Lonnie Woods III on Transitioning to Faculty Position Leading ARAD’s Practicum in Arts Administration and Internship Courses

ARAD’s beloved Professional Development Coordinator, Lonnie Woods III, is transitioning to a new and exciting faculty position leading the Practicum in Arts Administration and then the Internship course. We spoke to Lonnie about the Practicum class that first-year ARAD students will be taking with him, including his vision for the course and the lessons he’d like students to walk away with. You can also learn more about Lonnie here!

What makes you passionate about professional development? 

Believe it or not, editing resumes for myself and my friends in college sparked my love for professional development. As a trained visual artist, I see constructive critique, creating, editing and formatting as an artform; those same principles apply to professional development. I am passionate about professional development because so much of it is about discovering who you are and making room for new versions of yourself. The professional work that we do is often a reflection of who we are (at least I think it should be that way). Each time we make a career change, we are making a life change, which translates to this exciting opportunity to curate and repackage yourself. I find the repackaging process exhilarating but I realize that it makes many people nervous. I get to be the person who helps students to calm those nerves and put their dreams into a plan.

What can students expect from the 8-session practicum they’ll be taking with you in their first semester of the program?

Students can expect to learn the tools and resources needed to create and execute a personal career plan in the arts. Students can expect to learn about essential career related topics such as professional relationship building, negotiation, job search techniques, personal branding, and career options within the arts field.

How does your class dovetail with the internship component of the ARAD curriculum?

In this course, students apply what they learn in their other ARAD courses to their individual career goals. Practicum in Arts Administration will prepare students for the internship search and hiring process as well as give them the tools and resources needed to equip and empower them to choose the internship and career path that will best align with their goals. 

What are you most looking forward to in starting this position?

I am looking forward to meeting the new students! The main reason that I work in academia is because I genuinely enjoy supporting students. I also look forward to sharing space with the future generation of folks who will go on to impact the arts industry in a powerful way. I look forward to helping students streamline their visions and dreams into a plan that they can execute and update throughout their time in the program and beyond.

What are the biggest lessons you’d like students to take away from your class?

  1. Choose collaboration over competition; network across as well as up. Your success does not always surround your ability to climb the ladder. Your success partner may be sitting right next to you in class.
  2. Your career plan is your own. You have the ability to edit, re-write or completely change your career story at any given time.

BIO

Professor Lonnie Woods III is a student affairs administrator, educator, and professional development practitioner whose research examines the career competencies of college students studying arts related majors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Fine Art Photography from Towson University and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University (NYU).  Lonnie serves as an Arts Career Consultant, College Readiness Specialist and Teaching Artist  and has collaborated with world renowned arts organizations such as: The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Whitney Museum of American Art, The Smithsonian Museum of American History, The Studio Museum of Harlem and Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Catching Up With Alums Megan Zhang (ARAD ‘20) and Mari Takeda (ARAD ‘20)

Megan Zhang (ARAD ‘20) and Mari Takeda (ARAD ‘20) are recent TC graduates. Megan is currently the Administrative Manager at Juilliard Preparatory Division, and Mari Takeda is currently the Donor Relationships Manager at Baltimore Center Stage. For this blog, they caught up with each other on what they’ve been up to since graduation. 

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Meet Melissa Weisberg, ARAD’s New Social Media Manager

ARAD is delighted to welcome Melissa Weisberg (ARAD ’20) as our new Social Media Manager. Learn more about Melissa, her goals for her new role, and what she’s been up to since graduation.

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Alumni Spotlight on Nicole Chen: Post Sale Administrator at Sotheby’s

Nicole Chen (ARAD ’20) currently is a Post Sale Administrator at Sotheby’s. As a recent graduate, we spoke with Nicole about her experience in the ARAD program and starting a new position in the midst of the pandemic. 

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Internship Spotlight: Natalie Burrows

Last Spring, -ARAD student Natalie Burrows (ARAD ’21) completed an internship with the Metropolitan Opera in the Artistic Department. Specifically, she worked with the National Council Auditions, one of the world’s foremost opera competitions designed to discover and develop promising young opera singers on the precipice of their careers. We spoke with Natalie about her experience and the transition from in-person to virtual work.

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Love in Quarantine: A web series amid the Pandemic

How is the landscape of love changing now that we’re all trapped in our bedrooms? “Love In Quarantine” is a six-episode web series that follows the story of Susie and Jon, a new couple that decides to quarantine together rather than risk their nascent relationship. The result: an entertaining recount of how self-isolating proves difficult in the age of social media. We interviewed ARAD student Richard Mayer, who plays Jon, to learn more about his experience being part of this project.

