Meet Alise Pundure, ARAD’s new Social Media Coordinator

ARAD is delighted to welcome Alise Pundure as our new Social Media Coordinator. Learn more about Alise, her goals for her new role, and what she does outside of TC.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What was your undergraduate degree focused on?

I grew up in Riga, Latvia, where my parents exposed me to arts and culture from a very young age. I moved to the U.S. in 2017 to begin my studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia. In 2021, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment and Arts Management and a Minor in Business Administration. 

What previous experiences have led you to your current role?

In the past, I have had internships and work experiences in communications, marketing, and project management. In 2019, I interned at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, which houses one of the largest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings in America and is one of my favorite places in the world! The next summer, I returned home to Latvia, where I was the communications intern at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. Most recently, I had the opportunity to manage the projects of a Latvian VR technology startup working with different cultural organizations. 

How have those experiences informed your current professional path?

During my undergraduate studies, I took courses in marketing, graphic design, and photography, which shaped my interest in digital marketing and communications. At the Barnes Foundation, I gained experience in writing copy and developing marketing materials. At the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga, I created a successful Instagram campaign for an art exhibition. During my time at Drexel University, I oversaw a team of writers for the Her Campus online publication. Last year, I independently organized a virtual art exhibition and created content for its Instagram and Facebook accounts to reach a wide international audience. All these experiences have helped me develop a passion for digital content creation. After graduating from the ARAD program, I hope to manage marketing and communications at an art museum.

What are you looking forward to in taking on this role?

Now, when so much of our time is spent online and we see an overabundance of digital content every day, I aim to create social media content that is meaningful and engaging. I hope to bring ARAD’s community closer together and highlight the accomplishments of our students and alumni. My goal is to show how supportive and inspiring this community is because this is how I have experienced it during my first semester as an ARAD student!

What do you do outside of your time at TC?

In my free time, you can find me exploring the city and taking pictures. I love street photography, and New York is one of the best cities in the world for capturing fascinating shots. I also love exploring the city’s many museums and going to Broadway shows. Finally, I enjoy going jogging in the beautiful Riverside park right next to campus.

Alise Katrina Pundure is currently pursuing her M.A. in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, Honors with Distinction from Drexel University with a B.S. in Entertainment and Arts Management in 2021. She has interned in art museums in the U.S. and Latvia, and most recently she worked for a Latvian immersive technology startup. Her professional interests include marketing, fundraising, and digital technology in arts organizations.

Alumni Spotlight: Carolina Cambronero-Varela, Co-Producer of “Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation”

What is your role in working with Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation? How did Artivism begin and how did it become a multi-institutional collaboration?

Thank you for this opportunity ARAD family, such an honor to be back home!

My motto goes: Trust engenders opportunities; opportunities: a dignified life. This motto describes what is happening with this ongoing endeavor, the cumulative labor of love of many.

The initiative Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation emerged from the book Illuminations of Social Imagination, which flourished from the event Liberating Imagination Through Artistic Activism, and the exhibition Brave Spaces: Where You, Me and We Meet. This event and exhibition were made possible via Columbia University’s Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA) in collaboration with New York University’s Advocates for Cultural Engagement (ACE). Thank you SAA then fellow board members Lauren Williams and Ulrike Figueroa Vilchis and ACE president Briana Zimmerman. Much gratitude also to Ms. Katarina Wong, Dr. Gemma Mangione, Dr. Jennifer Lena, all SAA sponsors, and collaborators.

As a note to current ARAD students, SAA has enormous potential. In my previous interview, I mentioned that teamwork, dedication and discipline, with a little sacrifice, are all you need as the infrastructure for your dreams. Go get them!!

Thank you God and all that have made this evolution possible. As you can imagine, collaboration is the key in building this robust network of what is now Artivism. Immense gratitude to you all for your trust!

Because of this book’s collaborative spirit, featuring 15 authors and three co-editors, it felt only natural to create a program with the authors, their thought-provoking chapters, and the socially engaged projects they’re involved in. This is how the idea came about with the Gottesman Libraries: How about a year-long Program (Spring-Fall 2021) emphasizing the topic of our recently published book regarding Social Imagination and the arts for social change?

It was thanks to Artivism’s fairy godmother, Ms. Jennifer Govan, Senior Librarian and Director of the Gottesman Libraries, that doors were opened and Artivism grew into what it is today. With her trustful “yes”, we contacted Dr. Christine Riordan, President of Adelphi University, who then connected us with her team, Dr. Stephanie Lake, Professor Argiro Agelarakis, and Sarah Avery from the Criminal Justice Program. In addition, we were also joined by Dr. Inés Archer from Adelphi’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Soon thereafter, Sing for Hope co-founders, Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, saw potential in the idea and became Artivism’s co-collaborators and co-sponsors.

