An Arts Manager With an International Perspective

Posted: March 7, 2016 at 3:42 pm, Last Updated: June 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Haolin Lei George Mason University Arts Management

Haolin Lei

Master’s candidate in George Mason University’s Arts Management Program
Assistant, Xi’an Concert Hall

Haolin Lei is passionate about promoting and sharing the intangible cultural heritage of China. He started his career in the arts as a performer, promoting Chinese culture and the art of the Tang Dynasty, while studying at a conservatory in China. Intangible cultural heritage “…includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices…” (UNESCO)

“A lot of Chinese arts and culture have disappeared in my generation. I want more people to know about them and pay more attention to those traditional arts and culture…You have to know the culture first, and then the history. Then you can understand what it [the culture] means…The younger culture is focused on pop…not tradition.”

After completing a bachelor’s in music business, he has focused his career in arts management on public relations and marketing as a means to promote cultural awareness. Also interested in fundraising, Haolin’s capstone research will investigate the fundraising and development methods used at the Xi’an Concert Hall. Throughout his graduate career he has explored the potential for an integration of American arts management techniques into Chinese institutions.

“I am a practitioner…We can not only know how to make art and enjoy art, but we also have to figure out how the art world functions.”

Haolin has completed a remarkable number of internships (see bio), making the most of his growing network and the opportunities that come up in his field. During the last winter break, he decided to use his time off to do an additional internship to learn more about festival management.

“The program was an international music festival and dealt with performing arts groups from overseas. I worked in marketing and programming. It was very interesting to see how they manage the people.”

While at Mason, Haolin also completed an internship with the George Mason University Confucius Institute. He was Introduced to this opportunity by his advisor, professor Gao Qing, Director of Mason’s Confucius Institute. Haolin had the chance to work on several cultural events, including two exhibitions and a performance during Arts by George!  Along with fellow arts management student Jingwei Li, he assisted with the curation, installation, and marketing of the exhibition, Ageless Chinese Art: A Virginia Scholar’s Collection. During this exhibit they were mentored by Don Russell, the University Curator at Mason.

“We acted like curators, managed the gallery, installed the art, learned how to contact the collectors and design the catalogs.”

As he approaches graduation, Haolin is considering his next steps. He plans to spend a few years working in public relations and arts marketing to gain experience and hone his skills. Following that he hopes utilize this experience to start his own company. Outside of his arts management work, he is also an active photographer and member of the Xi’an Photography Association. His work has been exhibited in the U.S. and China and you can view it online here.

About Haolin:

Haolin Lei is an international student from China pursuing a master’s in arts management at George Mason University. While studying at the Xi’an Conservatory of Music as a freshman, Haolin majored in music performance. In 2008 he transferred to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMU). At SMU Haolin was a music industry major on a business track (Music Business) and an art minor.

Haolin has completed numerous arts management internships during his career, in both China and the United States. Prior to his move to the U.S., he was employed as a Chinese Opera Singer for Xi’an Tang Yue Gong Theater, and introduced Chinese Tang Dynasty Cultures to international tours. Haolin has gained experience working with the marketing and strategy departments at Xi’an QuJiang Cultural Industry Investment (group) Co. LTD, where he focused on several tasks including advertising design, photography, strategic planning, stage managing. He also worked for BaiLu Plain, which is a play produced by the Beijing People’s Art Theater.

Last summer, Haolin assisted the chairman of Xi’an WuZhou Transmission Limited Liability Company, where he made a strategic plan for a movie and the 7th Chinese Art and Culture Festival. His duties included organizing a fundraising event for “The Silk Road” Xi’an International Piano Week. Haolin wrapped up his internship experiences at the George Mason University Confucius Institute and Xi’an Concert Hall.