It’s Never Too Late To Follow Your Dreams!

New LEAP online student Amie Prendes with her daughter (Ellie) after one of her daughter’s performance as Mary in “Mary Poppins.” Amie worked as prop manager for this production.

It’s a new semester and with that comes new faces! Not only do we have a new, inspiring director, we also have a brand-new cohort of talented students in Fort Collins and beyond! Meet just one of the many up-and-coming arts leaders, Amie Prendes.

Amie lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska, is a mom of three and is ready to pursue her longtime dream of being an arts leader. I had a chance to speak with Amie and learn how she landed on studying Arts Leadership and Cultural Management at the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University. When in college Amie studied as a performance major in French horn, only to realize what too many artists come to face — worrying about not making any money as an artist. Amie remembers this worry turning to fear, which ultimately lead her to earn a degree in English and secondary education. She has worked as an English teacher, but the idea of arts management has been on the back of her mind since she was 19.

Since teaching, Amie has taken some time off to raise her three children, one of which will be studying Music Theatre with an arts management minor at Columbia College in Chicago, and found her love working hands-on with the Omaha arts scene when she returned to the workforce seven years ago. She’s worked as a backstage manager for several local productions, is on-staff with local marching bands, has helped fundraise for ballets, has been on numerous boards including the speech and drama boosters, and has worked with the Omaha Symphony.

Pretty impressive to say the least! So why is she getting her degree? Amie hopes to merge her love of education and the arts with the hopes that LEAP will help her gain the tools she needs to go after her dream job — education and outreach management for a local arts establishment! She’s looking forward to reflecting on her leadership style, finding out the areas she needs to improve or enhance to be an A+ leader. And when I asked why LEAP, she responded “my mom went to CSU, so the college has been near and dear to my heart, plus the curriculum really fit my interests!” Welcome to the family Amie, LEAP and CSU is happy to have you!