Colleen Kelly

Current Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hometown: Chicago, IL

UIS Degree: M.A. 1985 (Community Arts Management)

Other Degrees: B.A. 1982, MacMurry College

Current Position: Senior Director of Advancement and Communications, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Career Highlights
Colleen has been an advancement professional for more than 25 years, working primarily with cultural institutions. She has raised in excess of $200 million during that time. At the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, Colleen led the external affairs department, overseeing development, membership, visitor services, retail operations and public relations/marketing. She also established a major gifts program, enhanced planned giving efforts and helped guide restructuring from a development department to external affairs. At the Museum of New Mexico Foundation she served as the Director of Development, overseeing successful mid-sized and capital campaigns. She is also the past president of the Art Museum Development Association.

Memories of SSU/UIS
“Creating a multidisciplinary exhibition with our class with the theme ‘To Sleep, Perchance to Dream,’ was a favorite memory,” said Kelly. “The thirteen students in our program were incredibly creative and diverse. I also remember Senator Dick Durbin visiting our Public Policy class as a newly elected Congressional Representative and explaining with complex diagrams how a bill gets through the house. I think about this each time he appears on television.”

How did UIS change or prepare you?
“SSU gave me a career I never imagined as an undergraduate voice major,” she said. I had determined I did not want to teach music and a professor suggested I look at arts administration. The Community Arts Management program was rigorous and provided me with the tools I needed to launch my career in fundraising.”

Interesting Fact
“I am mildly obsessed with taking a cardio weight lifting class called Body Pump and spend my spare time watching San Antonio Spurs basketball and binge watching series on Netflix and Hulu. My goals include increased travel overseas and more time to hike in the mountains of Northern New Mexico.”

Posted on February 14, 2018