community more livable, equitable and healthy. Over the years, this work has been done through massive community mural projects, management of the Topeka’s First Friday Artwalk and constant focus on creating opportunities for the development of artists in Topeka. Currently, ArtsConnect is working on the creation of the Topeka Arts & Culture Master plan and preparing to undertake an economic impact study of the arts & culture sector.
Sarah was born and raised in Topeka – leaving after graduating from Topeka High School to attend the University of Kansas and subsequently spending several years working in Washington DC on issues related to health policy and insurance regulation. She returned to Topeka in 2007 and worked as a lobbyist and public relations consultant before helping to organize the statewide effort to reinstate funding for the arts in Kansas, which ultimately led to her current work at ArtsConnect.
Sarah lives in Topeka with her family (one husband, two children, three cats, one dog and two hamsters) where they are the current caretakers of the 1885 Victorian home she grew up in. The kids attend a Spanish/English dual language public school and Sarah loves working in a community ceramics studio in the NOTO Arts District whenever possible, spending time experimenting and making presents for reluctant but ultimately grateful friends and family.
She says: “Art is the glue that holds us together individually and as a community – it is a language that transcends the boundaries between us. The arts are as important as the air we breathe and the water we drink and in order to maximize the potential of our communities, we must maximize the potential of artists and creatives around us.”