Arts Administration Announces Inaugural Microgrant Recipients

PRINT LOGO (THREE COLOR)The M.A. Program in Arts Administration (ARAD) at Teachers College, Columbia University is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Microgrant for student professionalization.

Through the newly-initiated Microgrant Program, ARAD proudly supports student professionalization activities on campus and beyond. This award champions special projects proposed by Teachers College student groups (with ARAD student membership), as well as conference attendance for individual students in the ARAD program. Applications were invited through an open call process, and vetted by an ARAD faculty and staff selection committee.

ARAD congratulates the following student groups and individuals on their 2015-16 academic year awards:

Continue reading “Arts Administration Announces Inaugural Microgrant Recipients”

Event News: Student Advocate for the Arts-Reflecting on the Hill

unnamedJoin Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA) this upcoming Tuesday as they discuss their recent trip to Washington, DC for Arts Advocacy Day. Come learn more about the organization, what they did in DC, and how you can help advocate for the arts!

Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
Location: Zankel 109

“Creative Calling: Managing the Arts”- ARAD Alumni Panel on April 11th

The Arts Administration (ARAD) Program and Alumni Committee invite you to attend this year’s alumni panel, ‘Creative Calling: Managing the Arts,’ hosted during Teachers College’s Academic Festival!

Creative Calling: Managing the Arts
2:30pm – 3:30pm
Saturday, April 11th 2015
Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-sponsored by the ARAD Program and Alumni Committee
Click here to RSVP
Free for current students!Moderator: 
Priya Sircar, 2011
Senior Consultant, Lord Cultural Resources

Daniel Gallant, 2004
Executive Director, Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Javier Iturralde de Bracamonte, 2010
Founder & Global Managing Director, Visionaer Consulting
Alison Kaplan, 1992
AMK Management and Consulting, Lead Consultant
Leigh Ross, 2012
Program Associate, Hive Digital Media Learning Fund at New York Community Trust
Michiko Simanjuntak Grasso, 2001
Director of Individual Giving, Japan Society


In order to respond to the challenges and responsibilities facing the arts, an arts manager must have an amalgam of managerial and financial skills, an investment in ethical and policy issues, a broad knowledge about artistic disciplines, an awareness of community dynamics, a commitment to education and a sensitivity to the artist and the artistic process. But how does this translate professionally? This alumni panel will explore various paths taken and the skills employed for a successful career as an Arts Administrator.

Faculty News: Prof. Jennifer Lena on US Cultural Engagement with Global Muslim Communities

GIA Reader cover from artist Nicholas Galanin (b. 1979, Sitka, Alaska)

ARAD’s own Dr. Jennifer Lena recently published an article titled “US Cultural Engagement with Global Muslim Communities: Contours and Connections in an Emerging Field” with co-author Erin Johnston. The article, released in the Winter 2015 edition of GIA Reader, looks at the challenges Muslim artists experience when producing art to engage US audiences. In addition to surveying the difficulties the field faces, the authors also note that these challenges highlight opportunities for future cross-cultural exchanges, collaborations, and expansions of Muslim/Islamic art in the United States.

To read the full article, click here!

Event News: “Building Bridges: Museums, Communities and Latin American Art”

unnamedJoin the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) at Teachers College, Columbia University as they discuss the intersection between museums, education and diverse communities in their upcoming event, “Building Bridges: Museums, Communities and Latin American Art.” This talk is part of the organization’s “Serie en Conversaciones.”

Given the increasing international recognition of Latin American art and its presence in collections and exhibitions in local art museums, this panel seeks to explore the connection between museums and its surrounding diverse communities, the societal influence of museums that exhibit Latin American art, and the role of these museums in promoting cultural diversity. Our featured guests include Remei Capdevila from El Museo del Barrio and Nung-Hsin Hu from Queens Museum, who will engage in a conversation moderated by Teachers College faculty member, Olga Hubard.

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015
Location: 138 Horace Mann, Teachers College
Time: 7:00 pm

Free admission

Distinguished Speaker Series: Sitting Down with Hyperallergic

“Throughout the conversation, the speakers dispelled the myth of art administration being glamorous and aesthetic-driven frivolity. Rather, the founders of Hyperallergic are motivated by something more meaningful—social justice, freedom of expression, and nurturing an arts ecosystem that appeals to the average citizen.”

