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From Filling the Stage To Aiming The Spotlight

Kristin Suess, ‘98

In her four years at Colorado Mesa University, Kristin Suess grew from someone who sought the spotlight to someone who makes performances possible for others.

Suess has turned her skills to shedding light anew on women whose contributions to Cincinnati, Ohio, have gone unrecognized or have been largely forgotten. 

A California native who was recruited to Mesa, Suess (formally Krajewski) graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in performing arts, vocal performance and music theatre.

She took advantage of Mesa’s small classes and personal attention “from professors who were at the top of their field,” Suess said. She ultimately learned there was more Mesa offered then the classes she sought.

“I fell into the field called arts administration,” Suess said. “My whole world view expanded.”

After graduating, Suess traveled to the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with a master’s degree in business administration in arts administration.

Suess parlayed her academic credentials into a series of arts administration positions in Ohio, as well as related work at the University of Kentucky.

Her curriculum vitae also includes positions with Opera Cincinnati and the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati. She also is the executive director of Voices of Indiana — making her active in three states.
Most recently, she joined with her husband, Jeff, to recognize 10 women with ties to Cincinnati.

True to her arts-administration roots, Suess drew together 10 artists who gave life to these unrecognized or largely forgotten women.
The “10 Women” project drew more than 150 people to a celebration in the home of abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The artists built on the original project with their own presentations, multiplying the effect 10 times over, Suess said. And the story will continue.

Suess and her husband are continuing the program for a second year, meaning that there will be a second round of opportunities, Suess said, to “relate the stories that have been lost” and shine a spotlight on others. • 


Written by Gary Harmon