Arts Administration Alumnus Eric Oberstein is a producer, musician, educator, and arts administrator—and now also a two-time GRAMMY winner. His work as producer on Arturo O’Farrill’s “The Afro Latin Jazz Suite” earned Oberstein and his creative team the award for Best Instrumental Composition at the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards this February. This win closely follows a win for The Offense of the Drum at last year’s ceremony—to read more about that award, click here. Oberstein currently serves as the Associate Director of Duke Performances, as well as co-chair for the recently established Alumni Committee of the Arts Administration Program here at Columbia University. For this interview, Oberstein was able to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions regarding his recent GRAMMY win, his administrative and creative philosophies, and his insights into the field of arts administration.
This February, the ARAD Alumni Committee launched a mentorship program for 2nd-year students. The goal is to build personal and professional connections that give ARAD students an advantage as they leave the program and enter the world of arts administration. Co-presented by the ARAD Alumni Committee, the ARAD Program, and Student Advocates for the Arts, the event Mentoring as Advocacy was the kick-off for the mentorship program where students, faculty, and alumni were able to meet and network.
MENTORING AS ADVOCACY: LAUNCH OF THE ARAD MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Tuesday, February 9, 6-8:30PM
Nuyorican Poets Café, 236 E. 3rd Street, Manhattan
Current student Alyssa Yuen shares her reflection on the event here.
Jamie Perutz graduated from Brandeis University in 2013, where she double majored in Theater Arts and Psychology and minored in Art History. She comes to the Arts Administration program having worked in several arts nonprofits in Boston, including Citi Performing Arts Center and Boston Center for the Arts. She’s particularly interested in digital marketing for multidisciplinary arts nonprofits and is focusing her studies and extracurricular activities on communications. Jamie was recently appointed the Social Media Coordinator for the Arts Administration Program.
By Gina Tribotti
Daniel Gallant is a theatrical producer, playwright, director, teacher, actor, and executive director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Since 1973, the Cafe has operated as a multi-arts and multicultural non-profit organization, presenting poetry, music, hip hop, theater, and education events in New York City’s East Village. The Cafe’s history is chronicled in a new online exhibit from Google Cultural Institute.
Daniel has also recently been awarded a 2016 Eisenhower Fellowship for his work as an arts leader. Eisenhower Fellows travel abroad to meet with experts in their respective fields and deepen their engagement with a global network of leaders. In this interview, we speak with Daniel about the nimbleness of small organizations, the benefits of being an arts omnivore, and the delicate balancing act between artistic creation and arts management.
Michael David Carr – born and raised in Orlando, Florida – holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music. There, he studied voice and trumpet, alongside music composition and theory. He was introduced to venue operations as an assistant to the Operations Director of the school.
After graduating in May, 2013, Michael moved to Manhattan to begin work, first with Carnegie Hall’s Subscription Campaign. Following the 2013-2014 Campaign, Michael decided to seek venues work, and a Graduate degree from Teachers College. In 2014, Michael was hired by Lincoln Center’s Concert Halls, where he now works as a Front-of-House Staff Coordinator.
Blaire Townshend recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in English, Music, and Drama. She has an extracurricular background in both journalism and student theatre, having acted as Editor in Chief of her school newspaper and Executive Producer of a student dramatic society. She spent the past year interning in the Canadian Opera Company’s Education Department, where she helped to produce and promote operatic programming for youth audiences. Blaire’s ultimate objective is to work for musical performing arts organizations in marketing or production, in order to bring the experience of art to as wide an audience as possible.
Anne-Claire Morel is a History of Art graduate (2014) from the University of Cambridge, UK. She obtained a B.A. (Hons) and did her thesis on Marina Abramovic’s presence and image in post-1970s performance art. In order to further develop her interest for the arts, Anne-Claire decided to carry out internships in various areas of the art world. She gained valuable insights into the art market when interning at Sotheby’s London in the Valuation Department (2012) and Gagosian Gallery, New York (2013). Following these two experiences, she assisted a leading New York-based art adviser during the Summer of 2015.
Anne-Claire has also kept a focus on art and artists at the very heart of her internships. In 2011 and 2013, she interned at Residency Unlimited, a Brooklyn based, non-profit artist residency. She also turned to museums and joined MoMA’s curatorial internship program (Media and Performance Art) in the Spring of 2015. She is currently interning at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Corporate Development department.
Anne-Claire grew up between Paris, Barcelona, London, and New York, and has had the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people. Her passion for art and the art world is fed by the many stories and cultures she gathered throughout the years. At the moment, she is exploring the opportunities and limits of branding strategies used to shape the image of historical private collections.
What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? I was drawn to the program because of ARAD’s intrinsically diverse nature. Upon finishing my undergraduate degree, I had a strong background in history of art and critical theory, yet no understanding of the art world per se. ARAD has allowed me to explore new topics such as advertising, branding, and marketing, while also encouraged me to nurture and further topics such as philosophy. Should I wish to take a class about international conflicts and the role of culture tomorrow, I could too! ARAD’s strength lies in its diversity, and it challenges your own previous perceptions.
How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? The link between studies and career goals was not immediate for me. I came to the program straight out of undergrad and had never held a permanent position. It took a few months, a fair amount of discussions, and three internships for me to realize how I could relate career and studies. I realized that advertising and branding, along with corporate development and history of art, could be combined for the best and be used as a powerful strategy by art world entities.
Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community. The ARAD community is a support system. A group of wonderful, bright, and ambitious people that help each other out, in any possible way. I feel very confident about the future, of the arts and mine, thanks to the people I met in this program.
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:
Yvonne Senouf (Class of 1991) has more than twenty years of experience in the art world, working in production, development, and communication. Venezuelan-born, Senouf has lived in France, Morocco, the U.S., Spain, and Greece. As a founder of Clinica Aesthetica, an experimental multidisciplinary space, she has produced more than twenty international projects. Currently based in Athens, Greece, Senouf is the co-founder and cultural producer of MELD, an interactive global art platform and collaborative catalyst that commissions, produces, and presents works of art on climate change. In 2015, MELD was nominated for the prestigious COAL Prize Art and Environment, which supports projects in contemporary art related to environmental concerns. ARAD sat down with Senouf recently to discuss ARAD, her current projects, and being an agent for social change.
Megan Friel graduated with a degree in Art History from the University of California, Davis. Her lifelong interest in the arts, arts education, and access to public arts spaces has led her to a career exploring these arenas further. She’s held internships at the De Young Museum, the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and Stern Grove Festival. Most recently, she has continued to pursue her interest in the arts through her work in major gifts for University of California, Berkeley’s Division of Arts & Humanities. Her objective is to work in development and arts policy, striving to make the experience of viewing and engaging with the arts more widely accessible. Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Megan Friel”