Cole Forstedt serves as the Director of Equity Programs at the Foundation for California Community Colleges, driving strategies and a holistic approach to help improve student outcomes, close equity gaps, and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be successful in their educational journeys and beyond. In addition, Cole is also a part-time Faculty member at CSU Sacramento, teaching classes related to nonprofit management such as grant writing, budgeting, and volunteer management. Previously, Cole has served on several Boards of Directors for various organizations ranging from the arts, LGBTQ+ initiatives, and employment and training agencies.

Cole has been passionate about the arts from a young age, playing brass instruments and singing in choirs since fourth grade. His passion was really ignited in high school when he became heavily involved in theatre. Here he found a supportive community, a safe space to be his authentic self, and opportunities to grow in new ways. He considers arts the greatest asset in education because of the unique bridging of other disciplines and the emphasis of working as a team to accomplish a shared vision. Cole attributes much of his academic success to relying on his experience in theatre to help remember historical figures and present confidently during presentations. His career has also been influenced by his early arts education including his daily interactions with partners, ability to present effectively (with diction!), and being able to problem solve as a team. Regularly, you can find Cole in the audience and periodically you can still find Cole performing on stage in local community theatre productions.

His passion and decision to join the Board of Friends of Sacramento Arts is derived directly from his own experience and his firm belief that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive in the arts and beyond. He recognizes that arts education in schools goes far beyond the actual art in itself and he hopes to help others gain this same view. Cole is proud to help advocate for the importance of arts education as one of the critical puzzle pieces of building the next great generation of not only artists, but also leaders.