Continuing Education Blog

A Conversation with Jessy Friedt, PNCA’s Annual Giving Manager

Jessy Friedt, PNCA Annual Giving Manager

What brought you to PNCA? The journey to PNCA in all actuality probably started in my childhood. My love for the arts started as a singing, making, dancing, painting, and wildly imaginative kid (as most kids are.) Over the years, that love has developed into an understanding that having the arts in our lives plays a crucial role in creating a more empathetic, open and critical thinking community. Before coming to PNCA, I explored a life as a classical singer and after that worked for ten years with Portland Center Stage, managing the theater’s individual giving program. When I started looking for the next place to continue my career, I was attracted to PNCA because there is something inspiring about spending your time in a place that has the buzz of students who are learning, examining and questioning all around you. It is PNCA’s commitment to lifelong learning and the belief that creativity can literally change the world that drew me in. The particular job I took was compelling because I was given an opportunity to create a new giving program that focused on all levels of donors, engaging people in a new way around the work being done in and outside of the college walls.

What does "creativity works here" mean, look like in your context?

It means that creativity is “at work” at PNCA. It is a practice that is not only celebrated, but lives and breathes here. In my context of working in the fundraising office, which is typically not thought of as a creative place, I take it as a challenge that all of us who work at PNCA should be practicing creativity daily; not just students and faculty. In order to be successful and true to the PNCA mission, creativity needs to spill over in all aspects of the college.

There is a new giving program that recently rolled out at PNCA. What inspired you to start this program?

I wanted to start this program because I believe that as people become further engaged and involved with an organization they care about, the deeper their experience is and the stronger the organization ultimately becomes. I hope that these new giving levels and engagement benefits will connect people who are already giving to PNCA in a deeper way as well as encourage new people to think about philanthropy here.

Which benefit offered through the new individual giving program are you most excited about sharing?

I’m also pleased we can offer some fantastic discounts to PNCA donors for continuing education classes. It’s never too late or too early to try something new and begin your own life of creative practice.

What would you like the community to know about PNCA?

Before working here, I had no idea that PNCA offered over 100 free public lectures and exhibits a year! That is an incredible resource for the community and one I wish more people knew about.

Jessy is more than thrilled to meet with you and learn about how you think creativity transforms our community and hear about your experience with PNCA. Feel free to call or email her. 503.821.8927 or

Individual giving at PNCA ranges from Friends of Art ($50-$249) to Visionary Circle ($20,000 and above). Take a look how you might engage with the College through PNCA’s Giving Program.

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