Areas of Expertise

Grant writing, board development, program design and evaluation, and strategic planning.

Kristen Engebretsen |  Consultant


Kristen is a nonprofit leader with experience at all sizes of nonprofits, from startups to established national associations. Her 17 years in the fields of arts and education provide her with solid expertise in growing nonprofit organizations and helping them thrive.

She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Operations at ArtsUP! LA, a small theatre company in Los Angeles. She began with ArtsUP! as a teaching artist in 2003, helped the company incorporate as a nonprofit in 2007, and served on the board of directors until 2021. Her work at ArtsUP! has a laser-like focus on accessibility and inclusion in the arts.

Prior to becoming a full-time staff member of ArtsUP! in 2016, Kristen served as the Arts Education Policy Manager at Americans for the Arts for five years. There she was responsible for promoting public policies that advance arts education throughout the country. She was a prolific blogger, a frequent speaker at national conferences, the author of numerous white papers and e-books, and was the mastermind behind the brand of publications, videos, and toolkits called the Arts Education Field Guide and the Arts Education Navigator.

Before moving to DC, she served at several arts organizations in Los Angeles, including the Music Center and the LA County Arts Commission. She has also been a teaching artist with several education organizations. Her passion lies in transforming schools, communities, and lives through the power of the arts.

Education & Certification

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Master of Education, Arts in Education

University of Southern California, Bachelor of Arts, Dance, Kinesiology, and Education

Dixie College, Associate of Arts, Music and General Studies


Arts for the Aging, Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy

Get to know me

Kristen works remotely for all of her current clients from her home in Takoma Park, Maryland with her daughter and dog, where she is an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts and an avid explorer of the U.S. National Parks.

Favorite Quote

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead