We followed up with our Fall 2017 Microgrant Recipient, Angelica Tran.
Funding from the ARAD Microgrant supported Angelica’s participation in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s DaCapo Arts Administration Intensive at the Opera Learning Center at Lincoln Center.
Describe the opportunity you participated in and how it aligns with your
I attended the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s DaCapo Arts Administration Intensive,
which is a two-day program held at the Opera Learning Center at Lincoln Center. The
intensive featured panelists from different arts organizations who spoke about
important topics related to performing arts management, as well as their careers.
This year’s sessions and panelists included:
Advanced Planning and Production; Crisis Management
-Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall
-Martin Platt, General Partner, Perry Street Theatricals
Artist and Personnel Management
-Steve Greer, Company Manager, The Phantom of the Opera
-Bernard Uzan, Director, Uzan Artists Talent Management
Community Outreach & Education
-Stuart Holt, Director of School Programs and Community Engagement,
Metropolitan Opera Guild
-Shirley Taylor, Director of Education, Apollo Theater
Development in Action
-Katherine Delaney, Director of Development, Metropolitan Opera Guild
Building a Career in the Arts
-Leah Barto, independent arts & philanthropy consultant
-Devin Day, Assistant Stage Manager, 1984
Many of the sessions included discussions and problem solving exercises that
were conducted in small groups. For example, after the Crisis Management
session, we worked in small groups to solve a hypothetical crisis in an
organization. We examined different ways that we could solve the project while
taking into consideration how our solution would impact the budget and the
organization as a whole. A few of the crisis examples included customer service
issues, a lead soloist dropping out from a program at the last minute, and serious
set malfunctions prior to the start of a performance. In our Community Outreach
and Education workshop, we designed education programs for different groups in our communities. Our group work was presented to the whole class, which
allowed us to receive feedback from the panelists and our peers.
One of the highlights of the intensive was the backstage tour of the Metropolitan
Opera House. We really got a sense of all of the moving parts that go into creating
and staging an opera. We were all very excited to take our group picture on the
This opportunity aligns with my career aspirations because my goal is to work in a
performance arts organization that is related to music. The sessions and
workshops at DaCapo focused on the performance arts, which is relevant to my
interests. In addition, DaCapo was created through the Community Engagement
department, which aligns with my interests in working in education and
community engagement. As such, DaCapo serves as an example of a program that
I could help implement in the future to help aspiring arts administrators.
What were the most important takeaways from your experience?
Some of the key ideas that came up across the different sessions were the
importance of communication, relationship building, and flexibility. In terms of
creating community engagement opportunities, it is crucial to have an open
dialogue with the communities to find out their unique needs and desires. The
programs that we create should be tailored to fit the communities of interest,
which is best achieved through relationship building and communication. Another
instance in which relationship building was emphasized is with the board,
employees, and volunteers of our organization. There are many people who go
into the production of a concert, show, etc., and it is important to develop
rapport and build trust with the different departments in the organization. This
opens the lines of communication, which can allow for the effective
communication of both praise and constructive criticism. The panelists also
emphasized that we should be malleable and flexible not only with the programs
that we create, but also with the development of our careers as emerging arts
administrators. Many of the panelists suggested that we keep an open mind and
take advantage of new opportunities that may come our way, even if it requires
stepping out of our comfort zone a bit.
How has the microgrant helped to enrich you professionally?
The ARAD microgrant enabled me to participate in the DaCapo Intensive which was extremely beneficial to gain insight about working in the field. During the two-day intensive, I was able to network with fellow arts administration students, arts professionals from different arts organization around the country, including staff from the Metropolitan Opera Guild. The workshop gave me additional perspectives about topics that I am learning about in my classes. At this early stage in my education, I think it is very important to gain as much insight about working in the field as I can, so that I am better prepared for my future career.
Thank you so much for taking the time to follow up with us, Angelica. We look forward to the ways in which you will integrate these new learnings and insights into the ARAD community!