Internship Spotlight: Unleashing 2018

Art is a near constant presence in the halls of Teachers College, but this month a special exhibition, Unleashing, will bring the work of 27 international artists to 21 sites across the campus. To make this possible, ARAD students Emily Pengyuan Lin and JuanCarlos Santos-Andrade have provided extensive support to the exhibition team as interns. Through their internships, they have gained practical experiences that will serve them well as arts administrators.

Emily has coordinated with the artists on tasks ranging from arranging insurance for their pieces to finalizing the wall text that will accompany their work. She is promoting the exhibition and accompanying public programs through social media, media for Teachers College and Columbia students, and sites geared to the New York art world. Her work has also included logistical efforts like scheduling installations and working with Teachers College facilities.emily final

JuanCarlos brought his experience in digital technology to the role and designed the exhibition’s website. He has developed a map that will guide visitors—especially those unfamiliar with Teachers College’s tricky layout—to the exhibition sites scattered throughout the campus. He has also worked on the design of the wall labels and installation logistics for the exhibition.juan carlos final

Unleashing is directed by Richard Jochum and curated by Livia Alexander and Işın Önol. The project is made possible by the Office of the Provost and the Art & Art Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. It will be on display from April 1 – May 31, 2018, at 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027.

Congratulations to Emily and JuanCarlos! We look forward to seeing the results of their hard work as we wander the halls of Teachers College.

jc and emily

Student Shoutout!

17553472_1300572620031654_5500705452051922375_nWe want to congratulate Zamara Choudhary for being been selected for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive and highly selective overseas language and cultural immersion program organized and fully funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. CLS is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity to create a 21st century globalized workforce and increase national competitiveness.

As a recipient of the CLS award, Zamara will spend eight weeks studying Arabic in Tangier, Morocco at the Arab American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM) on the campus of the American School of Tangier. Zamara will use her increased proficiency in Arabic and exposure to Moroccan cultures to facilitate cross-cultural understanding and exchange through arts and culture.

ARAD wishes you all the best as you pursue this exciting endeavor!

Internship Spotlight: ARAD Students at Capacity Interactive

This spring, second year students Maggie Richardson, Avery DeMaria, Sarah Cho and Jana Morimoto are interning at Capacity Interactive, a digital marketing consulting firm specializing in working with arts and culture organizations.


Maggie Richardson

Maggie first started as an intern in summer 2017, and has returned this spring to further develop her skills as a consultant. Maggie will join Capacity Interactive full time as a consultant after graduation—congratulations to Maggie!

Avery and Sarah joined Capacity Interactive as interns in fall 2017, and have also returned this spring. Avery is continuing work as a digital marketing consultant, while Sarah has joined the search team.

Jana Morimoto

Jana began her internship this spring and is enjoying working with fellow arts enthusiasts to provide marketing support to some of her favorite arts organizations.


Capacity Interactive partners with visual and performing arts clients across the country, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Steppenwolf, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Walker Arts Center, and Carnegie Hall. Capacity Interactive offers services in digital advertising, web analytics, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email strategy, and online fundraising. Maggie will join ARAD alumnae Jamie Perutz, Shira Dickstein, and Johnna Fellows Gluth on Capacity Interactive’s staff.


ARAD students often encounter Capacity Interactive in Marketing the Arts, Culture and Entertainment, a Columbia Business School course all ARAD students take during their first semester. Through the course, ARAD and MBA students explore best practices in marketing and work closely with arts organizations to develop strategic marketing plans. Tahra Millan, VP/Chief Marketing Officer at Caramoor, teaches the course. Professor Millan has a special tie to ARAD—she is an alumna! She brings to the course her experiences as a marketing innovator at Caramoor, Blue Man Group, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Broadway League.


Student Spotlight: Haley DeLuca

Haley DeLuca, ARAD ’18, is a graduate of Davidson College, where she majored in Classics with a minor in Theatre. A lifelong musical theatre junkie, she ran her school’s all-girls a cappella group and co-produced Davidson’s first completely student-run musical. As a former actor (not failed, pre-successful), she also knows how to make every drink on Starbucks’ menu. She currently works as a press agent at DKC/O&M, assisting on publicity campaigns for Broadway shows such as School of Rock and Children of a Lesser God, as well as for The Actors Fund.

