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United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.

Image Courtesy of Kate Powell

Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Kate Powell.

Affiliation(s) (past and present):

Tidewater Arts Outreach (Sep 2019 to Present); PORTCO (Feb 2018-Sep 2019); Virginia Symphony (Sep 2015-Feb 2018); Association of Fundraising Professional (Dec 2015-Present Board Member since Jan 2020); Soundscapes (Sep 2014-July 2015); The Catoctin School of Music (Oct 2012-Aug 2014)

How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?

Six years in fundraising; professional musician since 2010. I graduated with a degree in Music Industry from JMU and knew I wanted to be an administrator in artistic fields. Once I started with the Virginia Symphony, I was exposed to non-profit development and fell in love. I purposely transitioned to more human services focus and am now at Tidewater Arts Outreach which combines both of my passions beautifully.

How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?

7 years

What advice would you give young women going into your field?

Take charge! Women are the majority of non-profit employees but still the minority in leadership positions. Particularly with organizations that serve primarily women, it is important to have our leadership in this sector where we do so much work, where we serve so many fellow women, and are supported by so many female donors.

Does your gender influence your relationship to your work? In what way?

Again, because female leadership is still the exception rather than the rule in non-profit organizations (and particularly women of color), it is always a priority of mine to make sure that voice is heard at my organization and in this sector in general. It is one of the reasons I am so active in our local Association of Fundraising Professionals chapter - to make these priorities forefront in this industry.

Have you faced challenges in your field because of your gender or have you found your gender to be an asset? What kinds of challenges or advantages, and how have they affected your life?

I truly believe women bring a unique perspective and method that complements their male colleagues. These perspectives and skills are a significant asset in any work environment. Challenges do abound where you have lack of leadership from both men and women. But when both are well represented in decision making roles, it can be a very rewarding work experience.

Has parenthood impacted your career or shaped your perspective as an artist? In what ways?

I do plan to start a family relatively soon. As the Executive Director of Tidewater Arts Outreach, I strive to make the organization as friendly to men and women with families - family should always outweigh work in priority.

Any closing thoughts?

Women are a force for good in Hampton Roads! Get out and meet some boss women pronto (that goes for the guys too!).

Know a Woman of Note that should be featured? Please email us at

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