Can you explain what “artivism” is and what it means to you?

Artivism looks to ignite the passion within each of us to be the change agents of our moribund society: with our current resources, where we are. Artivism builds networks of content creation, collaborations, and new ways of thinking as tools to transform systemic societal disjunctives. 

Artivism brings to light how the arts can redress inequities, reflect all voices, and push society forward. This interdisciplinary, multi-institutional collaboration aims to engage people in transforming society through the power of art. The initiative’s vision is to generate a movement where committed social ‘artivists’ are responding to historical global unrest and creating community through multidisciplinary teamwork toward a more dignified and meaningful coexistence.  Artivism hosts presenters and their initiatives from all over the world, encouraging teamwork, working for the common good, and exchanging ideas. Artivism is currently also building its European chapter.

Artivism is the result of dedication, teamwork and reciprocity. Artivism is an example of selfless collaboration for the greater good. To me, this is the objective-solidarity, sharing and being one; one family that cares for each other worldwide in hopes of transforming societal systemic disjunctives.

What initiatives is Artivism currently working on?

Our current season started this past September and will feature an amazing line-up of international presenters, spanning from locations such as Ecuador, Greece, Costa Rica, Russia, the Philippines, Iran, and France. In addition, we are also collaborating with Adelphi University’s “Fall Arts Festival” on October 6th, 2021, with a live roundtable discussion, held in the Olmsted Theater at Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center. Adelphi students are also currently working on creating an official Artivism Club on campus. Our ongoing Student Ambassador Program continues to provide a platform for students to share their voices while also connecting directly with other artivists. This upcoming Spring 2022 season is all lined up and ready to ignite our audiences.

Artivism shows what dedication, teamwork and solidarity can do. It shows how each individual has the means, not in the future but NOW to be the change agent in their current context. By being mindful, attentive, present, and receptive in your everyday activities and taking selfless action, you are everything needed to inspire and transform the status quo, one person at the time- starting with YOU. Now, how are you inspiring others?

Artivism: Nurturing change for a more dignified and meaningful coexistence

Get involved

For more information on Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation, check out the links below.

Carolina Cambronero Varela, M.A. is engaged in community endeavors that promote a better environment and future through the arts and peace education. She believes these are human rights that will guide all, primarily children, to a deeper understanding of the power of transformation that each person has within. Carolina envisions the creation of these opportunities as integral components for a dignified life (please refer to The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, 1966).

While at Columbia University, Carolina was president of Student Advocates for the Arts, co-chair of the Peace Education Network, and program representative in the Arts and Humanities Department Student Council. She also became a member of Kappa Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, Global Citizens Club, and Columbia’s University Life Events Council.

Currently, Carolina co-produces the initiative Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation, an ongoing, multimodal collaboration sponsored by Sing for Hope, Adelphi University and Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College, Columbia University. Artivism aims to generate community through multi-disciplinary teamwork for a more dignified and meaningful coexistence, however you define these terms. The initiative aims to nurture confidence in taking continuous action from wherever you are by means of reciprocity.

Links:

Interview

National Arts Action Summit

From Negative to Positive Event

Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation

Meet Grace J. Choi, ARAD’s new Program Manager

ARAD is delighted to welcome Grace J. Choi as our new Program Manager. Learn more about Grace, her goals for her new role, and what she does outside of TC.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What was your undergraduate degree focused on?

Bay Area woman here! I grew up mainly in Palo Alto, California but also was partially raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where my Korean parents immigrated to as children before moving to the US as adults. After growing as an artist and writer at NYU (I majored in sculpture in the Studio Art program in Steinhardt), my interest in the intersection of the arts and technology developed upon revisiting where I “come from” and how different facets of my experience and upbringing could also be applied to designing learning experiences for others, particularly in cultural institutions.

What previous experiences have led you to your current role? 

Prior to coming to TC as the secretary for the Program in Social Studies at TC, I worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a few years in a specialized team within their Member and Visitor Services Department working closely with VIPs and corporate sponsors, education groups (K-12 and higher ed), and third-party tourism companies as my main three circles of clientele. I then had the pleasure of working with the faculty and staff in the Social Studies program for two and a half years, which really broadened my perspective on higher education settings, the challenges presented to faculty, staff and students alike in an academic structure, and the ongoing question of how to best support students so that they, in turn, can be best equipped to support their own communities.

How have those experiences informed your current professional path?

Leading up to this particular opportunity to work with ARAD as its new Program Manager, I have on multiple occasions revisited what it means to be a part of an ideal academic community. What does a program in that community look, act, and move like? What spaces and opportunities does it provide for students and staff? How are faculty supported in providing their students a robust, challenging and growth-oriented learning experience? In essence, what makes that program unique?

