Getting to know Emma Howard, ARAD Internship Coordinator

We sat down with ARAD’s new Internship Coordinator, Emma Howard, this week to chat about her background and hear her plans for this coming semester. 


Share with us a bit about your background…

Where I’m from: I grew up in Providence Rhode Island, went to undergraduate and graduate school in Worcester MA, moved to Koreatown, Los Angeles for 8 years and since fall of 2015 I’ve lived in Bushwick.

What I studied: Studio Art and “International Development and Social Change” dual major for my BA. MA in Community Development and Planning, with a focus on planning issues for visual artists in industrial areas. I also have a certificate in Creative Placemaking.

Where I’ve worked: Most recently, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (You’ll see my former boss Tom Finkelpearl at next week’s Distinguished Speaker Series). Pace Paper in Gowanus, making fine art prints and papers. Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. Clark University Career Services, as a resume and cover letter consultant. My very first job was working in admissions at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

I care a lot about helping people do well at the things that are important to them, making processes better, and about the overall importance of arts in civic life.


How will the ARAD Internship program change this year?

We have a lot of big changes coming your way!

For first years, this will be the first time that we have a comprehensive professional development course Arts Practicum, separate from Dr. Lena’s course. We’ll meet 8 times this year on alternate Mondays to go over mainly US-based workplace standards and prepare for internships and career development.

For second years, you should know you will now be able to take 2 internships for academic credit.

For everyone we’re changing the way we do the Internship Symposium. Instead of two a year, we’re simplifying it into one Internship Fair on October 30th, which will be more of a networking and conversational approach instead of presentations.

Second years who haven’t completed any internships will need to attend the internship fair, but the second years who have finished their internships should consider the fair optional. We still hope you’ll join us, of course.

The Distinguished Speaker Series and microcourses that will be offered this year are being redesigned to ensure that they better match up with student schedules and offer additional professional development information. I can’t take credit for any of that as it was already in the works before I came in, but students should know about it.


What are you most excited about this year/this role?

I’m most excited about taking the role of Internship Coordinator into an expanded professional development position, where I can help each of the ARAD students think holistically about what comes after a grad program, how that grad program will launch you into the next phase of your life and where we can tweak things to get you ready even before graduation.


Advice for students- for second years and newly admitted students for this part of the year.

For 1st years, take a deep breath, count to ten, and then come to class. You have plenty on your plates, you don’t need more advice, and I’m going to give you a whole class full of it anyway.

For 2nd years, also take a deep breath, but then ask, “Am I ready to graduate? Do I know what I want to do next? Do I feel like I know what I’m doing with cover letters and resumes and job hunting?” If you feel that the answer to any of that is “I don’t know!” then make sure you come meet with me in a few weeks, so we can get you ready.

If the answer is “I’m all set”…then congratulations! Come meet with me anyway.


Emma Howard can be found during office hours in the main office, ZB 413.


Follow-up with Thanh Nguyen, Spring Microgrant Recipient 

We caught up with our Spring 2017 Microgrant Recipient, Thanh Nguyen.

Funding from the ARAD Microgrant supported Thanh’s participation in the Theatre Communications Group National Conference, in Portland, Oregon. Theatre Communications Group is a national organization that provides news, resources and ideas for Broadway, regional and community theatre development. At the conference, Thanh took part of workshops related to diversity, equity and inclusion.



The Fall 2017 Microgrant applications are due on Friday, September 15, and ARAD is looking forward to supporting the next round of students in their professional development endeavors.



Check it out!

Describe the opportunity you participated in and how it aligns with your career aspirations.

I attended the 2017 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Conference in Portland, a conference where theatre practitioners connect as peers, develop professionally and listen to aspiring thought leaders and peers in the field. Attending this conference was a professionally important goal as I aspire to build my career as a teaching artist while working towards becoming a Director of Education and Community Engagement. At the conference, I was inspired by meeting other theatre educators and artistic directors who generously shared their knowledge on building relationships through equity, diversity and inclusion, how to produce new works, and have a strong sense of self as a leader.


 What were the most important takeaways from your experience?

The most important takeaway I received was that equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) begins with establishing diversity as a core value of an organization. I learned that this can be accomplished from the top down, by way of hiring EDI professionals who can make decisions laterally with artistic directors and senior level staff, by producing works that cast diverse actors and speak to diverse audiences, as well as linking funding partnership opportunities directly to theatres of color.


How has the microgrant helped to enrich you professionally?

Without the microgrant covering registration fees, I would not have the opportunity to connect with such amazing artistic directors, education staff and individual artists on similar successes and struggles on the subject of equity, diversity and inclusion. Thank you ARAD for making it possible!