Festival Welcomes Two Staff Members
Recently the Festival welcomed two individuals to new positions on the year-round staff. Liz Armstrong and Amy Gold began in early May and are excited to be a part of preparing for the upcoming season.
Liz Armstrong, a native of Spring Creek, Nevada, is the Festival’s new Communications Associate. She recently completed her Master of Arts in Professional Communication at Southern Utah University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from SUU and worked as a part-time writer and content creator for the Festival as well as an Accent Editor for SUU News while she finished her degrees.
Her love of writing goes back to when she was a child.
“Growing up, I was constantly reading and writing, and I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I would write fictional stories and mail them to my grandparents, who encouraged my hobbies and made me feel I could pursue it as a career, alongside with my wonderful parents and teachers.”
During her time at SUU News, Armstrong had the opportunity to interview Festival Director of Development and Communications Donn Jersey for a piece called “Theatre Under the Stars.”
She comments that during their interaction he was “welcoming, encouraging, and made me really believe in myself as a writer.” It was her first introduction to the Festival, and she says she walked away from that experience and thought: “my dream job would be to work there.”
A year or so later, with Jersey’s business card still taped to the inside of her notebook, she says she worked up the courage to ask him if there were any job openings at the Festival. She was hired to write articles for the Festival’s former Publications Manager Bruce Lee, who “helped me become more confident as a writer.” She also ran the Festival’s social media for a time.
When asked what attracted her to the new position, Armstrong replied: “I love the atmosphere of the Festival and felt I was ready for more.”
In her new position, she will assist with marketing, publications, advertising, and overall communications while continuing to write for the Festival.
Amy Gold, originally from Upper Michigan, is the Festival’s new Business Operations Assistant. She is a Cedar City resident and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from SUU. She is also very active with other local arts organizations, such as Suzuki Strings Cedar City and the Orchestra of Southern Utah, the local community orchestra.
When asked about her experience in the arts, like Armstrong, she says it goes all the way back to her childhood.
“I learned the violin growing up and played in pit orchestras for our high school musicals which started my love for theatre,” says Gold.
As a music major in college at BYU-Hawaii, she says she developed tendonitis and ended up taking some time off from music. “[I] ventured into acting classes. Best detour ever.”
She even nearly finished a theatre minor before the program was discontinued. Since then she’s worked and lived in various places including teaching music in public schools and in private lessons while raising her family.
She was familiar with the Festival prior to moving to Cedar City in 2016 when her husband took a job at SUU. A friend who taught English and Shakespeare and who attended every season highly recommended it. Then a neighbor took her to see Mary Poppins and she’s been attending ever since.
With her children raised and out of the house, she decided to pursue the arts administration graduate degree. She found that instead of looking for a summer internship this year as part of the program, she would apply for this position with the Festival instead.
“In deciding to work full-time, it was really important to me that the place be as good a fit as the position. And this fits on both counts! The energy here is electric. I feel very fortunate to have been hired on here!”
When asked what she’s looking forward to the most, she says “working with great people, seeing the shows, and meeting people from all over!”
She will be responsible for assisting the business office at the Festival with financial paperwork, purchasing, contracts, and bookkeeping.