Mari Ogino graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Following graduation, she held positions at a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, the FIDM Museum, and the Wildwoods Foundation. Additionally, she volunteered with Oakgrove as the event and site coordinator. Mari is researching visible and invisible barriers that prevent some children from accessing arts education. She also advocates to make arts education accessible to all children. Arts accessibility is the driving force behind her decision to pursue an M.A. in Arts Administration; she wants to ensure that arts programs are fully funded and sustainable.
What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? Originally, the curriculum and ability to cross-register at the other graduate schools in Columbia University were what first appealed to me about the program. I wanted a program that provided me with a solid foundation to be successful arts administrator and flexibility to take courses outside of the program and Teachers College. I believe that academic communities should collaborate and learn from each other; I didn’t want to go to a program that fosters sequestration from other programs, cities, or communities. In the end, I chose to attend Teachers College, Columbia University because of the students and the supportive community they created. supports the collaboration of performing and visual arts administrators by placing them in the same room.
How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? The program courses provide me with the skills I can take directly into the workforce, such as marketing, strategic planning, and writing grant and corporate sponsorship proposals. The electives, especially those in other schools and departments, allow me to engage with the perspectives of non-ARAD students which sometimes challenge my current perspective and understanding of theories and concepts. These challenges help me to grow academically and professionally. Continuous engagement with different students translates well into the workforce and life in general because we must always be willing to listen and respectfully engage with differing perspectives and ideologies.
Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community. Before ARAD, I had never been surrounded by a group like my cohort. We are all highly-motivated and passionate individuals who inspire and support each other everyday! One would assume that a group of exceptionally motivated individuals would foster a competitive environment, but instead we celebrate each others victories and commiserate in the library when there are a lot of assignments due. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that we can turn to each other for anything.