We sat down with Haley in the Arts Administration Office to hear more about who she is and her perspectives on the ARAD experience – check it out below!

Introduce yourself and share your favorite ARAD and New York City experiences!

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What are three things you can’t live without?

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What is one highlight from completing your degree that you’re proud of?

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Share your experiences of the ARAD program.

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Thanks for spending some time with us Haley!

Chatting with Jodi Mikesell, Fall 2017 Microgrant Recipient


We caught up with our Fall 2017 Microgrant Recipient, Jodi Mikesell.Mikesell

Funding from the ARAD Microgrant supported Jodi’s participation in the Brooklyn Conference at The Brooklyn Museum.


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

The event I attended was The Brooklyn Conference at The Brooklyn Museum. This three-day event centered around inspiring social change through a confluence of art, artists, politics, and social justice. Over three days, many issues were discussed, but of particular interest to me was the topic of shifting institutional priorities- specifically the museum space as a catalyst for social change. The Arts Administration program helped to shape the path of my career by highlighting the important role that museums play in shaping the cultural values of our society. The Brooklyn Conference aligned with those aspirations by providing an in situ experience of how we as administrators can champion and foster social change through the institutional power of the museum.

What were the most important takeaways from your experience?

The biggest takeaway of the conference was the ability to directly align the lessons I had learned in ARAD with their practical, real-life applications within the museum setting. I was also able to attend talks which were both personally fulfilling and beneficial to informing my thesis research, which I am writing on women and museum leadership. Another takeaway was in exploring the role of the artist within society with the artists who strive to create impact and learning strategies we can use to create inclusive and dynamic cultural communities.

How has the microgrant helped to enrich you professionally? 

Over three days and dozens of speakers, I have learned and grown tremendously. Over the weekend I was able to personally engage and network with other socially-minded people within the art world and was able to make new contacts with NYU faculty, independent curators, art teachers, and social activists- all of with whom I have remained in contact. Working toward social change is exhausting and at times, the emotional fatigue can make a person question whether they are up for the challenge- especially during a time of such political contention. Surrounding oneself with people who are actively working toward a common good is profoundly empowering. Knowing that we are all present for the same cause creates an unspoken bond of purpose and opens up channels of communication. I left The Brooklyn Conference feeling a renewed sense of vigor and recharged in my commitment to the work I want to do.


Catching up with Gillian Jakab, Fall 2017 Microgrant Recipient

We caught up with our Fall 2017 Microgrant Recipient, Gillian Jakab.Gillian Jakab Resized

Funding from the ARAD Microgrant supported Gillian’s participation in “Transmissions and Traces: Rendering Dance”, a joint conference held by the Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars at The Ohio State University.


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

I presented a paper at the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) and Congress in Research on Dance (CORD) joint conference “Transmissions and Traces: Rendering Dance,” marking the merger of the two renowned academic organizations into the Dance Studies Association (DSA). The conference was held at The Ohio State University and brought together hundreds of dance scholars from dozens of nations for a three-day event representing the largest gathering of its kind in the field.  The conference was an extraordinary opportunity to share my research on cultural diplomacy during the Cold War.  My research sprung from work I had begun last year as Professor Victoria Phillips’ student in the course “Cold War Public Diplomacy” within Columbia University’s History Department.  I examined the U.S. State Department’s repeated decisions declining the applications of avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham to become part of its overseas Cultural Presentations program in the 1950s and ’60s.  I analyzed the source materials, including the minutes of the State Department Dance Panel, as well as contemporaneous media accounts, and historical treatments to conclude that just as the State Department used the Dance Panel to further its hegemony in the world, so the Dance Panel members used the State Department to maintain their hegemony in the dance world.

More valuable than my own experience presenting as part of a panel, however, was the access to the three days of panels, talks, and workshops with leading scholars and professionals discussing critical issues and new pathways in the field.  The chance to spend quality time with those I know well—Professor Clare Croft of the University of Michigan as well as my colleagues from dance historian Lynn Garafola’s Columbia Dance Studies seminar—was surpassed only by the chance to meet and learn from so many new thinkers and doers.  Scholars and arts organizations have much to learn from one another and I hope to help facilitate that dialogue during my career .


