Taylor Roberts (Delta Pi 2017/Oglethorpe) has always taken an interest in serving her community and making a positive impact on those around her.
As a collegian, she served as the Director of Philanthropy. “I actually joined Alpha Sigma Tau because of Dress for Success and the Women’s Wellness Initiative,” Taylor said.
In this position, she learned how to structure a fundraising event, work with nonprofit organizations, and organize upward of 40 Sisters to serve in a variety of ways. “I wanted service to be a rejuvenation of spirit and purpose,” Taylor explained. “It had to be fruitful.” These skills have served her well, as she entered the nonprofit sector to begin her career.
During her collegiate career, she was also the first Oglethorpe student to receive the prestigious Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship through the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Recipients are undergraduate students from communities that are historically underrepresented in the museum field.
As of 2017, only 36 students were welcomed into the program each year. “The fellowship oriented me on how to be an arts worker. It gave me confidence and the potential to network, and taught me to bring my whole self to work,” said Taylor.
She graduated in 2021 with an art history major and a nonprofit management minor. Currently, Taylor is a Lead For America fellow. Lead for America is a national program where individuals serve in a paid, full-time capacity alongside a local leader or for a local organization in their hometown.
Taylor is working for 3Arts, a 110-year-old Chicago nonprofit that supports women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts.
“I’m the Manager of Special Projects Research,” she said. “I support our three different awards throughout the year and manage our social media. I am also working on a research project where we’re looking into other grantmakers around the country who are funding artists.”
Taylor attributes many of her day-to-day soft skills to Alpha Sigma Tau. “It’s about building relationships… I’ve never formed relationships like that in my life before [AΣT], there’s just a deeper level of honesty and communication,” she said. “I think that’s really important in the arts too – people are really inspired by your passion and being your whole self.”
Her Lead for America fellowship ends in the summer of 2023. Afterward, she plans to get her Master’s in Arts Administration, placing an importance on the relevancy of cultural heritage.
However, her plans are much larger than one, singular degree. As part of her Lead for America fellowship and inspired by research done during her Mellon fellowship, Taylor is working on a community venture, where museums and educational institutions are partnered to give adults working in security and visitors services – areas dominated by people of color – access to arts education. They also created internships, mentorships, and college degree programs for high schoolers, where they can receive college credit toward degrees in art-making topics.
In the future, Taylor wants to continue to develop programs like these, that can provide access to degrees in art-making, museum studies, and curation to adults and kids alike.
“Hopefully, I can create an organization that combines both of those programs – make it something that is national, with many cities and institutions connected to provide access to this field for a lot of people who have been denied it historically,” she said.
We are confident that Taylor will continue to have a positive impact everywhere she goes!