Stay Connected: Cynthia Chen

July 11 2019
Stay Connected: Cynthia Chen Headshot by Amber Mott.

We love connecting with our alumni and hearing about how their lives have transformed since graduating. In this post we heard from alumn Cynthia Chen and how she has taken her degree into the real world! Are you an alumn of the College of Fine Arts and want to connect? Fill out this online form and share your news to the world.

Degree: Bachelors,  2016, School of Music
Focus: Flute Performance
What industry/ies are you currently working in?: Creative youth development, arts education, digital media arts, fundraising/development, non-profit sector
Tell us what you are up to: While I was doing my undergrad in flute performance at the U, I really took the time to broaden my skills by getting involved in various opportunities inside and outside the College of Fine Arts. This included doing an Honors thesis in music history, getting involved in student government and other campus organizations, local and international internships, and performing with various classical music ensembles. It was through these experiences that I explored and identified my interest in arts and culture from a macro lens. I was particularly interested in the intersection of arts, politics, and policy. In a real-world, practical sense, this means working in arts funding, administration, and program design.

After graduating, I spent a year working in Nancy, France as an English teacher before returning to Salt Lake City to work in development at Spy Hop Productions, a local youth media arts education nonprofit. During my time at Spy Hop, I've learned about how grant writing, database management, and fundraising keeps arts organizations running. I'm grateful to be on a team that has successfully raised enough funds through public and private means to expand youth media arts programs across the state of Utah and to build a new media arts center in Salt Lake City's Central Ninth neighborhood--breaking ground Summer 2019!

This fall, I will be moving to Paris to further my knowledge in cultural policy and to gain international perspectives on arts and cultural management by pursuing a master's degree in public policy at Sciences Po Paris.