When we consider more community-based aspects of the spaces we inhabit– be they academic, professional, cultural, of any kind– I find that each person brings in such valuable insight because they genuinely care about belonging. Not only as professionals, but also as people and as global citizens. Having worked at a museum and as well as another program at TC beforehand, I find this uplifting– because who are we if we don’t take care of each other and those around us? 

What are you looking forward to in taking on this role?

The people! I consider myself extremely fortunate to join this community of burgeoning interdisciplinary professionals and leaders in the arts. Looking forward to meeting the students and supporting them through their journeys in ARAD and TC!

What do you do outside of your time at TC?

I wish I spent more time painting and drawing (continuing sculpture is just a little hard to do without a studio space), especially in the past year of staying in one place, but in the meantime I’ve also found pockets of peace in fishing in various quiet spots around NYC. I also really enjoy a good book– I’ve been reading Dr. Ruha Benjamin’s Race After Technology after wanting to get my hands on it for a long while, and can’t recommend it enough!

Meet Nigel Finley, ARAD’s new Program Associate

ARAD is delighted to welcome Nigel Finley as our new Program Associate. Learn more about Nigel, his goals for his new role, and what he does outside of TC.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What was your undergraduate degree focused on?

I am originally from South Orange, New Jersey and graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. I earned my undergraduate degree at Rider University in Arts Administration with a theatre emphasis. 

What previous experiences have led you to your current role? 

Prior to Columbia University, I have worked at a multitude of arts and cultural institutions including the Harlem School of the Arts, State Theatre New Jersey, Artworks Trenton, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. In my most recent role as the Development Associate of the Harlem School of the Arts, I was a primary administrative support and frontline fundraiser working directly with senior staff to implement institutional fundraising strategy and goals.

How have those experiences informed your current professional path?

I actually originally entered my college career as a musical theatre major, however, after taking an Intro to Arts Administration class my freshman year, I decided I wanted to broaden my focus and learn how to make an impact both on and off the stage. In that class that I realized how entrenched my life had been in arts and cultural nonprofits and their essential influence on my educational growth. If it wasn’t for the many arts advocates, teachers, and particularly fundraisers in my community working to create access and diverse programming, than I would have missed out on a multitude of formative experiences. For that, I have found a passion for the support and advocacy of arts institutions and their programming.

What are you looking forward to in taking on this role?

I am most excited to be back in a collegiate setting! I think there is something special about the campus atmosphere that sparks inspiration, curiosity, and then discovery. I am excited to be a part of stewarding that experience for the current students at TC’s Arts Administration program. 

What do you do outside of your time at TC?

My interests span from walks in nature or reading random psychology articles, to creating an art piece or performing on stage. However, a large labor of love has been my participation as a founding team member of Aurway Repertory Theatre. Aurway is a network of emerging and professional ARTISTs based out of Newark, NJ, dedicated to the pursuit, presentation, and creation of culturally relevant art through the lens of black and brown people. Through community partnerships, educational workshops, and public performances we create a space for artists and viewers alike to engage in a dialogue on pressing social issues while experiencing an unconventional approach to artmaking and theatrical performance. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!

Nigel Finley is a Harlem-based artist and arts administrator with a background in fundraising and marketing for major NYC and NJ arts and cultural organizations including the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), State Theatre NJ, Artworks Trenton, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). He is also a founding team member at Aurway Inc., a Newark-based repertory theatre company. Nigel graduated from Rider University with a B.A. in Arts Administration with a Theatre emphasis.

Meet Joanna Calhoun, ARAD’s new Social Media Coordinator

ARAD is delighted to welcome Joanna Calhoun (ARAD ’23) as our new Social Media Manager. Learn more about Joanna, her goals for her new role, and what she does outside of TC.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What was your undergraduate degree focused on?

I am from West Monroe, Louisiana and I earned my undergraduate degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Composition and a Minor in Business Management.

What previous experiences have led you to your current role?

At Tulane University, I took classes in performing arts, visual arts, and business management, and I desired to pursue a career path that allowed me to combine all of these passions. During my undergraduate career, I worked with several arts organizations in Louisiana such as the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Make Music NOLA, the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Each one of these roles helped me discover my love for arts administration and social media management.

How have those experiences informed your current professional path?

During my internships, I gained experience in writing blog posts and articles, conducting interviews, photographing events, creating digital content, and managing social media. I believe these experiences have properly prepared me for the position of Social Media Coordinator. I look forward to further developing my current skills as I am interested in pursuing a career in management, marketing, and social media at an arts organization when I graduate.

What are you looking forward to in taking on this role?

As an incoming student to the ARAD Program, I am very excited to get to know my cohort and collaborate with faculty, staff, and alumni! I am looking forward to using my experience and knowledge towards promoting and strengthening the ARAD program and community.

