Student Advocates for the Arts, Covid-19 and the National Arts Action Summit 

For the past five years, Student Advocates for the Arts has attended the nation’s largest arts advocacy event: the National Arts Action Summit and Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. This year, one of the largest SAA groups, composed of eleven members from across the Arts and Humanities department, was due to attend the summit from March 28-31.

To support our participation, we received an ARAD microgrant for our registration fees and accomodation in Washington D.C. We are grateful for the program’s support of our members, many of whom would not have been able to participate in the planned summit without these funds. Early in March, however, the COVID-19 crisis changed our plans. 

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TC ARAD Alumni Stay Connected!

On February 25th, ARAD was delighted to welcome alumni from across the years to its annual mixer. This year it was held in midtown NYC, and hosted by Dr. Gemma Mangione, the ARAD Program Director and the Alumni Relations Office. We caught up over drinks and apps in the evening of camaraderie – sharing in each other’s careers, lives, and memories of the program.
Thank you to all who joined us. We hope to see you and more of our alumni next year! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this slide show of photos taken from the event.
A warm thank you goes out to Alyssa Yuen (ARAD ’16), the assistant director of Alumni Relations, and to the ARAD staff for organizing this event.

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ARAD Holiday Project Spreads Cheer to Two Arts Organizations

Last fall, the students in the Arts Administration Program’s Service Corp worked diligently to make our annual Holiday Service Project a success.

This year, the ARAD Service Corps included Sabrina Chen, Christine Chuang, Cornelia Clay, Lulu Feng, Richard Mayer, Isabella Rivera, and Monika Xu, who, with support from ARAD staff, Jessie Young and Katarina Wong, spearheaded a bake sale fundraiser. In addition, they organized the December Holiday Service Event, which brought students, staff, and faculty together for an evening of camaraderie as we assembled 45 gift bags for Art Start students and their families.

Through the ARAD Service Corps efforts, we received in-kind donations from Dunkin’ Donuts and Joe Coffee for a bake sale that raised $300, and a generous gift card from Fairway. The proceeds will support two non-profit arts organization: Art Start brings arts programming to at-risk youth. Art Start kids live in city shelters, on the streets, are involved in court cases, or surviving with parents in crisis; and Every Voice Choirs, which is housed here at TC and helps young people ages 7-16 discover their voices and share them with pride.

This was the second year that our Holiday Service Project was led by ARAD students. Through the Service Corps, students have the opportunity to manage a multi-faceted project, apply what they learned academically, and build their professional skills.

As first-year ARAD student Cornelia Clay noted, “By soliciting donations for the holiday service project, I was able to implement a concept from our Support Structures class, namely that it becomes simple to ask for support for a project when you can demonstrate the project’s impact, value, and importance—and even more so when you believe in those things yourself! Asking Fairway for a donation was a good start, because they had donated before. Their participation gave me more confidence to approach Joe Coffee for a donation of in-kinds goods to our bake sale. Expressing not only why the project was worthy of support but also my own enthusiasm for the potential impact of the proposed donations was effective, and we were delighted they decided to participate.”

ARAD extends its gratitude to our Service Corps members and acknowledges the hard work and creativity that made our project another success! For those who attended the event, donated, and/or supported our bake sale, thank you for helping us bring some holiday cheer to those in our community in need.

Check out some of the photos from the ARAD Holiday Service Event below.


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Microgrant Recipient: Student Advocates for the Arts and their contribution to the exhibition: “Where We’re From.”


Student Advocates for the Arts, in collaboration with the ARAD program, Gottesman Libraries, the Office of Diversity and Community Affairs, the Chinese Calligraphy Club, Nayion Design, and Dorsey Photos, hosted the opening reception of the Offit Gallery exhibition: “Where We’re From.”


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Quanice Floyd, guest speaker for the ARAD Fall 2019 Internship Fair, shares her professional experience with students

By Kamra Hakim, ARAD Professional Development Coordinator

On Monday, October 28, the Arts Administration program was pleased to host Quanice Floyd, founder of the Arts Administrator of Color Network, as the keynote speaker before the 2019 Annual ARAD Internship fair.

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“We Are Citizens of the World:” Dael Orlandersmith on Racial Profiling in Theater

By Carolina Ide (ARAD ‘20)

Co-sponsored by the Arts Administration program at Teachers College and the School of the Arts Theatre Program at Columbia University, actress, playwright and poet Dael Orlandersmith recently presented new work. This was followed by a Q&A moderated by Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer-winner (Sweet, Ruined) and Associate Professor of Playwriting in the School of the Arts.

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An Interview with Professor Jennifer Lena on her new book, Entitled

Earlier this month, TC ARAD Associate Professor Jennifer C. Lena released her new book Entitled: Discriminating Tastes and the Expansion of the Arts. She answered a few questions about the work, with which we are thankful to share.

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Spreading Cheer: ARAD Holiday Service Project 2018

The Arts Administration Program (ARAD) held its annual Holiday Service Project on December 4th. The event included a joyous performance by Spark Notes, TC’s a cappella group, and included Mari Takeda (ARAD ’20), and together we created two dozen gift bags filled with art supplies for the Art Start children and another 15 for their mothers.

