This essay was originally written for a specific school/program. But the program I want to submit it to requests it be two pages or less and address the specific question "what will you be doing with your degree?" How can I used this as an outline and still adjust it to answer the above question?
What is life without passion? Passion is what drives every individual to live their dreams and achieve their goals. To me, art is passion. It is the single most powerful motivator in my world, and I truly have a love and respect for all things creative. This drive and desire to be a part of the art world is what has fueled my decision to seek a Masters degree in Arts Management from American University. My goal is to play an important role in the management, promotion, and advocacy of visual arts organizations on a national and international level.
My extensive fine arts background and training really shaped my passion for visual arts; but it wasn't until I received my BFA in Kinetic Imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University that I really learned to focus my ideas and refine my creative endeavors. While studying at VCU, I was an officer of our SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) Chapter. I spent my sophomore, junior, and senior years working closely with visiting artists, students, and club members to organize special events and programs. This experience proved to be a vital tool in my goal of pursuing arts administration, as it exposed me to the management side of art. I found so much excitement in being involved in the coordination and management of an art based group. As an officer in this organization, I was required to believe in myself and in what I thought was good for the chapter and the school. I had to take the initiative to play a leadership role in motivating people to get things done under extreme deadlines and financial constraints. I enjoyed the challenges involved in making decisions, delegating responsibilities, and promoting our organization in the community.
After graduating from VCU, I began work as a freelance multimedia artist, and did an extensive project with The Chrysler Museum of Art. I was the lead designer and editor for three dynamic videos that were focused on educating guests about older master works in the museum's collection. I feel this experience showed me what kinds of art opportunities lie in the non-profit sector. For this multimedia project, I worked closely with the Director of Education and Public Programs, as well as the Curator, Conservator, and Director of the museum. I found this environment to be both mentally and creatively stimulating; and it was through this project I really discovered my passion for art administration and management. While I had always enjoyed visiting the museum, getting to be a part of a project designed to breathe new media life into old master works really showed me the potential impact leaders in art organizations have on the community. This project really pushed me to look at existing problems and come up with creative ways to solve them. Through my work with the Chrysler, I learned the value of assigning the right people to the right jobs and what a difference it can make in the outcome.
I have always been fond of the saying "think outside the box". This statement accurately describes how I tackle all the problems and challenges I face on a daily basis. I have found that thinking creatively is important to all aspects of life. I feel that formal training in art management, coupled with my unique artistic background and creative approach to problem solving would help me in attaining my goal of making art more accessible to the masses. What really appealed to me about American University's program is the focus on internships. This type of hands-on training is so vital in developing real world experience and confidence in a leadership role in the art field. The school is centrally located in the heart of Washington D.C.'s thriving art community, and AU is associated with countless national and international organizations. The faculty's reputation for challenging course work and excellent teaching techniques is a really important draw for me. The professors combined extensive experience is commensurate with the areas I'm interested in researching. These advantages really stress to me the seriousness and commitment this program has to sending highly trained and capable art administrators out into the world.
As an artist and academic, I find that hands-on training is the best way to learn. Interacting with other students and professionals helps me to learn and retain information much more affectively. This type of program is exactly what I'm looking for in my graduate study. Ultimately, I am interested in coupling my multimedia focused undergraduate study with the knowledge gained from the art administration program. After working with the Chrysler, I saw the potential involved in bringing new media techniques into fine arts institutions in order to get audiences excited about visual arts and the importance they play on society and culture. This new media phenomenon is really an exciting way to channel information to a broader range of people in the community. My long term interests lie in working with a non-profit visual arts organization focused in media and interactive learning techniques.
While the pursuit of a Master's in Arts Management is my prime goal and objective today, my wide variety of activities and interests help to keep me well rounded and personable. As before mentioned, I love creating art so I spend a lot of my time making videos and animations. I also spend my time as a roller derby girl in Virginia's premiere All Girl Flat Track Roller Derby League, the Dominion Derby Girls. This sport has taught me so much about the importance of team work and camaraderie. As a derby girl, I work very hard to give young women a role model in the sports world that shows them they can be strong, and feminine at the same time. The league is involved in extensive community service and volunteer work, and this aspect of the sport is something that has become so very important to me. I serve as the head of the events committee for the Dominion Derby Girls, so I get to help coordinate special events and fundraisers for this wonderful organization. There is a joy in doing something to help better the community you call home. Whether I am creating new work, teaching students, working with local museums, or skating around the track, I find a joy in living my life to the fullest.
I feel that my unique background in fine arts, joined with my diverse interests and unbridled drive to be a leader in the art world would make me an asset to your graduate program. I would love the opportunity to be a part of the Arts Management Program at American University, and I am confident that my talents and strengths would be put to good use for the advancement of the arts in our community and our world.