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. My final semester has been an exciting blend of work and education as I have taken on more responsibility at my new position as Director of Education and Training at the Martha Graham School while wrapping up my studies in the Arts Administration Program.
Did you have a job this semester? I served as the Director of Education and Training at the Martha Graham School. In this capacity, I serve as the head of the School and oversee all administrative and faculty personnel while reporting to the Executive Director. I am responsible for budget, program coordination, student affairs, accreditation, fundraising and development, and collaborate with other departments, such as marketing, in the promotion of the School.
Did this opportunity come about as a result of your time at ARAD?
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.
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.
Aaron is interested in museums with a specific focus on ancient art, archaeology and history museums with a focus on marketing, development and exhibition development. Previously, he worked at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem where he acted as the Director of Special Projects. He is currently interning with Third Eye, an arts marketing, PR, and branding firm in New York City and spends whatever free time he has left exploring the endless landscape of arts that this city has to offer. Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Aaron Novak”