Graduating Class (Year): 2012
What you are up to now?
After my graduation I traveled, worked and studied in the US, Europe and Central Asia. I feel like I can get a job, contacts and help anywhere in the world. I must give the UB Arts Management Program credit for that. It taught me how to create and sustain international networks. I exhibited a project at Venice Biennale in 2013. I have published multiple works, online publications, book chapters and a peer-reviewed academic article on the role of museums as crucial sites for nation-building for Nations and Nationalism journal. For a few weeks now this publication has been top 10% most downloaded papers.
Now I am a PhD candidate at the Central European University, based in Budapest, Hungary. It is a US University that has three campuses, New York (Bard College), Vienna and Budapest. I chose Budapest because it is the closest to my home region of Central Asia which makes it easier to travel for research and conferences. My program is dual, meaning that I have to fulfill both US and European degree requirements. Keeping myself very busy.
UB Arts Management Program was a valuable intellectual challenge for me. It taught me to appreciate learning. After graduating in 2012 I received two more Master’s Degrees but it wasn’t just stockpiling diplomas. I managed to stay constantly employed within each of my qualifications.
Currently, I am working on a dissertation project that deals with everyday life culture in Central Asia during the Cold War. I know it sounds nauseating but I am convinced that cultural expression outside arts institutions can be a fascinating thing to study and that the most local and authentic art forms always have global sources. Two of my professors at UB, Dr. Ruth Bereson and Dr. Jonathan Katz from the Visual Studies Program, encouraged me to pursue a PhD. It took me 7 more years to figure out how to do it, but I will always remember their words of encouragement. It was in Buffalo where I experienced the social role of intellectual leadership and authority and how important it is to make knowledge and ideas widely available.
Most memorable experience in the Program?
I cannot put my finger on it to be honest. I think my everyday in Buffalo was memorable because I still remember it. The greatest thing about UB Arts Management Program is that it is uniquely integrated into Buffalo’s creative and intellectual community. There is always something to do, you can go to a lecture or artist talk, art exhibition or a performance, or simply have a chat with a talented and interesting individual (they are everywhere on- and off-campus). I remember all of my classmates very fondly. I miss you guys!
As a person of the world I know what it means to be abroad. I’ve lived in so many places that sometimes I feel abroad while at home. It is something you can experience with the Arts Management Program. It has always been, and I hope will remain an international place because you have foreign students and faculty and have a chance to travel. Being an international professional is extremely important in this rapidly globalizing world.
Advice for current/prospective students?
It’s good to have a job, buy a house and settle down. But getting a degree does not mean you should stop learning because the world is too big and diverse.
It was in Buffalo where I experienced the social role of intellectual leadership and authority and how important it is to make knowledge and ideas widely available.