This was the first year that ARAD students managed the project, and we want to extend our gratitude to, and acknowledge the hard work and creativity of, the ARAD Service Corps – Nadine Baldasare, Tia Bangura, Monica Chen, Nicole Chen, Ulrike Figueroa Vilchis, Gaosong Heu, Carolina Ide, Sarah Lamade, Sarah Leary, Sunny Leerasanthanah, Jessica Liu, Carolina Luna, Ian Prince, Yuhe Ren, Morgan Sapp, Mari Takeda, Taffe Tang, Tingjun Wang, Melissa Weisberg, Camille Weisgant, Phoebe Yin, and Megan Zhang.

Through their efforts, we received in-kind donations from Target, Paper Source, and Janoff’s Stationery for Art Start, an organization that brings arts programming to at-risk youth living in city shelters, on the streets, or surviving with parents in crisis. We also received a keyboard stand and the shoe company Bloch donated 150+ ballet shoes for the National Dance Institute, which uses dance and music to engage public school children and their communities to motivate them to strive for their personal best. We also raised $500, which will be split between the two organizations.

Tia Bangura (ARAD ’20) served on the Partnership Development Committee and was responsible for choosing arts organizations and acquiring donations. The Partnership Development Committee chose Art Start and National Dance Institute (NDI).  As Tia describes, she contacted and established a relationship with Bloch, who donated dance shoes to NDI.

“From start to finish, I communicated with both of my contacts at Bloch and NDI to make sure everything went smoothly. When it came time to deliver the donations, I felt proud knowing that this project would have a positive effect on this arts organization. I know I couldn’t accomplish as much working on my own, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to build ties among many partners to maximize our impact.”

This was an opportunity for ARAD students to manage a multi-faceted project and build their professional skills. As Tia says, “During my first semester as an ARAD student, helping organize the Holiday Service Project was a valuable out-of-the-classroom learning opportunity. Initially, I wanted to volunteer to become more familiar with my classmates and the local neighborhood. though now I feel that I’ve accomplished so much more and walked away with some experience securing in-kind donations for nonprofit organizations. The Holiday Service Project, along with the Support Structures course, only confirmed my interests in fundraising and development. I look forward to learning more about this aspect of the art world and contributing my skills and insights.”

For those who attended, thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to help us bring some holiday cheer to those in our community in need.


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Reflections on the Culture Business Conference in NYC

A post crafted by Caitlin Green, ARAD ’19

Agenda, a consulting agency based in Paris, hosts conferences around the world to connect leaders in the arts and culture with each other to share the best ideas. They launched their Culture Business conference in after the 2008 financial crisis to reenergize fundraising professionals and find ways to confront new challenges. Agenda has hosted Culture Business around the world, including in Paris, Madrid, Sydney, and Melbourne. Last month, the conference came to New York. ARAD students and recent alumni attended the two-day conference at the Jewish Museum and Museum of the City of New York. Here are their reflections:


Nadia Kyne ‘18

As a Canadian, I was especially fascinated to hear the international perspective that the Culture Business Conference’s speakers brought to their discussions of organizational advancement. For example, one standout panel featured Silvia Melchior of the English National Ballet, Hanne Støvring of the American Friends of the National Gallery of Denmark, Daphne Butler Birdsey from the Metropolitan Museum, and Alison Wright from the National Gallery of Australia. It was fantastic to hear these four dynamic leaders speak candidly about the challenges and successes of their own fundraising work, and more broadly discuss the philanthropic trends that they are observing in a global context.


Carolina Cambronero-Varela ‘19

Several presenters mentioned the need for arts organizations to be emphatic about the artistic value that they can provide while also maximizing fundraising efforts from that perspective. For example, Ms. Sonia Higgins from Vievero Consulting explained that we need to build partnerships (not monetary exchanges) with shared agendas, combined resources, risks and rewards. We are not building commerce but rather social impact!


Emily Lin ‘18

I am inspired by Elizabeth Dobrska from TUGG to think of new ways to engage new audiences through corporate sponsorships. Like board members, corporations are not only able to provide financial support, but they can also connect organizations to communities that they otherwise lack resources to reach out to. It was suggested that organizations be more flexible in designing programs, in collaboration with corporations, that cater to the needs of specific communities.




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Evy Li ‘18

During the World Café session, the discussion for “how do you bounce back from a ’No’?” was very inspiring. There are several steps:

  1. Re-check the content and format of the applications
  2. Check the feedback
  3. Keep the communication open, always ask the next question
  4. Invest time in communicating with the personal assistant of CEO/manager – personal assistants are the most important gate keeper of the application (People at my tables, who are all very experienced, all strongly agree on this point)
  5. Every “No” is a step closer to “Yes”

During the panel for Art of International Giving, I was very inspired to hear the situations about patron trips. The Met approaches international patrons by personalizing conversations. Instead of saying, “you can make a bigger contribution”, they ask “which curator do you want to meet next?” Eventually patrons will make contributions. Trips don’t need to always be art-related. Instead of going to Basel, they arrange trips to local hospitals, creating meanings for patrons that are not to be bragged about, but are truly meaningful and memorable.




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Caitlin Green ‘19

One of the themes that became clear to me is that fundraising is about more than just focusing on the donor. Gary Stoppelman of Newfields explained how changing their mission to being people-focused and growing overall attendance inspired their core supporters. They were excited to see community members enjoying the organization they loved so much. Kendra Foley (an ARAD alumna!) of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Garrett Gin of Bank of America showed that corporate donors can become engaged with innovative programs that had a tangible impact.




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Agenda has posted many of the presentations here and made available notes from the conference.

Select photos courtesy of