Alumna: Studio manager position is the job she envisioned
To Deanna Boucher ’15 of Lowell, Mass., MCLA’s arts management major is “a perfect blend of all of my loves.” Originally a painting major at a different university, she transferred to the campus after a friend told her about our program and the exact fit it was for her career goals.
MCLA’s program, said Boucher, not only felt like the “perfect fit,” it allowed her to be surrounded by the arts while it fed her creative side. As a result, she was able to maintain her business mindset and her drive to create connections with communities.
Now newly graduated, she found work as the studio manager for Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield. The Berkshire’s first Makerspace, it houses a screen printing shop, sewing lab, commercial kitchen, studios, meeting space, event space and a cyber office.
It’s exactly the type of job she envisioned while studying arts management.
“I thought I would end up in a museum, just because those are the places where I had interned and had the most experience. This, however, is one of those out-of-the-box experiences that I didn’t realize I could get!” Boucher exclaimed.
Along with the Makerspace’s two owners, Crispina ffrench and Chris Swindlehurst, Boucher completes the dynamic leadership team that keeps Shire City Sanctuary running smoothly.
“My favorite part about this job is that it’s so diverse. “I never have a full plan for what I’ll be doing each day,” Boucher said. “Some days I help to curate a show for our gallery space, another day I’m working with the city to figure out permits for our special events, and other days I’m working on marketing, developing a Kickstarter campaign, or organizing our membership. It really keeps me on my feet and helps me keep all my different skill sets fresh.”
In addition to her work, she’s learning how to do screen-printing at Shire City Sanctuary – a brand-new medium for her. “It’s a really fun art form, and it has been helping me stay focused on my artistic side, as well.”
According to Boucher, MCLA gave her an “incredible background” as she studied the many different aspects that comprise the arts management world.
“I studied museum studies, which helps me understand curation for our gallery; performing arts management, which is great for our concerts; fundraising and grants, which helps always; and just practical life help to guide me through this process,” she said.
What sets MCLA’s program apart for people who want a career in arts administration?
Boucher said that, in addition to the varied strengths of the program’s professors which provide students with a well-rounded experience, the program itself covers a wide range of topics.
“You have enough experiences to figure out what you like, what you don’t like, and how you can use the skills you develop to find your jobs,” she explained. “Because MCLA is in such a culturally rich part of the state, there are so many opportunities for internships, meeting influential people, and experiencing what we are learning in class in the real world. The professors really want to help people succeed and that’s an amazing thing!”
“I had an amazing academic experience at MCLA,” Boucher continued. “The liberal arts education gave me a wonderful background to help me look at my life in a well-rounded way. I had awesome professors who really cared about my success and would work with me to challenge me further or help me, depending on what I needed.”
She recommends MCLA’s arts management major to others with similar interests.
“The program felt like everything I ever wanted was coming to fruition right before my eyes,” Boucher said. “I have had the chance to really succeed, and the same is true for so many of my peers.”