How did you get involved in the Cultural sector?

Professionally, my current position at Asian Arts Initiative is actually my first foray into the Cultural sector. I have been working in conservation for most of my career engaging the public in protecting Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, public land and Endangered Species. In my personal time I work on issues that are much more local like Public Schooling, urban greening, and generally connecting with my neighbors. Working with Asian Arts Initiative gives me the chance to work with my home community and city in a way that engages community through art.

What’s the future of arts & culture of Philadelphia?

As a newbie to the scene, I have noticed the larger institutions try to adapt to a changing audience and looking to community based organizations for guidance. The future of arts and culture has to engage more people of color and a much more economically stratified audience than they have in the past to stay current and relevant.

When exploring the arts in Philly, what’s your one must-see?

As a mother of three young children, most of my exploration is based around their interests. So that mean's a lot of kid friendly museums, parks, and institutions. am getting excited for some upcoming intergenerational/family programming at Asian Arts Initiative including Hua Hua Zhang's East Meets West, which will blend Eastern and Western puppet arts, and Dance Dance Evolution, a family friendly breakdancing workshop.

Elizabeth Sytsma