2021, Arts Management, MA
I am a current Arts Management graduate student, a northern Virginia native. I work in grants administration and enjoy persuasive and proposal writing. I am interested in how performance and visual arts can merge together in venue spaces and how technology in the arts enhances staff and leadership organization. In my life, I recognize music as the most important component in the arts.
Why did you choose Arts Management at Mason?
I started as a non-degree student, which helped me gain exposure to the courses without the commitment. Once I was introduced to faculty and students, I felt a sense of belonging and chance to grow. I chose Arts Management at Mason because I wanted to connect with the artists in my community, researchers at CVPA, and learn how nonprofits serve the arts around me. I wanted to attend a university that recognizes the importance of diversity, advocating for the arts, and providing students with professional skills for a changing society.
What makes you passionate about the arts?
I grew up in a home that supported music. I am passionate about the arts because it encompasses many parts of what I believe, makes us human.
As a kid I learned how to play cello, some piano, and was in choir in the church I grew up in, but I found my love in performance art with theater. I loved reading plays and immersed myself in learning more about the arts by attending auditions/casting calls, local/school theater and finding any opportunity to learn stage direction.
What area of arts management are you interested in and why?
In college, I became more interested in persuasive writing, songwriting, poetry, venue management and a touch of visual arts management. I am interested in how performance and visual arts can merge into one space and how technology can enhance audience engagement.
I currently work in grants administration, which has given me useful knowledge in understanding state and federal contracts, managing deadlines, budgeting for a project, and seeing what type of research in the arts are coming into fruition in my community. I believe grants have the ability to financially elevate an organization, or researcher, for the benefit of an organization and the arts and social sciences.
What is your favorite art activity in the area and why?
In my free time, I like attending local concerts or festivals for bands and artists I follow. Some of my favorite music venues are 9:30 Club, DC9, Merriweather, and Lincoln Theater. I love the ability to listen to music using your headphones, but listening to live music uses the body and mind collectively. Music venues give a feeling of release from the day-to-day and can feel intimate, even when you’re in a room with 1,000+ strangers all attending a show for the same reason. I want everyone to experience live music. After all, I did get engaged at the Lincoln Theater stage in DC!
What was a favorite project or class you've had and why?
So far, my favorite course has been AMGT 704 Finance and Budgeting for Arts I. I evaluated an arts nonprofit, ART180 that focuses on arts education to youth in the Jackson Ward area of Richmond, VA. The course helped me learn how to analyze a 990 tax forms, audit reports, revenue and expenses, how to communicate with a nonprofit’s leadership, and the ability to be concise in my writing. I utilized Excel and found new ways to be efficient in data collection, overall enhancing a technical skills for any industry, not just the arts.
I compiled a financial report and presented it to ART180’s leadership, in hopes to help them in their annual report. I visited ART180’s 5th Annual Holiday Market, where students, staff/board members and over 30 local artists had their work on display and for sale, with a portion of proceeds going directly back to ART180. Composing a report was satisfying, but meeting the Executive Director at ART180’s building made it very real—that my dedication and work could benefit the lives of residents in Jackson Ward.