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Apra-IL Presents: 20 Questions with ... Evan Smeenge

Mon, May 06, 2019 7:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Evan Smeenge

Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 

I am a Michigander who loves travelling. I dragged my then girlfriend, now wife, along to London where we both studied for our Master of Arts degrees, mine is in Museum and Gallery Studies. I was able to visit 20+ cities over that short period of time.

I’m an impassioned non-profit worker, currently, Manager of Prospect Management and Discovery at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. I have been emboldened to make sure the people I can help are helped, and those who I come in contact with have just as much opportunity that I have had; taking on the seemingly impossible.

I am excited to someday lead an organization with this goal.

I am Evan Smeenge.

1.You have experience in the Museum sector, what has challenged you lately?

My departure from the collections and curatorial part of museums.

2. What is something interesting that would surprise people about fundraising for a Museum?

The numerous paths to pull a donor in.

3. What is your favorite exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry?

Numbers in Nature is fascinating, but my favorite is U-505 … WWII geek.

4. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

I support the fundraising effort by discovering new prospective donors and placing them in fundraisers' portfolios. Normally, the person doesn’t understand, so they stop asking.

5. Describe Prospect Development with three adjectives?

Inquisitive, aggravating, personable

6. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

Connected me with some lovely people throughout the country!

7. When you come to the Apra-IL meet-ups, what do you always make sure to make time to visit?

Nothing, just love being with the Apra-IL peeps!

8. In what city would you love to attend the Apra International conference?


9. If you were not in Prospect Development, what career would you have?


10. In a day, how often do you drink a cup of coffee?

Two cups per morning. Maybe one in the afternoon.

11. How many meetings did you have this week?


12. Do you have lunch at your desk or away?

Always at my desk.

13. What book are you reading right now?

Oliver Twist

14. What book would you recommend to people?

Any book on Napoleon’s life!

15. What is your favorite Season?


16. Candy or chocolate?

Obviously chocolate ...

17. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Since I’m very focused on my family history right now, probably one of my ancestors. Perhaps one from over 1,000 years ago.

18. What country do you wish to visit?

With all my travels, I still haven’t visited Ireland!!!

19. Best advice you have ever received?

Take the help you are given.

20. What is something new you just learned or worked on at work?

Pivot tables!!!


  • Mon, May 06, 2019 11:00 AM | Emily
    Really enjoying this series!
    Link  •  Reply

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