American Artscape Notable Quotable: Suzan E. Jenkins

By Carolyn Coons
Portrait of Black woman with long braided hair.

Suzan E. Jenkins of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Photo (c) Fritz Photographics

"I’ve learned in my career that, as we say in the islands, 'all of we is one.' Whether you live in Essaouira, Morocco; Perugia, Italy; Málaga, Spain; or Rockville, Maryland, we all want safety. We want our families to thrive. We want to be our authentic, creative selves and reside where we can express that and feel a sense of belonging. My curiosity to investigate this culturally throughout the world has grounded me in an artistic way of life. It constantly helps me see myself in others, see them in me, and appreciate our oneness."

Suzan E. Jenkins has an inquisitive mind—from a young age, she was eager to learn about the world around her, in particular the artistic practices she saw in her community. This hunger for learning and passion for the arts led Jenkins down a career path in arts administration. She has held executive positions at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Recording Industry Association of America, and is currently CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) in Maryland. Read more about Jenkins' take on living an artful life in the new issue of American Artscape—In Celebration of Artful Lives.