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Meet ARAD’s Social Coordinator, Liliana Guerrero


Liliana Guerrero Delgado studied Business Administration at Los Andes University in Bogotá Colombia. After graduation, Liliana worked as a research assistant in the university and later joined the Alternative Contents division in Cine Colombia, her country’s largest cinema exhibitor and distributor. In this role, she distributed live events in cinemas such as New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s National Theatre productions and Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet amongst others. Liliana aims to work in the public sector in order to promote the strengthening of artistic endeavors by demonstrating the socioeconomic impact of this industry, making the cultural sector a key-contributor to Colombia’s development.

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What You Should Know About Employment Visas in the Arts Amid COVID-19

By Fei Wang (ARAD ‘21)

Given the current COVID-19 circumstances, what are some opportunities and challenges for international students in their post-graduation period? In a recent webinar co-hosted by ARAD and TC Alumni Relations, Rakhel Milstein, founder and CEO of the Milstein Law Group discussed some important types of employment visas in the arts for international students. She was joined by ARAD alumna Alexis Yuen (‘16) who moderated the question period afterward. (You can watch the full webinar here.)

 

The webinar focuses on the O-1 and H-1B visa options for international students who want to seek temporary employment after obtaining a graduate degree in arts administration and other arts areas. Here are some of the key takeaways from the webinar. Please note: due to COVID-19, the following may change. It is important to consult with an immigration lawyer to understand the latest regulations. 

 

  1. The O-1 visa, which is for people with extraordinary abilities, is one of the best options for foreign nationals in the arts. Many arts administrators overlook this category because it’s described as being based on “extraordinary ability” in the arts, sciences, athletics, business, education, or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry. However, this is a visa category that can also be applied to arts administrators. Different from the H-1B visa that has a quota each year, the O-1 is a three-year visa and doesn’t have an annual quota and therefore can be applied if the H-1B quota for the year has already been filled. 

 

O-1 Visa Requirements:

  • US petitioner
    • An employer or an individual acting as your agent for the O-1 visa petition
  • Proof of future work offers
  • Evidence of extraordinary ability
    • Demonstrating at least three of the following six categories:
      • Has and will perform a lead or starring role in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation
      • National or international recognition
      • Has and will perform in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
      • Commercial or critically acclaimed successes
      • Significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field
      • A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services to others in the field
    • Records for the O-1 Evidence
      • Published reviews of your work, performances, exhibitions, etc 
      • Your published work in your field
      • Evidence of any awards or prizes for work in your field
      • Letters of recommendation from experts in your field
      • Programs, playbills, or advertisements evidencing your role in performances
      • Box office receipts, ore record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales
  • Letters of recommendation

 

It’s important to build your case to prove your achievements by preparing the materials above for a successful O-1 visa application. There is no disadvantage of applying for an O-1 visa outside of the U.S., and the applicant can take the time to reach out to contacts and get as much evidence as possible. An immigration lawyer can discuss how your experience as an arts administrator would fit the above criteria.

 

  1. H-1B is a work visa for occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the field. For this type of visa, the types of degree and employer (nonprofits vs. for-profits) matter, and a specific salary is required as well. 

 

H-1 Requirements: 

  • Job offer from an employer that will sponsor visa including paying all immigration fees
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a major closely related to H-1B position
  • H-1B petition must be filed with USCIS by April 1st to be authorized to work in the following October
  • There are an additional 20,000 available for positions requiring a master’s degree and some additional narrow exemptions. 

 

The H-1B visa has an annual quota of 65,000 H-1B spots every year for for-profit companies and organizations. For people who obtain a master’s degree from a US institution, there are additional 20,000 spots. Given this limitation on the number of H-1Bs, there is a lottery every year to process the H-1B visa application. 

 

However, many arts organizations and other nonprofits organizations may qualify for the H-1B exemption, which means you don’t need to enter into the lottery to apply for the H-1B visa. Each organization would have their specific policies in terms of sponsoring H-1Bs, and it is important to know their hiring policies in advance. 

 

Both the O-1 and H-1B visas provide opportunities for international students to work in the U.S., while they have different requirements that we should be aware of and make plans accordingly. O-1 visa might broaden the opportunities for people in the arts who can demonstrate extraordinary achievements. It’s key to build our portfolio well in advance to make the application process as successful as possible with objective evidence. 

 

Both Rakhel and Alexis stressed the importance of being prepared for the visa application process well in advance. You can find more information about immigration law or connect with lawyers specializing in this field on the Milstein Law Group website as well as the Center for Art Law