Meet Lauren Schick, Arts Management Master’s Candidate
Posted: May 30, 2016 at 4:51 pm, Last Updated: June 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm
Lauren H. Schick
Master’s candidate in George Mason University’s Arts Management Program
Visitor Services Associate, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens
Assistant, Confucius Institute US Center
What topics in the arts are you most passionate about and why?
I am definitely most inspired by the community aspect of the arts and the camaraderie that comes along with being part of something that is bigger than yourself. Development and community programming are two main areas of interest to me.
Do you have a secret talent?
My secret talent is that Mandarin Chinese is my second language. I actually started learning it in an immersion program at age five, and have really gained a lot of appreciation for the arts and cultural exchange through the experience of learning a new language in such an all-encompassing way. Through the Mason Arts Management program, I was able to meet Professor Gao, who is the president of the Confucius Institute US Center, and I will start working there soon. I can’t think of a better way to marry my interests in Chinese and cultural programming.
What specific area of arts management is your focus?
I got my undergraduate degree in Art History, so I would say that visual arts management is my main focus. Through being in the program I definitely feel like my horizons are expanding. When I start working with Professor Gao at the Confucius Center, we will be doing programs that relate not only to both visual and performing arts, but also bigger questions in international relations and foreign language learning.
What inspires you as an arts leader?
I am inspired by the projects and performances of others. A goal for me as an arts leader is to connect with those doing exhibitions and artwork that I find important, and make their visions become reality.
Are you involved in the arts outside of work?
I am very passionate about American craft and getting to know other makers around me. I am extremely devoted to my knitting circle and really value the connections I’ve made in that community. You can usually find me knitting between classes!
Why did you decide to go to grad school for arts management?
After a few years of working out of undergrad, I felt like it was time to step up my career and gain the practical skills that those in the art community often overlook. Arts management felt like a good fit because it encompassed all of the arts, and offered a more comprehensive look at things like business practices in a variety of different arts venues.
How are you applying the skills you learned in the program to your professional career?
I feel like I am already pulling lessons out of my classes and thinking about places I have worked more critically. The best thing about the theories that I have been learning in the program is that they force you realize that even really great institutions are not perfect, and there is always room for improvement.
What is the most important thing you have learned at Mason?
Definitely to not be afraid to go to your classmates and colleagues for advice and help! There are so many different people from a variety of walks of life in this program; you never know who will have background knowledge in an area you are new to and vice versa.
Lauren Schick is a MA candidate in Arts Management at George Mason University. She is currently a Visitor Services Associate at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, where she works with a team of professionals and volunteers to ensure successful visitor experiences. Lauren is the former Women’s History and Resource Coordinator at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a historic nonprofit committed to community improvement through volunteer service. There, she connected organization members and volunteers to resources in the organization’s archive, coordinated management of the Federation’s headquarters, and acted as the staff liaison to charitable funds that support the preservation of the organization’s collections and property. She is a past Curatorial Intern at Glenstone in Potomac, Maryland, and was an intern in the development office at the National Museum of African Art in 2011. Lauren holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Chinese Language from Kenyon College.
Photo by Mark Hoelscher