–by Linda Szyskowski
PUBLICATION DATE: September 03, 2019
Jackie became the executive director of SCAC in January 2019, and brings with her a broad background of formal education and work experience — and a love of the arts.
Born and raised in Deshler, Ohio, Jackie graduated from Denison University with a major in psychology and a minor in studio art. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo. Throughout law school she missed art and decided to pursue a career that would bring her closer to it. “After discovering the Toledo Museum of Art, I knew working there would be my dream job; so in 2011, I decided to volunteer,” remembered Jackie. “That led to a paid position as a Development Officer at a time when the museum was focused on innovation and community engagement. Museum bosses, Brian Kennedy and Susan Palmer, were amazing people to learn from. I was able to gain experience in fundraising, donor engagement, innovation and events while being surrounded by world-class art.”
While at the museum, Jackie realized that she really enjoyed community engagement. When an opening became available at United Way with this focus, she became their Affinity Group Manager. This allowed her to apply her knowledge in a new setting while expanding her understanding of basic community needs, such as food insecurity and shelter.
After losing her mother, grandmother, and then her father, Jackie decided to take some time to focus on her family, especially her new son William. During this time she volunteered for a couple organizations to stay involved with the community. “My husband, Bryan, was very supportive and took time off to be with our son so I could continue to do the kind of work I loved,” said Jackie.
It was at a community event that Jennifer Archer, former director at SCAC, approached Jackie about the director opportunity with SCAC. Though she wasn’t looking for a position, Jackie was so intrigued by their artistic offerings to the community that she decided to apply.
“I feel lucky to be a part of SCAC and the Sylvania community,” Jackie said. “I am impressed by how welcoming and willing to help our community partners are including the Library, Heritage Sylvania, SCAT, TOPS, Lourdes and Sylvania Schools. We could not provide our programs without them. The City and Township’s support of new ideas and initiatives in Sylvania is creating a lot of energy. I am excited to help grow the arts here.” She added, “The SCAC board, volunteers, and artistic leaders create outstanding programs and events. Our biggest objective right now is to make more people aware of them, so SCAC is planning a new marketing initiative and rebranding to build awareness and engagement.”
SCAC has everything from youth theatre programs to the big Maple & Main Art and Music Festival that draws over 6,000 people to downtown Sylvania each spring. Following SCAC on Facebook is one of the best ways to learn about all that they have going on.
Sylvania Advantage, in cooperation with Creative Oxygen salutes this valuable leader of our arts community. We are very fortunate to have her!