Jessi Black supports the operations department, as well as the Civic Engagement programs.
Jessi joined CFA in 2017 with eleven years of professional experience as an arts administrator and a strong background in volunteerism. As both an employee and a citizen, she is dedicated to improving communities and lives.
Before joining CFA, Jessi served as the Engagement Manager at Phoenix Center for the Arts, coordinating arts engagements with schools, nonprofits, senior centers, and other community sites. She facilitated the Art Mobile program, which provides hands-on creative experiences for individuals whose access to the arts is limited, primarily by socioeconomic barriers. This program connects with Arizonans of diverse backgrounds through partnerships with education and service organizations. Jessi also coordinated volunteers, facilitated teaching artist residencies in schools, and presented visual art exhibits.
Prior to her work at Phoenix Center for the Arts, Jessi served for ten years as the Community Arts Director of Quad City Arts, a nonprofit organization in Iowa and Illinois. In this role, she facilitated numerous projects and programs and managed the financial operations of the organization. She fostered strong connections within the arts, education, and civic communities to develop and implement relevant programming that served public interests. While living in the Quad Cities, Jessi volunteered with many organizations, including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, City of Rock Island, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Arts Council, and Iowa Arts Council.
Why does working at CFA support what you are passionate about professionally?
I believe all Arizonans deserve equitable access to high-quality education and good quality of life. As the Office Coordinator at CFA, I get to support all the diverse efforts making progress in that direction.
What do enjoy in your personal time?
My favorite pastime is attending dance performances, but I enjoy a wide variety of arts and culture experiences, including art exhibits, plays, festivals, and concerts. I also love to travel and spend time with friends and family.
Why do you love Arizona?
The best thing about Arizona is the welcoming and open-minded spirit of its people. When I moved here, I felt immediately connected to the community, and I find warm authenticity almost everywhere I go.