Aisha Ahmad-Post was one of three finalists for her current position as director of UCCS’ Ent Center for the Arts when she finished her interview and went to Garden of the Gods to call her husband.
“I said, ‘Andrew, I crushed that interview. We might be moving to Colorado Springs.’ He said, ‘Remind me again where that is.’”
The city is foreign no more.
Ahmad-Post, a native of Tucson, Ariz., studied music and international relations at Indiana University Bloomington and made her way through several jobs before landing at the New York Public Library, where she managed its author series.
“All of these [The] New York Times Best Sellers were coming through — Toni Morrison writes a book, Margaret Atwood writes book — in order to make The New York Times Best Seller [list], you have to go on a book tour and a lot of times you start at the New York Public Library,” she said. “Someone has to manage all that and make sure they’re taken care of.”
When Ahmad-Post was hired at the Ent Center in 2017, she brought all of the experience she’d amassed during her decade in New York City.
Ahmad-Post’s main responsibility is to book the 20 to 25 Ent Center shows each year, which range from classical to jazz to dance.
“I’m hoping to expand to global music and start thinking about how we can have speakers and really big names — a variety of education high-quality artistic offerings at the national and international level,” she said.
Ahmad-Post has also involved in community, currently training to be a mentor through the Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment Scholarship Program at UCCS, which is set up for women who are nontraditional students who have faced adversity over the course of their lives. The program offers a full scholarship at UCCS and pairs recipients with a mentor.
“It’s an incredible program because 96 percent of students graduate in four to five years,” she said.
Unsurprisingly, Amhad-Post and her husband didn’t imagine they’d one day settle in Colorado Springs.
“We imagined we would end up in Denver,” she said. “That’s where a lot of friends from New York ended up.
“But it’s the right time for this town,” Ahmad-Post said. “It’s on the precipice of something really big. The next five to 10 years for Colorado Springs are really critical. … There will be so much change. A big part of attracting business and people who want to live in a culturally diverse city is by having an arts center.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
“To not stress so much about career trajectory. … It’s funny how every single thing I’ve done has made me more qualified for this job than I think I even realized when I got it.”