About Me

I’ve spent my career working with small, agile, creative nonprofit organizations and artists, and know first hand the difficulty of being the fundraiser, the marketing manager, the office manager, and oh, can you run that immensely important gala too please?

Most small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations don’t have the capacity to hire full time event staff,  community engagement personnel, or are going through a staff transition and need coverage at one point or another, but all organizations seek to share their mission, their work and their successes. This is where I come in.

Before becoming a freelance consultant, I spent over four years working with Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) in Portland, Oregon delivering programs that engaged employees from BCA’s 200+ business members, streamlining the office, managing all marketing and communications strategies and retaining and cultivating corporate and community partnerships. My work at BCA combined online and print marketing, corporate membership and sponsorship stewardship, and a heavy dose of event management.

Prior to BCA, I worked at Lewis & Clark College as a Conferences & Events Specialist, coordinating use of college facilities, managing contracted venue rentals and ensuring college spaces were used to their fullest potential. Additionally, I worked as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for Zimbabwe Artists Project (ZAP) to promote and expand ZAP’s activities in the community.

I was the full time Development Manager for Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and served as Interim Director of Development and Marketing at Literary Arts. I managed the statewide membership program for the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and curated their online library of learning resources and tools to help nonprofits be more effective.

JessicaStern

Having recently moved cross-country, I currently spend the majority of my daytime hours managing national field education programs, creative economy initiatives, and storytelling for the Private Sector Initiatives team at Americans for the Arts in New York City. 

I am a co-founder of Portland Emerging Arts Leaders (PEAL), Portland’s professional network for emerging arts administrators and producers. I have also served on the boards of the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, the Lewis & Clark Board of Alumni and Ko-Falen Cultural Center.

I graduated from Portland State University with Master’s in Public Administration with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, and from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in Music and French Studies.

I love to travel, cycle, eat delicious local foods, meander through flowery mountain meadows, and explore the cultural and artistic landscapes of my community and the world. I look forward to working with you!

“...A star in every area that counts.”

Anyone who has the opportunity to work with Jessica is fortunate indeed! She's a start in every area that counts.

— Bruce Livingston, Playwrite, Inc.

“...A consummate producer and organizer...”

The word "awesome" is over used; it should be saved and only rolled out for people like Jessica. I had the pleasure of working with her on a large event and have continued to call on her for connections and advice...She is calm when others are freaking out. She is wise beyond her years, and she gets s$%t done! I would work with her under any circumstances and suggest you do as well.

— Kate Sokoloff