Sarah Carkhuff Fizell | YWCA Women of Excellence
Sarah Carkhuff Fizell
Sarah is a Topeka native—a graduate of Topeka High School. At the University of Kansas, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications studies with an emphasis in intercultural communications & women’s studies—but not before spending two years as a ceramics and design major. The arts have always been a source of joy in her life. Sarah has spent time living and working in Lawrence, Kansas City and Washington D.C. She and her husband, Jason, have two daughters, Astra (8) and Geneva (6).
Sarah’s early professional career focused mostly on health policy research, political organizing, advocacy and public relations. Her current position with ARTSConnect is a perfect use of all of this experience—as her work requires her to constantly advocate, coordinate, collaborate and think broadly about how this organization can best serve the needs of our community.
Sarah has served as the executive director of ARTSConnect for nearly seven years. ARTSConnect is Topeka’s citywide arts umbrella organization—working to advance and promote the arts all across Topeka.
TK: What inspires you?
SARAH: I am inspired by the opportunity that each of us has to create change. For me, it is especially inspiring when that change results in social justice and equity.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
SARAH: Think hard about what inspires you - what you want to see in the future for your own life as well as your friends, family and community. Take time to get to know yourself. Travel. Be generous with your time, but remember to prioritize the things that inspire you!
TK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned on your journey?
SARAH: Be honest in your expectations of yourself and others. The journey is just as important as the destination, so remember to take a path that brings joy...you might be there a while.
The YWCA is on a mission to empower women at all stages in their careers. Diversity in leadership is particularly vital to our vibrant business community in the Greater Topeka Area.
The YWCA is celebrating 31 years of recognizing Women of Excellence in our community with the theme “Dare to be Powerful.” We dare to be powerful, despite whatever obstacles may present themselves along the way.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
- Audre Lorde