Originally from Paris, France, Myriam Varjacques is a 2014 graduate of Barnard College with a distinction in English and a minor in Dance. She has interned for American Ballet Theatre, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and The New 42nd Street, Inc, among others. From 2014-2016, Myriam was the Marketing Assistant for the Mark Morris Dance Group, where the collaborative environment allowed her to work with nearly every department of the organization on such projects as brochures, company programs, website content management, and audio and video archiving. Her ambitions lie in advocacy and fundraising for the performing arts.
What is your professional ambition or dream?
My dream is to be the executive director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. I will be interning in the Public Programming department this January working on contracts for two summer festivals so I’m off to a good start!
What are the three things you need to have on you at all times?
My planner, my phone, and lipstick.
Who are your three favorite artists, in any medium?
Too many to count but here are a few… Carrie Fisher Marcelo Gomes (principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre) Patrick Rothfuss (author of The Kingkiller Chronicles)
What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? I was attracted to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University because of the incredible amount of resources available to students as well as the location in New York City, a culturally vibrant city with many opportunities in the arts. Additionally, being located within Teachers College allows students to explore the educational aspects of an arts organization, which I have gained a greater interest in through my time at TC.
Which courses have been the most eye-opening at Teachers College?
One of my favorite classes I have taken at Teachers College is Principles and Practices in the Performing Arts. In this class, we focused on many issues relating to the performing arts and discussed an array of different strategies and methods in which to work towards solutions to these issues, and we heard from various alumni about how they are currently working in the performing arts. This class was very eye-opening because it helped me gain a greater sense of issues which pertain specifically to my field of interest as well as hear alumni insights from the field.
Where have you interned while in the program? During the program, I have interned at Juilliard Global Ventures, a department within The Juilliard School, as an operations assistant.
What was the most rewarding part of your internship experience? During my internship experience, I was given several projects, including licensing digital assets for Juilliard Open Studios, an online arts educational app. However, one of the most rewarding experiences of my internship was my involvement in designing and implementing user testing of the Juilliard Open Studios app, which was integral to updates we made to the app a few weeks later and gave me a sense of how new technologies are facilitating performing arts education.
What have been some of your favorite cultural experiences in New York City? Living near Lincoln Center has been a large bonus for me, because I often take advantage of student rush tickets to various performances there. Additionally, Juilliard has a very extensive performance calendar of great works for a very reasonable price.
Jessica Isgro graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Bucknell University in 2015 where she majored in Music Education and minored in Creative Writing. Jessica has worked in the marketing, publicity, and editorial fields, holding internships with Lincoln Center, West Branch Literary Magazine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 21C Media Group, and The Princeton Festival. Most recently, she worked as a voice teacher and a freelance publicity writer.
What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? Initially, I was attracted to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University for its strong, well-rounded curriculum. Additionally, as I interned with various arts organizations, I met many program graduates who passionately detailed the profound impact the program had on the development of their professional abilities.
How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? My studies in the ARAD program have helped me develop and fortify skills that are vital in the field while simultaneously allowing me to pursue my own interests. The strong curriculum makes room for self-directed learning pursuits, allowing ARAD students to develop skills that will allow them to become arts leaders.
Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community. There is never a dull moment for a student in the ARAD community, and our relationships as students extend well beyond the classroom. Within my first semester of the program, my peers and I attended music performances, art exhibitions, sporting events, Student Advocates for the Arts meetings, guest lectures, networking events, and countless restaurants. The ARAD community actively seeks varied and interesting experiences in New York City, both within and beyond the arts scene.
Kayli Callahan is a 2015 graduate of Cornell University, where she earned a B.A. in the History of Art and minored in Law & Society and Studio Arts. While completing her studies at Cornell, Kayli worked as the Development & Special Events Intern at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. She is currently working at Teachers College as the Annual Fund Department intern in the Office of Development and External Affairs. Kayli plans to pursue her interests in both arts administration and law to work towards bridging the communication gap between arts administrators and governmental policy officials.
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 Onggraduated 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 Angelois 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.