Mari Ogino graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Following graduation, she held positions at a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, the FIDM Museum, and the Wildwoods Foundation. Additionally, she volunteered with Oakgrove as the event and site coordinator. Mari is researching visible and invisible barriers that prevent some children from accessing arts education. She also advocates to make arts education accessible to all children. Arts accessibility is the driving force behind her decision to pursue an M.A. in Arts Administration; she wants to ensure that arts programs are fully funded and sustainable.
Jade Ong graduated from Tufts University with B.A.s in Clinical Psychology and Art History. In her undergraduate years, she worked in neurology research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and studied the neuropsychological basis of creativity at Harvard. Prior to joining the Arts Administration program, she worked at Christie’s doing auction consignments and sales, lot evaluation, research, and events planning. She currently serves as the co-president of Student Advocates for the Arts at Columbia, and is a member of the Acquisitions Committee at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. Jade is originally from Singapore, and is fluent in both Mandarin and English.
Kelly Olshan graduated Valedictorian from UNC Asheville, where she received her BFA in Painting and a minor in business management. Her thesis, a solo exhibition and associated research paper, received national recognition. As an undergraduate, she served as President of the University’s arts organization, where she managed student exhibitions, coordinated guest speakers, and organized other arts-related events. Before enrolling in the Arts Administration program, she served as the Local Arts Advancement intern for Americans for the Arts. As both an arts administrator and practicing artist, Kelly owns and manages her own fine art business. After graduation, she is invested in establishing more fiscal and educational resources for contemporary artists.
Sara Smigen is a 2012 cum laude graduate of Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Voice) and a business minor. After college she worked for Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre in Schenectady and Albany, New York where she worked her way up from intern to Marketing Account Manager. While there some of her favorite duties were designing and coordinating commercial and video shoots, season brochures, and managing subscription campaigns. With her performance background in opera and voice, Sara is particularly interested in building a stronger bridge between opera and musical theatre audiences. She hopes to work in management and season planning for a multidisciplinary performing arts organization.
Mary Angelo is a graduate of Idyllwild Arts and holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. Mary served as Resident Choreographer for the Red House Arts Center in Syracuse and received a Gregory Award Nomination for her work on HAIR! at Arts West Playhouse in Seattle. Her company, Angelo Dance Project has performed in Dumbo Dance Festival, Young Choreographers Festival and Dancing Under the Stars Festival. As an administrator she has worked with organization including Creative Outlet Dance Theater, Art Directors Club, Citi Habitats, and Red Bull North America. Mary is currently interning at New York City Center in the Programming office.
Originally from China, Lu Meng is a 2015 graduate of University of California, Berkeley. She was the Art Practice Undergraduate Honors Studio awardee. Prior to joining the Arts Administration M.A. program at Columbia, Lu held internships with Art Front Gallery in Singapore, Today Art Museum in Beijing and China Guardian Auctions in Beijing. She also volunteered at Asian Art Museum at San Francisco. Lu is interested in the managerial side of visual arts and online art trading platform. She also has great enthusiasm for East Asian Art and Ceramics.
Yukino Kondo is a 2014 graduate of Ithaca College, with degrees in theatre studies and integrated marketing communications. She is currently interning with LaPlaca Cohen, an advertising agency that exclusively serves the creative and cultural sector. Before coming to the ARAD program, she completed a season long management fellowship and a summer long community engagement internship at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Previously, she has completed internships at the Hangar Theatre, AKA UK, and Pilobolus Dance Theatre, for whom she currently does some freelance graphic design work. Her passion for all forms of performing arts and an interest in marketing has led her to pursue a career in arts administration, and she hopes to work in management for a large-scale performing arts organization.
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.
Having recently completed her master’s thesis, Alexis Yuen shares some insight into her topic and her writing process.
ART MUSEUM CAPITAL PROJECTS IN NEW YORK CITY: THE DUAL ROLE OF ART MUSEUMS AS ECONOMIC DRIVERS AND COMMUNITY ANCHORS
By Alexis Yuen
Abstract: Following the success of Guggenheim Bilbao in northern Spain, cities around the world established new cultural centers as a means of economic improvement. Meanwhile, directors of New York City art museums invested in high-budget capital projects in order to accommodate to the changing role of museums and respond to increasing international competition. In this thesis, I will provide a comprehensive critique surrounding the capital projects of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Queens Museum; and Whitney Museum of American Art. Leaders of these museums have stated serving and engaging their communities as one of their capital projects’ goals. Through examining each museum’s stipulated goals, defined communities, level of engagement with their communities in relation to their capital projects, and project outcomes, I argue that there is an overall mismatch between the stipulated goals of art museum capital projects and their project outcomes. This mismatch illustrates the widening gap between the dual role of art museums as economic drivers and community anchors. As museum directors seek to manage the multiple and often conflicting roles of art museums, I make recommendations on how they can be more strategic in their goals, realistic in their outcomes, and creative in their funding and engagement models.
What is your thesis about? A comprehensive critique surrounding decisions made by leaders of the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Queens Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art during their capital projects from 2013-2015; and how these decisions reflect on art museums’ dual roles as economic drivers and community anchors today.
What inspired you to research and write about this topic? I’ve always been fascinated by museum architecture, particularly in the way it changes the art-seeing experience for museum visitors and non-visitors. When the new Whitney first opened in 2015, I was intrigued by the museum’s stipulated goals in community engagement in Meatpacking, Chelsea, and Greenwich Village. However, I was skeptical of the project’s effectiveness and therefore began speaking to community members to get their perspectives on the Whitney’s move.
How do you hope your research will contribute to the arts administration field? I hope that as arts administrators think about museum buildings creatively, they will also push boundaries in thinking about museum programming and funding models creatively to reflect the changing role of art museums.
What advice would you give to ARAD students just beginning the process of writing their theses? Conduct preliminary interviews and share your ideas before drafting your proposals.
For access to the full paper, please contact the ARAD program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Describe your final semester as an ARAD student. This was the most unpredictable semester I had in grad school because I didn’t pursue a regular internship. I tried to get out more to experience cultural organizations I hadn’t been to yet. After submitting my thesis I felt like I could really focus on the city and getting as much out of it as I could.
Did you work on any major projects/papers this semester? Our Business Policy and Planning projects were deep dives into consulting that really helped us look at a problem and come up with a variety of ways to solve it in the real world. I also really enjoyed a “Portrait of a Leader” project from an elective class because I interviewed Rachel Goslins, a role-model of mine. She’s been an inspiration to me for the past year and a half and totally validates having more than one career.