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Meet Amber Sanders, Tessitura Administrator

June 8, 2023

Amber Sanders is one of that rare breed: a born-and-bred Californian who moved to Seattle for the weather!

“I grew up in Pasadena,” Amber says, “But I always loved it when it rained!”

She didn’t get her chance to relocate, however, until 2022, after ten years living and working in Orange County, where she’d gone to college.

“I wanted to major in theater,” Amber says, “But my mom said no, and since she was paying the bills…”

So, she majored in Communications, Entertainment and Tourism instead at California State University Fullerton where she discovered that a lot of students in that program had transferred there from theater. She added a double major in American Studies because she’s “always been fascinated by how complex our history is.”

Four years as a communication major hadn’t diminished her love of the performing arts however, and after graduating she got a job at a local theater in the box office, eventually becoming the assistant manager. This was where she first encountered Tessitura, a database developed specifically for arts organizations to manage everything from ticket sales to fundraising to education and marketing.

In a way, it was Tessitura that brought Amber to Seattle. She’d visited the city once in 2017 and loved what she found here: “The arts scene — concerts, burlesque, drag — so much art! And the weather!” But in 2021, she had a life-changing moment: her boss was leaving, her friends were starting to move away; she had a friend living in Seattle, so she decided to move here too.

At the same time, Meany Center was looking for a new Tessitura administrator — and Amber was the ideal candidate. Not only did she have deep experience of the database, but she also brought years of practical box office customer service with her. “I understand the issues the staff in the Ticket Office face because I worked in one. And I know ways to use Tessitura to make things run a little smoother.”

When Amber is not at Meany helping to rebuild the ticket sales system, fixing the coding so N-Scanners can read barcodes, running reports — and occasionally ushering for shows at Meany Hall — she spends her time at other theaters. Her current obsessions are Can Can Culinary Cabaret, a dinner theater which presents a mix of burlesque and musical theater; and Dreamland in Fremont, famous for their weekend drag brunches.

In fact, Amber could imagine herself as a performer at either place if “I [could] sing and dance,” she laughs. “And if I didn’t have terrible stage fright.”

Wherever she lands in future, whether on stage or behind the scenes, she wants to keep working in the arts.