The ARAD program was recently featured on the Arts and Humanities website for the first Distinguished Speaker Series of the academic year. This talk, planned and facilitated by 2nd year ARAD student Meghana Karnik, featured Veken Gueyikian and Hrag Vartanian of Hyperallergic, an online arts publisher.

For the original post, please check out the Teachers College Arts and Humanities blog here.

Fall Internship Symposium Success!

ARAD students are definitely hard-working and passionate about their interests here at TC! In addition to their coursework, students take part in at least one internship during their time in the program.

This last fall, students in registered internships participated in a Symposium with a formal presentation of the internship experience. This semester-long, 320-hour commitment is set at an organization the student would like, in the visual or performing arts, or even other areas within the non-profit and for-profit sectors.The Symposium served as a platform for students to synthesize their internship engagements into a cohesive demonstration of their individual education objectives, providing a greater understanding of how the internship program enriches classroom academics and aids in professional development. Students, faculty, staff, and previous and potential internship supervisors attended and enjoyed the wonderful presentations.

Stay tuned for information about our upcoming Spring Symposium!

Holiday Party in Harlem

ARAD students, faculty, and staff came together to enjoy food, drinks, and great conversation for their annual holiday party. This year, the event took place in central Harlem, a New York neighborhood famed for its unique blend of arts, music, food, and culture. Taking advantage of this thriving arts and music scene located so close to Columbia, the party was held at Harlem Tavern, a restaurant and beer garden located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Those there were able to listen to live music while eating great food and engaging in lively discussion.

SAA Members Go To Washington

By Alyssa Foster

Current ARAD Student, Arts & Humanities Writer


On March 24th and 25th this semester five Arts Administration representatives from the Students for Arts Advocacy (SAA) group traveled together to Washington D.C. to attend the annual conference on arts rights and regulations. Hosted by Americans for the Arts, the conference known as National Arts Advocacy Day included two days of workshops and seminars on an array of topics from arts education policy to nonprofit tax benefits and charitable grant funding.

“I attended the 2014 Arts Advocacy Day as an observer and without pre-conceived expectations,” says Nana Lee, SAA member and first year MA student in the ARAD program. “The experience was eye-opening regarding advocacy preparation, training sessions and on-site advocacy improvisation.”

The conference provided an opportunity for students and current arts administrators to meet with politicians and learn the tools used by advocacy groups today. Not all of the speakers turned on their charm.

“The atmosphere of the advocates was as expected – active and sincere, but I was not satisfied with the politicians,” explains Xiaobei Jia, also an SAA member and first year ARAD student. “The advocates were friendly and devoted in the conference, but sometimes I felt they were more interested in promoting their own organizations, not advocating for the arts in a broader sense.”

On the first day of the conference, the SAA members attended a training called the Congressional Visit Role Demonstration during which the conference participants were asked to assume the role of politicians to simulate the conversations on Capitol Hill that they would facilitate with actual congressmen the following day. The following day, however, their role playing proved more substantive than the reality.

“Our team had been assigned seven congressmen,” recounts Xiaobei “only one congressman would meet us in person. . . He seemed in a hurry, so every time we spoke he showed impatience and stopped us several times. He was more interested in letting us know his achievements in advocating for the arts in New York, rather than listening to our opinions.”

The conference included a series of sessions at which key Capitol Hill staff members and high profile advocates complemented the statistical data presented with their anecdotal discussions.

“I would say the highlight was the evening at the Kennedy Center,” recalls Xiaobei. “The talks delivered by Maureen Dowd and Alec Baldwin were so interesting and witty, totally different from the daylong training.

“The most memorable session was the Legislative and Political Update,” reminisces Nana,” in which a staff member of Louise Slaughter gave an attitudinal profile and voting history analysis of the members on the hill and among the administration. The session provided behind-the-scenes information that gave the most up-to-date information.”

Since the conference was cosponsored by over 85 arts organizations from around the country, the students met with advocates from all corners of the United State which gave them a fuller perspective on the current state of arts funding and resources available.

“I feel the current state of the arts in the US now is developing on a healthy track,” says Xiaobei. “There are problems, for example, insufficient funding, not implementing art as part of the Common Core, tax issues with the artists and difficulties in cultural exchange. But I could see people are trying to solve the problems: the advocates coming from almost every state in the US, organized by Americans for the Arts, united to make their voices heard.”

“My impression is that funding for the art is deeply associated with budget appropriation and authorization,” describes Nana, “which is beyond the mere attitudinal question of being ‘supportive’ or not. It is a mixture of rather complicated political concerns, especially when the impact of any law or bill will effect more than just the arts.”

