August 2021 Please join us in welcoming a new Zionsville resident and the new development officer for the Center for the Performing Arts and the Great American Songbook Foundation in Carmel—Ana Hammersley. Recognizing that Hammersley brings a wealth of experience in performing arts fundraising, the Center for the Performing Arts and the affiliated Great American Songbook Foundation recently appointed her to serve both organizations. Meet Ana Hammersley Hammersley has served previously in key fundraising positions at the Orlando Science Center and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, both in Orlando, Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and received training through its Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. She and her Hoosier husband recently relocated to the Zionsville area to live near family. “My husband’s family is from the Danville area, and this job was precisely what I was looking for,” Hammersley shared. “We had our first child last June, and we had this urge to come ‘home’ to have grandma and grandpa nearby. We had been looking at the Zionsville, Brownsburg and Carmel areas, and Zionsville was a perfect blend of everything that is ideal for us. We’re in the Royal Run neighborhood, and it has the friendliest people I’ve ever met. ‘Midwest nice’ is real! And we have everything nearby—it’s amazing how everything has fallen into place for us in so many ways. We feel very fortunate.” Setting Immediate and Long-Term Goals In her new position, Hammersley will develop and manage fundraising campaigns focused on individual donors, including the annual fund and the planned giving program. She will forge new relationships locally and nationwide to expand the donor base for the Center and the Songbook Foundation. Hammersley shared some of her personal and professional goals as she settles into her new community and new role. “My personal goals are to get more entrenched into the Zionsville community where I live and the Carmel community where I work,” Hammersley said. “One of my immediate goals is to learn more of the history of Carmel and all the spaces that immediately surround the Center in order to really understand how we fit into the community.” Hammersley continued, “Of course, I’m on the development team, so my goals are always connected to supporting this beautiful Center for the Performing Arts that also includes supporting the resident companies and other community partners throughout the year. In order to continue the vision of elevating the arts and giving Central Indiana an opportunity to see incredible shows and engage in the educational and outreach programs that are available, we need financial and volunteer support as well.” Theater and Fundraising Go Hand in Hand In addition to being successful in the art of fundraising and arts development, Hammersley is also an accomplished performing artist as well. “I love being on the stage and being a performer,” Hammersley expressed. “With my chosen art form being improvised comedy and luckily having lived in Orlando, Florida, there is a fantastic improv theater called SAK Comedy Lab. That’s where Wayne Brady got his start, and it’s been running for over 25 years.” Hammersley studied improv in college and has been a part of SAK’s professional ensemble since 2010. When asked how her improv abilities have helped her develop her abilities to fundraise and advocate for arts organizations, she replied, “Improv is a fun art form, and I’ve been lucky to do that throughout my adult life. It connects with what I do, and I joke about it all the time, but fundraising and theater have a lot of shared qualities that you wouldn’t expect. Every time someone asks, ‘How do you ask someone for money?’ I tell them that I’ve been in theater all my life—I’m not afraid of rejection.” Hammersley added, “I do think my improv work has made me a stronger fundraiser and development team member. It’s a strange marriage, but I really enjoy it.” The Center for the Performing Arts CEO/President Jeffrey McDermott shared his thoughts on what Hammersley brings to the team. “We are fortunate to have someone with Ana’s track record and industry experience on our team,” McDermott stated. “Working with individual donors means a lot more than asking for money. Our donors provide wise counsel and serve as key community ambassadors, sharing our message and providing feedback that keeps us in tune with the needs of our patrons. Maintaining and building these relationships is vital to the health and strength of the organization.” For more information about the Center for the Performing Arts, visit thecenterpresents.org.