Leesa Jing, Arts Council of Indianapolis Grant Services & Education Partnerships Coordinator
Back in May, I joined the Arts Council of Indianapolis as the Grant Services & Education Partnerships Coordinator, thus becoming one of the new Site Coordinators for
Any Given Child Indy. As someone who grew up in the arts, I could not have been more ecstatic to receive an offer to join the Arts Council staff just four days before my graduation from Butler University.
At Butler, I studied arts administration and mathematics while being a member of the Butler University Dance Team, serving as a Butler Student Ambassador at the Admissions Office, and participating in numerous other campus organizations. I also volunteered with Art With a Heart and completed internships with the National Panhellenic Conference, Arts for Learning, Asante Children’s Theatre, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. One of my most valuable experiences from the past four years was having the opportunity to study in Europe for three months, during which I explored the arts and cultures of Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland.
While my education and experiences at Butler University greatly prepared me for my current role with the Arts Council and
Any Given Child Indy, nothing quite prepared me like my own personal arts experience. Since the age of four, the arts have been a huge part of my life. I grew up in the Suzuki Violin Program, and I continued playing the violin at Butler. Private lessons, youth orchestra rehearsals, and school performances kept me busy throughout my childhood. Around the same time I began playing the violin, I also began taking dance classes. I quickly fell in love, and thus I began my 12 years as a competitive dancer. I can’t imagine my childhood without the constant support of the arts; which is why I strongly believe that Any Given Child Indy is a necessity for today’s youth who may not have the opportunity to experience the benefits of the arts.
Violin and dance strongly shaped who I am today. I whole-heartedly believe that the arts, especially music, played a huge role in my love for math. Though many people don’t see the connection between the two, the math that I learned through my violin lessons and dance classes (such as counting, rhythm, etc.) gave me a foundation for the subject long before I started school. Had it not been for my arts education growing up, I would not have found myself wanting to go to Butler because of the impressive Arts Administration and Mathematics programs, and I definitely would not have ended up passionately advocating for the arts, artists, and arts education in a city three hours away from my hometown.