Alumni Profile Elizabeth Malone

Posted: December 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Elizabeth Malone

MA in Arts Management 2011
Art Specialist at M-NCPPC, Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation 

What topics in the arts are you most passionate about?

Arts education and youth programming. As a former teacher I’m passionate about bringing high quality arts experiences to kids. The time I spent teaching in the classroom has shaped the way I create and manage youth arts programs and work with teachers through arts integration.

What inspires you as an arts leader?

Working with kids, especially those who have had limited exposure to the arts.

What specific area of arts management is your focus?

Arts programming in community arts. I create and manage a variety of programs for youth and families. I especially love creating performance events, classes, and summer camps for kids of all ages.

What did you do before you decided to get your Masters at George Mason? Where did you do your undergrad?

I was a theatre and media arts teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. I taught in the county for 10 years. I went to Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and graduated with a BA in Theatre Education, minor in music.

How do you employ the transformative power of art in your work?

Exposing a younger generation to the arts is a powerful thing. I love that look in a kid’s eye when they finish an art project they carefully created one paint stroke at a time, or when they step on stage for the first time to recite their lines of the play, or when they dance their heart out under the lights during a well rehearsed dance routine. Being involved in the arts truly transforms a person and can make them happier, more confident, and well-rounded. I am proud to play a role in creating these opportunities for the young and the young at heart.

Why did you choose to study arts management at George Mason University?

I knew during my early teaching years that, although I had a talent for instructing kids, I also had a strong desire to transition into a more administrative role in which I’d be able to work with a larger and more diverse population. The program at GMU allowed me to continue working full time as a teacher and work on my Masters degree at night. It took me three years of running between work, after school play rehearsals, and evening classes but it was worth every moment.

Any exciting projects on the horizon or plans for the future?

Many amazing things are coming up at Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation.

First, I am currently the supervisor for our “Arts on a Roll” program, which is an on demand mobile arts service that travels throughout Prince George’s and Montgomery counties providing visual and performing arts workshops. We are working to expand this mobile arts service for the spring and summer. I’m also working with my teaching artist staff to create arts integration opportunities for the Prince George’s County Public Schools with a future goal of creating an Artist in Residency school program.

Second, the Prince George’s County Best Dance Crew Competition is coming up Friday, March 3, 2017. It’s a dance competition for kids 10 to 18 and is very popular with its cash prizes offered to the winners.

Finally, I have 12 weeks in Summer 2017 to fill with a variety of arts camps being offered by Community Arts. Of the numerous camps that will be offered “Making a Musical” and “Comedy Arts Camp” are two of my favorites.

Any advice to give or thoughts to share on the arts or arts management?

More than anything, always keep an open mind when it comes to looking for jobs in the arts field. When I first graduated from GMU I was narrowly focusing my search on just performing arts centers and theaters. I knew I wanted to work for an arts education or community arts program but these types of jobs were, and still are, few and far between in the DC area.

I eventually expanded my search and started to look into government organizations that had arts departments. After this shift in mindset I discovered the many amazing things that are being done in the area of community engagement through local “arts as recreation” programs.  It wasn’t long before I found the extensive Arts and Cultural Division in Prince George’s County. I never thought of working for a government organization when I graduated from GMU but this job has been a perfect fit for me.