Featured Alum: Katie Enna '05CC

Katie Enna '05CC is the executive director of Gallim Dance. She has a breadth of experience in the art world—within both the for-profit and non-profit sectors—where she has been recognized for organizational growth through fundraising, operational efficiencies, strategic partnerships, and marketing.

Most recently at American Express, Katie led a strategy and business development team, where she oversaw investments, partnerships, and growth strategies, including a long-term plan for Arts & Entertainment and an innovative non-profit marketing campaign. Katie also spent several years at Christie's, where she implemented sustainable operational improvements across the business. A passionate arts advocate, Katie has also served a variety of arts organizations across the nation in a pro bono capacity, including grant writing for the Aspen Institute Arts Program, educational programming and marketing for Bay Area museums, and a feasibility study for a Brooklyn-based performing arts organization.

Katie earned her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA in Art History and French from Columbia University. While at Stanford, she was selected by faculty to teach coursework in strategic leadership and served as co-president and CFO of Board Fellows, a program placing MBA students on non-profit boards across the Bay Area.

You are currently the Executive Director of Gallim Dance, so can you tell us how you transitioned from studying art history at Columbia into the performing arts sector?

In my first job in the arts, at Christie's auction-house, I considered becoming a "specialist," the experts who value the art. But I soon realized I was more drawn to the business side. I then went to Stanford for my MBA, with the ultimate goal of leading an arts organization. After a few years of corporate experience, I learned about the opportunity to lead Gallim, a dance company in Brooklyn that has stunning, daring, and cutting-edge choreography by Andrea Miller. I was hooked. While I didn't have a "plan" to move back to the arts at that specific time, I realized that it was as executive director of Gallim that I had a chance to make the biggest impact with my skills towards art that I love.


How has your experience at Columbia helped you to get to where you are today? Describe your favorite memories of Columbia.

I studied with Professor David Rosand, specializing in Italian Renaissance Painting, and he helped me get my first job out of Columbia—a dream job for me, in Christie's Old Master Paintings department. He was a terrific mentor for me and so many students, and I'll never forget how much he encouraged me to find a path in the arts—but also supported my decision to forgo a PhD in art history and instead attend business school.


What advice do you have for Columbia students and recent alumni hoping to develop a career in this field?

The arts are not just meant for artists; if you saw my "art" from my required drawing class, you'd know this! The art world really offers a wide array of opportunities for all who wish to make a difference in this sphere. You have terrific resources at Columbia, both within your departments, in the alumni community, at Teachers College's Arts Administration program, and of course in New York City with access to so many arts institutions. Meet with as many people as possible to learn about the different paths. My parents were concerned about how my art history studies would translate into the "real world" but I have always believed that the arts are the real world—in fact a critical piece of the human experience.


This story originally appeared on the CAA Arts Access website. To view more stories like this and to become a member, click here.