Yuwen Shen is AMS’s newest Analyst. She joined our team after completing her term as an AMS fellow in October 2022. Born and raised in China, Yuwen holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Zhejiang University. She enjoyed a unique experience studying arts and cultural management in the US and Italy. She graduated in Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University and Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts at the University of Bologna.
What drew you to the arts?
I started to play different types of instruments in my childhood. Music is a universal language that makes me connected with people and communities. As a lover of cultural heritage, I always enjoy trips to local handicraft studios, cultural rituals, and festivals where I observe indigenous art and culture. I took Aesthetics, Chinese Art History, and Public Art classes that further stimulated my interest in the arts, especially how arts could bring positive social impacts.
What drew you to Arts Administration?
I think art is the most direct method to trigger inspiring dialogues and engage people in communities. Working with different types of communities in museums, community theatre, and international organizations, I gained various perspectives on arts administration. The diversity of arts also encourages me to continuously explore how different institutions and organizations could improve arts administration to engage diversified communities.
What is your focus within Arts Administration?
My focus is on how arts and cultural practices could be the catalysts in community development. This is always an interdisciplinary topic, and I often get inspired by peers and experts from arts and other fields. My field research and practices in communities and museums consolidated my commitment to making arts more accessible to community members and broader audiences. I also want to contribute to safeguarding indigenous arts and intangible cultural heritage through creative expressions.
How do you incorporate EDIA into your work life?
I witnessed the power of EDIA when I initiated an EDIA-related staff survey previously and synthesized the findings for actual actions. I researched EDIA efforts in arts and culture organizations to keep abreast of the status in the field. With an intense self-reflection and a commitment to EDIA, I am excited to work with AMS’s EDIA committee. I am ready to contribute my perspectives to EDIA initiatives with colleagues and clients.
What do you do in your spare time?
I consider myself a person who is always curious about good stories. In my spare time, I run an art podcast with my friend. We focus on often-neglected topics in arts, such as plants and cafes in museums. As a world traveler, I enjoy exploring the most authentic local experiences. I read a lot. And I write poems whenever life gives me hints and callings.