The National Arts Advocacy Day conference has given the participants fresh ideas for the future of their own SAA group, and also on how the conference itself could better serve the needs of advocates nationally.

“Very little information was provided in the conference on the methodology of how the annual asks for the Advocacy Day were formulated,” muses Nana. “As art administrators, and in the hope of becoming more effective advocates, it is important to know the mechanism behind how the asks were compiled each year. What SAA can do on a regular basis is to provide a transparent conversation channel with the Americans for the Arts before the actual Advocacy Day to provide a more comprehensive picture of the advocacy currently at work.”

“I hope our SAA group will actively reach out to make connections with other student organizations, collaborate with school departments, and even city, state, and federal-level organizations related to the arts,”says Xiaboei. “The different subcommittees of the SAA are working on this to promote our group, and try to make our voice heard.

“It was definitely a precious journey,” concludes Nana about the conference, “that gave first-hand experience on how regular, long-term dialogue and monitoring mechanisms are enabled by advocacy groups.”

“I also hope the SAA group is actively involved in the Arts Advocacy Day every year,” adds Xiaobei,” that would be a precious experience for future arts administrators.”


By Alyssa Foster

Arts & Humanities Writer

ARAD Extraordinaire: Juliana Driever

By Alyssa Foster

Current ARAD student, A&H Staff Writer


Adjunct faculty member for The City University of New York, writer, curator, and alumna of Columbia University’s Department of Art History and Archaeology, Juliana Driever has joined the staff of TC this semester as the new Internship Coordinator for the Arts Administration (ARAD) program. Most departments at TC require their students to gain experience by teaching in schools throughout the city. In comparison, ARAD students are required to spend at least one semester working within an arts organization of their choosing. Whether pursuing a development position with a philharmonic society or a marketing job at a museum, Juliana’s role is to guide the ARAD students in finding educational internships that will mutually benefit both their needs and those of the organization. Juliana’s rich experience working in commercial and nonprofit art sectors since graduating from Columbia make her an ideal counsellor for aspiring arts administrators. Especially as she continues to curate exhibitions to extend her research and passion.

Last Fall Juliana curated the “About, With & For” exhibition at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA). The exhibition held in the Mills Gallery was a highly inclusive event for the artists and visitors, and focused on the theme of social engagement by featuring participatory art: art with a practical, sometimes utilitarian purpose. Much more than a standard gallery viewing, the exhibition was accompanied by a series of performances that included the contributions of musicians, visual artists, puppeteers, builders and fixers.

This Mills Gallery exhibition tried Howard Becker’s theories on separating art from craft, while inciting a reversal of Boston’s cultural progression as outlined by Paul DiMaggio. But these tenets of arts administration were indirectly challenged to the betterment of Boston’s once highly elite Brahmin society. Juliana emphasizes that she looks beyond binaries such as the insider/outsider, or high/low-brow art, to design exhibitions that are expansive. “It’s true,” she states, “that some of the works in the exhibition might not fit the traditional ways of thinking about high-toned ‘art,’ though common everyday objects and imagery have been making their way into canonical, western art history for decades.” While not intended to challenge the community’s ideas about what should or even does constitute art, undertones alluding to the current elasticity of how art is defined echo throughout the gallery.

When asked about her creative inspiration over the two years of preparation for the BCA’s “About, With & For”, Juliana mentions that “the process of designing the programming grew out of the works themselves.” Complementary events held over the course of the exhibition, such as “Fixing Sessions with the Fixers Collective,” and “Singing Pictures with Clare Dolan” were scheduled as a means to more fully bring components of the collaborative displays to life. Encouraging community participation and collective interaction, the exhibition was successful in nurturing artistic engagement in ways that many organizations strive for yet fall short of accomplishing. Juliana firmly believes that “the job of artists, curators, and any cultural producer is to hold a mirror up to the public their work engages.” She was very pleased that the exhibition succeeded in being a true reflection of the Boston community.

As an arts administrator, Juliana describes herself as hopping “from project to project,” which can prevent anyone from being “really engrained in the cultures of the organizations that you work with.” Some administrators aspire to bond with and dedicate themselves to the mission of a single organization, whether a start-up that exemplifies their vision or an established multi-disciplinary behemoth. But getting a taste of multiple artistic organizations can enrich the professional perspective of all administrators.


– More information about Juliana’s “About, With & For” exhibition can be found in the archives of the BCA.