Throughout my career, I have had numerous opportunities for leadership from serving as an officer in Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society to being co-founder and president of the Terre Haute Cultural Alliance. Being an administrator is yet another opportunity to take a leadership role and my diverse experience has provided me with the vision, flexibility and drive to pursue this challenging and rewarding vocation. Even more gratifying is that I am able to apply the skills I have developed to my work in the arts and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for and with a number of excellent administrators.
My management style is based on team building. In this respect, I see my role as more of a coach, working with members of the team to help them come together as a group with a common focus and shared goals. One part of the job is recognizing each individual’s strengths and limitations and another part is to work with everyone on the team to help them to do their jobs better. In running the team, it is important to be a good facilitator and collaborator in order to engage the team and encourage active participation in the process of working together.
As an administrative leader, I feel it is vital to define mission and goals in order to convey an awareness of the “big picture” and create a sense of ownership within the team. Establishing a good structure and administrative process is key in creating vision, maintaining consistency and providing for flexibility. While preserving stability, it is also important to be innovative and take advantage of resources, partnerships and opportunities.
In my career as an administrator I have had the benefit of diverse experiences and have had strong examples to follow. I believe that I have grown into an administrator who holds a lot of integrity and a strong commitment to intellectual and artistic excellence. I am also proud of my flexibility and my willingness to continuously assess and develop my abilities. In the end, I see myself as a strong advocate who is fortunate to be able to take my role as an artist to a higher level.
|Architect's rendering of the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts.|
|View of construction in winter of 2008.|
|Exterior view of the Dow Center for Visual Arts at night. Photo by Brian Kelly Photography.|
Strategic Planning: I began to learn about strategic planning at MACH when I received training from the United Way and used the skills I learned for program development. My work in this area continued at ISU with regard to assessing the programs and setting the direction of the University Art Gallery’s visiting artist and exhibition programs. I also used my strategic planning skills with my involvement in the cultural community there as I served on the mayor’s Downtown Redevelopment Process Committee and provided guidance for the development of the Cultural Alliance of Terre Haute. When I came to Interlochen, I was provided with scenarios planning training, which added a new dimension to my strategic planning skills by helping to forecast directions that could be valuable in a number of economic and cultural “scenarios.” Through this training, I was engaged in helping Interlochen to understand areas in need of development.
Program Development: Administratively, I feel that my strengths lie in program development and assessment. While I have experience in many facets of administration including budget supervision and fund-raising, personnel management, facilities planning, marketing and communications, strategic and scenarios planning, I pride myself on my ability to develop programs comprehensively. Throughout my career, I have been drawn to opportunities that have provided these types of professional challenges. At the University of Bridgeport, it was developing a non-existent exhibition program into one of national stature within four years. At MACH, it was developing programs like Neighborhood Studios, which provided apprenticeship opportunities in the arts to inner-city youth, or ArtWorks, which utilized the arts to teach at-risk youth alternatives to violent, gang-based lifestyles. At ISU, it was taking an established exhibition and visiting artist program to the next level of prestige and recognition and working within the community as an arts advocate. At Interlochen, it was the challenge of overseeing the design and construction of a new state-of the-art visual arts facility and raising the level of two visual arts programs (Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp) to coincide with the growth opportunities made available by the opening of the new Dow Center for Visual Arts.
Education: At Interlochen, I was actively engaged with the implementation and development of a pedagogical initiative based on the teaching for understanding philosophies of Project Zero, which is based at Harvard University. Not only was my involvement with Project Zero influential in my own development as an educator, I also used this program to more effectively advance the curriculum of the visual arts programs, to help in the training of faculty and staff, and as a method of creating more diverse collaborative opportunities with the other creative and academic divisions on campus (dance, theater, creative writing, music, motion picture arts, math/science and liberal arts). The premise of teaching students the process of learning so that they can apply their abilities to other areas of their lives is also central to my own philosophy of bringing faculty and staff together in a team environment. This approach to education and training has been enormously influential in my own interest in interdisciplinary work and collaboration.
