Graduating Class (Year): 2012
What you are up to now?
I’ve spent the last decade honing my skills as a fundraiser and non-profit executive in the arts, healthcare, and human services. The Arts Management Program has been central to my career’s success by equipping me with the tools I need to think critically about business issues and develop solutions that satisfy every stakeholder. This is where the importance of the "Aesthetic Contract" comes into play. It emphasizes connecting together essential components in order to make something greater work effectively. Adopting this ideal in my work has made my approach to fundraising and management much more impactful and with measurable results.
What led you into arts management?
What led me to arts management was the drive to use the arts as a means for change. I consider the arts to be a reflection of society - the good, bad, and in between. The arts document our human existence and gives us cultural value. So now as an arts manager, I get to facilitate that documentation process and foster engagement for others who have not been exposed to the arts - especially for people from underrepresented backgrounds.
Most memorable experience in the Program?
My most memorable experience in the Program was the summer study abroad trip to Singapore. It was a watershed experience that changed my self view and my view of the world. It was the first time I traveled outside of North America. Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and diversity was the perfect backdrop for self-discovery and introspection. Not only did I learn about cultural policy and arts management from an internationalized perspective, I also learned more about myself both personally and professionally. And the food was amazing!
What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
Before the Program, I wish I knew what my natural gifts and skills were. However, being in the Program helped me unearth them. The process wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Dr. Bereson, the faculty, and Mr. Leary fostered an atmosphere of perpetual intellectual curiosity, something which I think is one of the Program’s primary strengths. Also, I wish I knew more about cultural policy before the Program. It’s important for students to read as much as possible even outside of course material in order to build a strong knowledge base and engage in thoughtful conversations.
Advice for current/prospective students?
My advice is to get to know the Program's faculty. Learn about their research and projects. Build genuine relationships with them. This helps you better understand their teaching style and provide for you mentorship that is so important these days. Also, travel with the Program. Learn as much as you can about the arts from an internationalized point of view. This will help you discover how art shapes other cultures and influences the world. Lastly, explore the arts scene in Buffalo, Toronto, and NYC. Connect with people in the industry. They will add value to your career and make sure that you have access to opportunities you never imagined.
My most memorable experience in the Program was the summer study abroad trip to Singapore. It was a watershed experience that changed my self view and my view of the world.