AHCMC Welcomes Jesus Guzman

Returning to the DMV after spending a few years in Chicago, Jesus Guzman is an arts administrator with a passion for inclusivity, community building, and freedom of expression. We sat down with Jesus to chat about his background in the creative sector, what interested him in working for AHCMC and more. 

AHCMC: So, tell the readers a little about yourself and your background in the arts. 

Jesus: I am a Mexican American artist and arts professional from Chicago. I have Master of Arts degrees in Art History and Museum Studies from American University and have actively painted for most of my life. My father is a house painter, so I’ve helped him paint since before I could walk. Being from Chicago and living in DC. deeply influenced my interest in the arts due to both cities vibrant immigrant communities and their historical and present-day art scenes.

AHCMC: What led you to work in the arts management field? 

Jesus: Art has always connected me to my past, present, and future. Being able to share this with my community and give back to those who helped me along the way is what led me to this field. Promoting and preserving the arts is necessary to understand each other as individuals and as a greater whole. Art has that power, and working in this field has been the best experience. 

AHCMC: Tell us more about your background in grant writing and arts administration. 

Jesus: I’ve worked in arts administration since 2018, starting as a registrar at the Katzen Arts Center at the American University Museum. Since then, I worked in collections management and only recently got into the grants world as a grant proposal writer and program manager for several arts institutions in Chicago. So far, I’m enjoying the face-to-face with people a lot more than being in a basement surrounded by priceless works of art. I’m really looking forward to bringing all my experiences and knowledge to the table when assisting applicants and learning more about the work they do to make our community an artistic and vibrant place for all. 

AHCMC: What interested you in working for AHCMC? 

Jesus: When I moved back to the DMV, I wanted to work at a place that allowed me to be more involved in the daily lives of others through the arts and arts initiatives. I wanted to bring my past experiences to a new frontier and what better place than AHCMC in Montgomery County, where the diversity is unlike anywhere else. Living here has exposed me to cultures and art forms I’ve never experienced, and working for AHCMC has been very rewarding so far! Everyone has such a positive attitude towards any challenge we face. It truly feels like I’m part of something bigger here. 

AHCMC: Tell us a little about your passion and dedication to accessibility and inclusivity in the arts.  

Jesus: Achieving one’s creative vision and proudly displaying one’s culture should be a reality, but for most, it is not. I have experienced this in all aspects of my life, especially in the arts. That is why I dedicated my professional life to working towards changing this standard. This day and age sees more progress towards accessibility and inclusivity. And while these actions are all necessary, it is clear they are just a few small steps of the many that need to occur to work towards a more accessible and inclusive art world. I’m excited to promote this goal with the work we do here! 

AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the Assistant Grants Manager? 

Jesus: Helping! When I learned this is a small operation with a large vision and scope of work, I knew I would fit right in. I have the foundational knowledge to provide much support to the arts community in Montgomery County thanks to my experience working in grants and arts administration. I love learning new things and bringing all I have learned wherever I go. I’m looking forward to learning more about grantmaking and arts development, and I’m looking forward to what is to come!