Sandra Aponte is program manager of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust. In this role, Aponte manages the Trust’s strategic efforts in strengthening the social impact sector. Her portfolio also includes support for culture and creativity. Aponte leads the SMART Growth program, an evidence-based capacity building program.
Aponte re-joined the Trust in 2013 to serve as a program officer overseeing the arts and culture portfolio that included capacity building, arts education and audience development. Aponte brings over 15 years of experience working in the arts and education field. Prior to joining the Trust, she was the school partnerships and programs manager at The Field Museum, leading collaborative partnerships among institutions, universities and education systems to deliver educator professional development and student programs.
From 2006 to 2009, Aponte participated in the Fellowship in Arts and Culture Management program by The Chicago Community Trust—a highly selective, rigorous initiative that provided leadership experience through residencies at some of the most renowned cultural institutions throughout the city, including the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry and John G. Shedd Aquarium. Aponte’s professional experience also includes serving as the development manager for the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, program manager for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science and an art gallery business manager.
Aponte earned a master’s degree in business with a concentration in international business from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology. Aponte is co-chair of the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development and serves as board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.