Collaboration: My interests in collaboration stem from my own work and connection to interdisciplinary approaches. After studying photography intensely at Parsons School of Design in working towards my BFA, I was really driven to look outside of the arts for inspiration. In graduate school, I became more involved with liberal studies research in American studies and materials studies. This research helped to develop my own visual sense of concept and my creative methodology. Throughout my career, I have really enjoyed acting as an advocate for the arts and embrace opportunities to work collaboratively within the community. At UB, I coordinated the foundations program and was responsible for acting as liaison with the Fine Art, Graphic Design, Industrial Design and Interior Design programs to ensure that each area’s foundations requirements were being met. While I was at MACH, we worked with many community entities to facilitate our programs and found this endeavor essential in making sure the programs met the needs of our students. At ISU, I acted as a liaison between the Department of Art and the local/regional communities. Interlochen gave me the chance to use my Project Zero training to collaborate with the other creative divisions and academics in smaller projects and also through our yearly themes.
Supervision: My experience with supervision goes as far back as graduate school when I was a restaurant/bar manager and well as running the C.W. Post Printmaking Workshop. In the academic world, I have had numerous opportunities to supervise a wide variety of faculty and staff. At UB, I managed a small work study/volunteer staff in the gallery. At MACH, I supervised individual program directors, faculty and a variety of staff. At ISU, I supervised work-study students, graduate assistants and volunteers. With Interlochen Arts Academy, I supervised three full-time faculty and an artist-in-residence position and with Interlochen Arts Camp, I supervised twenty full-time faculty, ten studio assistants, two studio technicians, two kiln technicians and a presentations coordinator who handles the galley and all student presentations. Through this supervisory experience, I am well versed in the processes for hiring, scheduling and evaluating personnel effectively.
Budget Management/Fundraising: At ISU and at Interlochen, I have developed and managed significant budgets and I also have a familiarity with institutional reporting. I also have experience with institutional grant management and, at Interlochen, I was responsible for a number of restricted funds set up by donors. In addition to handling budgets, I also have experience with grant writing and working with the advancement offices of ISU and Interlochen to solicit funding from a variety of donor sources. From the time I was originally hired at Interlochen, I began work on the design, construction, and development of the $8 million, 36,000 square foot Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts (seen at left). I spent my first two years working with the campus engineer and Cornerstone Architects to design and construct a facility that addressed the needs of the various visual arts programs on campus while maintaining the construction budget during a time of economic instability. I am particularly proud of the flexibility that was designed in to the building and the many design features that I introduced to the project. In its completion the Dow Center for Visual Arts received a silver level LEED certification and was just awarded with the 2010 American Institute of Architects Michigan Award of Honor.
Coordinating Activities and Programs: Multi-tasking has always been one of my strengths and Interlochen Arts Camp has been my biggest challenges. With twenty full-time faculty, fifteen staff and a secretary, we serve three age divisions (8-12, 12-15 and 15-18 year olds) with two and three week programs. These programs run separately but are interconnected on a number of fronts and setting them up is a daunting task that takes incredible organization. Once the summer camp is set up, it also takes a great deal of flexibility and strong problem-solving skills to successfully and efficiently execute the program. At MACH, I oversaw twenty different programs for kids with disabilities and at-risk youth including the renowned MACH/Ailey Camp. In addition to the programmatic coordination I have experience with, I also have a great deal of experience coordinating facilities and resources.
Marketing Strategy and Materials: In my role as an administrator, I feel that I have an excellent awareness of presentation. From my work at ISU and UB, I have numerous catalogs, posters, and postcards that were created in support of the programs there. I would be happy to share samples of these materials upon request. At ISU, I also initiated and oversaw the development of a website, coordinating with university to maintain the stylistic integrity of the site while also creating a distinctive look for the gallery. At Interlochen, I was responsible for coordinating with the marketing and communications office in the publication of materials for marketing and recruitment. These materials are both printed and web-based.
Accreditation: At Interlochen Center for the Arts, I was responsible for addressing several important post-accreditation review points for the Visual Arts Division to comply with National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) criteria. Additionally, I served on two Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) accreditation teams, one for The Roeper School in Bloomfield, MI and the other for Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, MN. Through these intensive accreditation reviews, I have become extremely familiar with accreditation criteria and processes and how all of the components work together. I also participated in a NASAD self-study at Indiana State University.
|View of the Steve Hayden Atrium look out through the windows.|
|Interior view of the Visual Arts Gallery.|
|Interior view of the "flex studios" on the upper floor. The large, open space was designed with moveable walls to accomodate the varied needs of the Visual Arts program. Here, one of the studios is set up as a drawing studio.|
|View of the painting studio. Photo by Brian Kelly Photography.|
|View of the digital arts studio.|
|View of the printmaking studio.|
|Exterior view of the studio wing. Photo by Brian Kelly Photography.|