What do you do outside of your time at TC?

I have been a musician my entire life, and my primary instrument is the violin. You can most often find me playing the violin whether it be as a soloist, in a band, or in a symphony orchestra. My other hobbies include drawing and painting, thrifting, and photography. I also love exploring the city and going to new restaurants, museums, and concerts!

Joanna Calhoun is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University. She graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Composition and a minor in Business Management. At Tulane University, she was a classical violinist in the Tulane Symphony Orchestra throughout all her semesters. Joanna’s professional interests center around marketing, communications, social media management, event programming, and arts education.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Dubin

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Dr. Dubin (far right) in Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Dr. Dubin.

ARAD’s own Dr. Dubin took a moment to share with us what he’s been up to while on sabbatical this past year. Dr. Dubin spent time in South Africa, completed a one-month residency at Ucross (an artist/writer retreat in Clearmont, Wyoming), spent 5 weeks in Italy, and completed another one-month residency at the Rockefeller Foundation – sponsored retreat, Bellagio. Following the opening of his photography exhibition in early June, Dr. Dubin will finish his sabbatical with another trip to South Africa before returning to Teachers College for the Fall semester.

Continue reading “Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Dubin”

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”

Faculty News: Prof. Steven Dubin talks “Global Contamination” at TEDxCaserta

16483257581_fcc402cdcb_q“By dredging toxins up to the surface, artists playing in the dirt may cleanse the body politic and allow us to view the world afresh.” -Dr. Steven Dubin

In early February, ARAD program coordinator and professor Dr. Steven Dubin was able to take a break from the cold and dreary New York weather to take part in a TEDx event held in Caserta, Italy. The theme, Global Contamination, brought together a wide variety of speakers from Italy, Sicily, the US, Portugal, and Belarus who presented on topics as diverse as their backgrounds. The mastermind behind this event was none other than ARAD alum Valerio Borgianelli Spina, who graduated from the program in 2007! Continue reading “Faculty News: Prof. Steven Dubin talks “Global Contamination” at TEDxCaserta”

New book series on Culture and Economic Life at Stanford University Press, co-edited by ARAD Professor Jennifer Lena!

The ARAD program congratulates our faculty member, Dr. Jennifer Lena, on a new book series she will be co-editing!

The series, Culture and Economic Life, acts as a forum for discussing the evolution, creation, and consequences of commerce and culture. Current theoretical and empirical debates span a wide variety of topics, and this series seeks to advance and stimulate discussions across these disciplines to provide an interdisciplinary look at how culture and economic life intersect. The series also informs a larger audience of policy and public debates in the for- and not-for-profit sectors.

This great news comes just after Dr. Lena’s book, Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music, was released as a paperback earlier this month.

Congratulations on these achievements, Dr. Lena!

Introducing the ARAD Alumni Committee!

With great pleasure, the ARAD Program and Alumni Committee Co-Chairs announce the inaugural ARAD Alumni Committee! We were thrilled to have received many strong applications for this initiative, including several outstanding candidates for the role of Co-Chair.

The first step in assembling the Committee was determining the second Co-Chair to assist with the selection of the nine remaining committee members. After careful consideration, 2011 graduate Priya Sircar has been appointed to this role. As a senior consultant at Lord Cultural Resources, Priya works nationally on cultural policy and planning initiatives, and she is looking forward to collaborating with ARAD to enrich the experiences of both alumni and current ARAD students.

Together, Co-Chairs Eric, Priya, and Program Manager, Jess reviewed the Committee applications and were gratified to see the dedication and care reflected in these submissions. Assembling an 11-member Committee reflecting the geographic, ethnic, and professional diversity of alumni, inclusive of graduates spanning the 34 years of the Program, was both an honor and a challenge. The resulting committee represents a passionate team, eager to serve the alumni community. The members of the inaugural 2014 Committee are:

                                                                    Shagorica Basu, 2002, California
                                                               Sarah Bolson Barnett, 2008, New York
                                                              Carolyn Charpie Fagan, 2012, New York
                                                                     Daniel Gallant, 2004, New York
                                                       Javier Iturralde de Bracamonte, 2010, New York
                                                                     Alison Kaplan, 1992, New York
                                                          Co-Chair: Eric Oberstein, 2009, North Carolina
                                                                      Yvonne Senouf, 1991, Greece
                                                           Michiko Simanjuntak Grasso, 2001, New York
                                                                 Co-Chair: Priya Sircar, 2011, New York
                                                                Amanda White Thietje, 2008, Minnesota

Please join us in congratulating this talented group of alumni on their new role with the ARAD Program. We welcome their participation and leadership in helping to steer the Program and community towards new heights in the years ahead.
       The Committee looks forward to getting started in service to ARAD alumni and students!