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Courtney Walls '12

In NYC: Courtney Walls ’12

A heart for the arts with a head for business

Courtney Walls loves living and working in New York.

“You can casually see a Vermeer at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. No big deal,” she says from her Aspen Institute office overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Walls, who holds a master’s degree in art business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, NYC, works as the program coordinator for the Aspen Arts Program, a public program within the institute’s broad and diverse system.

“I do a little bit of everything, which is fun,” she says. “I do a lot of event planning, especially fundraising events, and I’m involved in the Ideas Festival.”

Walls also writes grants and does the necessary reporting that goes along with that. She’s the budget person for all arts programming, and her claim to fame, in the New York office at least, is that she’s read the employee handbook from cover to cover.

Walls says her experience in the Wofford Presidential Seminar, an Aspen-like seminar, helped her land the job, especially when combined with her campus leadership positions, internships experience and postgraduate study. It also didn’t hurt that she had a recommendation from a past employer, Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Now Walls is connecting arts innovators and arts funders in an effort to bring arts programming to rural and underserved areas and to address society’s arts-related concerns. Walls, who loves crunching numbers and fiscal planning as much as she loves the arts, majored in art history and business economics at Wofford. She’s particularly excited about the opening of the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts.

“The arts have become such a presence on campus,” she says. “This building further distinguishes Wofford as an exceptional place.” 

By Jo Ann Mitchell Brasington ’89