During my first semester at Hofstra University, I took a cluster of courses that introduced newcomers in New York to the city, in order to make it seem a little less intimidating to them, as well to help them better understand the thriving arts community within it. We went to notable locations, talked with successful artists, and experienced the city in a way that few are able to. In a sense, I feel that my Arts Management Apprenticeship with Dunamis has been similar to this cluster of courses, except this time, it’s Boston that I’m getting to experience for the first time, rather than NYC.
Having lived in Massachusetts all my life, I suppose it’s a little embarrassing how little of an idea I had of Boston’s arts community, but better late than never. My fellow two interns and I have been lucky enough to interview various artists and arts managers, including visual artists, theater directors, advocates for the rights of artists, arts educators, and more. We have gotten to see the behind the scenes process of what makes a non-profit work, and the perks and struggles that need to be dealt with. We have attended many events, exhibits, and festivals, each helping to paint the picture of art in Boston. And we have gotten to work events, seeing them through from conception to completion, which has been very eye-opening.
In the past few weeks, one of my favorite events we’ve covered was BAMSFEST 2019: Boston Art Music Soul Festival. In addition to seeing entertaining sets from artists such as The Tee-Tones and Safiya, we were lucky enough to interview many of the local business owners who had set up merchandise tents surrounding the festival, which helped to give us a better idea of how local entrepreneurs go about advertising at festivals, and make plans to set up shop there. In addition to this, we talked with many patrons about how they heard about BAMSFEST, allowing for us to hear about the best ways to advertise and market an event such as an outdoor music festival. With the weather being (mostly) nice, and the location in Franklin Park being spacious and beautiful, BAMSFEST was definitely a success, and I think that we as well as all the attendees hope it continues for the foreseeable future.
Recently we were also lucky enough to speak with the Executive Director of the Community Music Center of Boston, Lecolion Washington. Walking us through a decades-long career as both a musician, performer, educator, and administrator, Lecolion spoke passionately and insightfully about the various roads one can take if they are interested in the arts. When asked how he defines success, Lecolion mentioned that people make the mistake of thinking that success is a destination, something to attain to that one day you’ll have, and keep. In reality, to be “successful” is something you can only define personally for yourself, and to assume that someday you’ll wake up and feel successful is setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s the little victories, often viewed in retrospect, that remind you that you’ve experienced success. While it’s true that success is not a destination, it would be hard to argue that the Community Music Center of Boston has been successful. There are hundreds of programs available to people from only 5 months of age to adults, and the wide variety of services offered there are truly remarkable, ranging from lessons, performances, music theory, music therapy, and more. Our interview was another interesting stop that helped show us how much the city of Boston truly has to offer an artist.
Overall, my experience as an Arts Management Apprentice at Dunamis this summer has so far been extremely beneficial, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see what the last few weeks have to offer.