32. Katie Roche

The Iowa Idea: Katie Roche

“No one can give you permission to become the person you want to become.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Katie Roche. Raised in rural Eastern Iowa, Katie has always been an advocate for artists and arts the community. She honed her arts-world skills in NYC in the early 2000s, working for record labels, festivals, and venues like The Knitting Factory. She returned to Iowa in 2006, settling in Iowa City. She served as the first Executive Director of Summer of the Arts where she oversaw the annual Iowa Arts and Iowa City Jazz Festivals. A trusted community leader, Katie also helped rebuild the artist-run gallery, Public Space One, co-founded the long-running Saturday Night Free Movies series, and has advised numerous arts organizations through periods of crisis over the years.

Katie and I discuss, her journey in the arts, the role of the inner critic, and we dig into how The Awful Purdies were able to complete their latest album, The Great Unraveling, collaborating remotely during a time of pandemic.

It was an honor to have Katie join the podcast. I really appreciate her insights, passion, and contributions to the arts. Thanks to Katie for joining me. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Katie

Raised in rural Eastern Iowa, Katie has always been an advocate for artists and arts in communities. She honed her arts-world skills in NYC in the early 2000s, working for record labels, festivals, and venues like The Knitting Factory. She returned to Iowa in 2006, settling in Iowa City. She served as the first Executive Director of Summer of the Arts where she oversaw the annual Iowa Arts and Iowa City Jazz Festivals. A trusted community leader, Katie also helped rebuild the artist-run gallery, Public Space One, co-founded the long-running Saturday Night Free Movies series, and has advised numerous arts organizations through periods of crisis over the years.

Katie joined the Englert as Development Director in 2011, bringing the belief that fundraising is a partnership–helping supporters focus their time, energy, and funds into the positive change they want to see in the world. As the Englert’s key arts fundraiser and community advocate, Katie balances data and personal relationships to grow the Friends of the Englert individual giving program by an average of 12% annually, while managing a sponsorship program that responds to the growing programmatic needs of the organization. She is currently developing the Arts Access Initiative: a county-wide assessment that will be used to create a baseline for improved cultural services for students, artists, and underserved populations.

As a musician Katie performs professionally with her all-woman ensemble, Awful Purdies, notably receiving funding from the NEA and Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for projects that seek to bring rural populations, immigrants, and low wage earners into the creation of art.

www.awfulpurdies.com

www.dandelionstompers.com

www.englert.org

www.strengthengrowevolve.org

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music is written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

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