#MondayMorningMeetYourLeaders – Samantha Giustiniani

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Meet Samantha Giustiniani, Senior Director of Education & Outreach of Count Basie Center for the Arts! Learn about how Samantha navigates the 6 C’s of nonprofit sea change, how she got into the nonprofit world and a fun fact or two!

1. How do you navigate the 6 “C”s of Nonprofit Sea Change? (Capacity, Curiosity, Conversation, Collaboration, Creativity, and Compassion)

I feel like the six “C”s of Nonprofit Sea Change are words that are at the heart of both nonprofit work and the arts. All of these principles apply to artistic work in practice and creation, and the nonprofit world.

Those of us working in nonprofit are here to serve our communities. It is essential we have curiosity in order to move work forward, continue the important and necessary conversations, and collaborate with partners to best address issues and fulfill needs. We need to be creative thinkers to come up with the sometimes out-of-the-box solutions that are needed. These skills we learn and use being in the arts arm us for nonprofit work, and I am so fortunate to work in both.

2. When did you realize you wanted to work in the nonprofit world? Tell us about this journey.

Previous to working in the nonprofit sector, I worked for a corporate environment. During this time I also had the good fortune of becoming a teaching artist at Count Basie Center for the Arts. While during the day I was working in a profit-driven environment and not feeling creative, in the evening I was working with students from different backgrounds, and with an organization who was equally as passionate about bringing the arts to the community. I am forever grateful to have had some incredible teachers and mentors in my life, ones that truly shaped the person I am today, and I realized through my own teaching I was able to give this back, even in my small way. Soon, the opportunity to become a member of the administrative team at the Basie came along.

Now I’m able to work in the nonprofit arts sector and help to equip teachers with tools to bring the arts into the classroom, and work with students directly. The shift to nonprofit changed everything for me and I don’t think I could ever go back!

3. What’s your favorite fun activity to do at the Central Jersey Shore?

Growing up near the beach, I always find it relaxing to be there, especially in the early spring and fall when it’s quiet. There have also been so many new restaurants to open in our area which are always fun to try out!

4. How do you practice self-care/stress relief?

I love to read – it’s a great way to unplug and completely focus on something else. I also recently took an adult acting class that provided such an amazing outlet and learning opportunity. I also love my Headspace app for meditation.

5. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

“The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem, and whose respect we need.” -Walt Disney

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