The Naples Art Association is excited to welcome Maureen Christensen as its new Development Director. For more than 8 years, Maureen was the Director of Investor Relations for the Economic Development Council of Collier County, Inc. Most recently, she served the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce as an independent contractor, leading the fundraising efforts for The Partnership for Collier’s Future Economy as Director of Resource Development. Maureen is a graduate of Fordham University, Lincoln Center, New York, from which she holds a B.A. in Art History and Studio Arts.
In her new position with the Naples Art Association, Maureen will be working directly with business and individual supporters to help provide the needed funding for community’s benefit. She has hit the ground running from her very first day, but she took time to help us get to know her a little bit better in this quick interview.
What are you most excited about in taking on this new challenge?
Since moving to Naples 12 years ago from the Northeast, I had the good fortune to work with many business leaders in our community. We are also fortunate in having very talented artists residing locally who share their gifts with the community. Through their respective areas of business, these professionals are dedicated to educating the children of Collier County making Naples an even better place to work and live. The Naples Art Association at the von Liebig Art Center focuses on local talent and the education of future leaders. When you believe in the value of what you are doing and the positive impact it can have, you want to share that passion with others in the community.
Why work for an artistic nonprofit?
Throughout my career I have been in the nonprofit sector. This has taken many forms such as trade association management and economic development. My love of the arts and the importance that they play in creating balance and harmony locally can enhance the acknowledged quality of life that we all share.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
Outside of work, reading, traveling and all things related to the arts are what I most enjoy. Recently, I returned from a River Cruise on the Danube where we visited cities in Germany, Austria and Hungary. The cities in these countries have a very rich history that includes their architecture and all forms of the arts. Unfortunately, a week’s visit doesn’t allow enough time to take in as much of this culture that we would like to experience. So another opportunity to visit Vienna and Budapest with a focus on the museums, music and dance would be most welcome.
What do you love about living in Naples?
When people talk about the beautiful weather we enjoy, it is easy to agree and recognize our great climate and visual beauty that we’ve all come to enjoy. However, I believe that our best attributes are the people we attract from all over the country who move here and bring their talents to the place we’ve come to know as home.
What would you like people to know about your passion for the arts?
At an early age, my younger sister introduced me to the arts. We visited all of the well-known museums in New York, studied Shakespeare and took various visual arts courses that led me on a path to study art history and visual arts. In addition to my years in the nonprofit arena, I am able to now focus on my love of the arts and share the significant contributions that the arts make to our community through organizations such as the Naples Art Association.