GJakab- conf2What were the most important takeaways from your experience?

One panel I attended titled “Developing American Audiences” extended the concepts of the institutionalization of high culture that ARAD’s Dr. Gemma Mangione introduced in the course “Arts in Context.”  On this panel, Caroline Clark presented her paper “Highbrow Versus Lowbrow: Dance Transmission through Social Agendas in the United States.” Clark drew on the literature we had read of Paul DiMaggio and Lawrence Levine, framing the formation of aesthetic hierarchies within the specific context of dance, as did Judith Hamera in her keynote address “Rehearsal Problems: Gus Giordano’s The Rehearsal, Canonicity, and the Place of the Local in Dance Studies.” I was left with a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which classifications of taste have shaped the dance cannon we generally accept, study, and present.

Another presentation that resonated with my thesis research and topics I’ve encountered through my work at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy was Karima Borni’s paper “From Street to Studio: Muslimness and Masculinity in Moroccan Contemporary Dance Workshops.” In this presentation, Borni sifted through the layers of identity formation in contemporary Moroccan dance and illuminated the power dynamics between local dancers and the predominantly European choreographers who circulate through official performance channels.

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How has the microgrant helped to enrich you professionally? 

The ARAD microgrant helped me participate in an invaluable weekend of conversations surrounding the theme of “transmitting dance”—a topic that spawned a wealth of presentations and workshops connected to my academic and professional interests.  As an aspiring arts professional, I valued the opportunity to meet and hear from others in the field and discuss the challenges of presenting and documenting dance and its history. The conference panels and workshops explored wide-ranging topics in relation to dance such as intellectual property and copyright, authorship/spectatorship, archival projects, education and audience engagement, as well as topics of identity and social justice in dance history and theory.

Student Spotlight: Rob Hansen

Hansen.pngRob graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2012 with first class honours in Musicology. Following that, he worked in artistic administration at both the Australian Youth Orchestra and Gondwana National Choirs, two of Australia’s best training grounds for young musicians. He then spent two years in Strategic Development at the Sydney Opera House, Australia’s busiest performing arts centre, where he worked with a range of stakeholders, primarily on communications and fundraising projects. While at the Opera House, he volunteered as a writer and broadcaster for Sydney’s independent community radio station, FBi Radio, and worked as a professional choral singer. Since moving to Manhattan in 2016, he has been singing regularly with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and has interned in programming at both National Sawdust in Brooklyn and Moogfest in Durham, NC, and in development at The Kitchen in Chelsea.

Tell us more about yourself!


