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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Having recently completed her master’s thesis, Erica Hyeyeon Chang shares some insight into her topic and her writing process.
Gentrification and Art in Seoul: the End of Neighborhood-Specific Arts Ecology
By Erica Hyeyeon Chang
What is your thesis about? My thesis is on gentrification and art in Seoul, South Korea and how arts administrators strategize around the gentrification processes.
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?
Having recently completed her master’s thesis, Hannah Fagadau shares some insight into her topic and her writing process.
For the Love of Fashion: The Success of Fashion inside Today’s Museum
By Hannah Fagadau
What is your thesis about? The growing presence and increasing demand of fashion exhibitions in encyclopedic museums.
Having recently completed her master’s thesis, Lynn Fu shares some insight into her topic and her writing process.
“China’s Cultural Diplomacy as the means of Soft Power through the lens of the Confucius Institute: A Comparative Study with the British Council and the Japan Foundation”
By Lynn Fu
What is your thesis about? China’s cultural diplomacy as the means of soft power through the lens of the Confucius Institute – a comparative study with the British Council and Japan Foundation