What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

First, I wanted to build on my previous experience in Australia by filling gaps in my knowledge, particularly in governance, business policy and law. Second, I wanted to be in an environment that fostered academic discussion and analysis of major issues facing the arts today, including visiting seminars for leaders in the field. I also saw the Columbia experience as a great way to get a foothold in the busy arts ecosystem of New York, and to be a part of a cohort full of talented and driven aspiring arts workers. I think the academic rigor of this program made it the most obvious choice on all fronts.
What are the three things you need to have on you at all times?
Headphones, a notebook and my phone.
How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?
Beyond the core curriculum which addresses all major facets of the successful operation of an arts organization, I’m able to experience such a breadth of topics across different graduate schools that I know will inform my career— from fundraising to governance, conflict resolution to cultural policy. One highlight has been a graduate historical musicology seminar on early Modernism which has been a great contrast. These choices mean I can develop a robust program of study that offers a variety of perspectives I wouldn’t have necessarily had otherwise, and allows me to focus in on what I want to offer the arts industry.
Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.
Student life in ARAD is busy but rewarding. Between class, readings, essays and internships, we all have lot on our plate, but I’ve found that there comes a certain excitement with that. It’s exciting and stimulating to be busy, which is what life as an arts worker is like. It’s also important to set aside some space for a social life. I’ve found that there’s a great sense of camaraderie amidst the cohort. We are all going through the same busy schedule and looking out for each other. It’s empowering to be surrounded by a group of bright, ambitious people who will become your future colleagues.
What have been some of your favorite cultural experiences in New York City?
Too many to name. The calibre of performance and art here is just incredible, and I try to remind myself of that as often as possible. Australia produces some of the world’s best artists and performers, and many of its major cities have an enthusiastic audience for cultural events, but it is nothing like the variety and the scale of New York. Some favorites include seeing Tristan und Isolde at the Met Opera conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, Pharoah Sanders at Le Poisson Rouge, and Alvin Ailey on New Year’s Eve at the City Center.
What is one topic you have been discussing in Arts Administration classes this week?
I’ve been loving Dr Lena’s class on Diversity in the Arts. So far, we’ve covered some really tough questions about how marginalized identities and under-served communities can be better represented in major arts institutions, and how so much more needs to be done to create a pipeline of workers and artists that better represent their audience and surrounding communities — particularly in New York City.
In your view, who are some of the major influencers working in arts administration right now?
There are so many great leaders to look up to. In New York, three legendary women spring to mind who are guiding institutions through big changes, Deborah Borda (New York Philharmonic), Thelma Golden (Studio Museum in Harlem) and Debora Spar (Lincoln Center). Back home in Sydney, I think both Lisa Havilah, who’s in charge of Carriageworks, a contemporary multi-arts centre, and Louise Herron, who runs the Sydney Opera House, are also doing great work managing a huge array of community stakeholders to sustain their organizations.
What is your professional ambition or dream?
I would love to be working as an Executive Director of a multi-disciplinary arts centre some day.
Who are your three favorite artists, in any medium?
Absolutely impossible to name just three. My tastes are always changing and I’m sure I’ll have a different set of favorites in a couple of weeks. However, three that I’ve been thinking about recently are the trumpeter Donald Byrd, composer Arnold Schoenberg, and Dutch photographer Rineke Djikstra. Also, J.S. Bach. Always Bach.

The Brooklyn Rail: LILI CHOPRA with Gillian Jakab

Gillian Jakab ResizedGillian Jakab is the dance editor of the Brooklyn Rail. Recently, she sat down with Lili Chopra, ARAD 06′ and artistic director of the FIAF, French Institute : Alliance Française to talk about the FIAF’s mission to connect New York and France in an international dialogue on the arts, and on the lines the ‘Crossing the Line’ Festival is intentionally blurring. Check out the full conversation and Gillian’s work!

Recap with Zamara Choudhary, Spring 2017 Microgrant Recipient


We caught up with our Spring 2017 Microgrant Recipient, Zamara Choudhary.

Funding from the ARAD Microgrant supported Zamara’s participation in the National Muslim Women’s Leadership Summit at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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

I attended The National Muslim Women’s Leadership Summit, which empowers over 50 young Muslim women from across the United States to tackle the most pressing issues facing minority communities by bringing them together for an organizing bootcamp weekend at Harvard Kennedy School. The Summit, organized and sponsored by Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), kicked off a year-long fellowship geared toward supporting the participants as they execute their unique projects.

The Summit provided me with a schema and a supportive network to develop Beyond Boundaries, a social media platform to enable those who identify as Muslim women to express themselves through any art form of their choosing. Set to launch in the very near future, the mission of Beyond Boundaries is to foster cross-cultural exchange and understanding by shattering the myth of the monolith and of the passivity of Muslim women.


What were the most important takeaways from your experience?

The Summit distilled within me an overwhelming feeling of reinvigorated passion to effect change in a world that so desperately needs it. Being surrounded by a network of such supportive, dedicated, and motivated individuals makes me believe social justice is not just a buzz phrase or a castle hidden in the clouds amidst a mythical Shangri-La— it is actually possible.


How has the microgrant helped to enrich you professionally?     

Without support from the ARAD microgrant, I would not have had the opportunity to cultivate relationships with a professional network with diverse interests not limited to the arts, law, film, health, and journalism. In such a connected world, I believe we must be open to collaboration with multiple fields in order to optimize the impact of our work as arts administrators.