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Program in Arts Administration
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Program in Arts Administration

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

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Alumni > Alumni Committee

Alumni Committee

"Taking these first steps to start the network, to let alumni know that we care about them and that we want to communicate with them as a program and as an alumni community, to give them voice and really listen to them and know what they're interested in, is paramount. There are so many ideas that I know are out there; we want those voices in the program, we want those folks on the committee to volunteer when they can, to give back to the program that I think gave us so much."
-Eric Oberstein, Alumni Committee Co-chair, ARAD Graduate Class of 2009




Introducing the 2014 ARAD Committee Co-Chairs & Members

With great pleasure, the ARAD Program and Alumni Committee Co-Chairs announce the inaugural 2014 ARAD Alumni Committee! We were thrilled to have received many strong applications for this initiative, including several outstanding candidates for the role of Co-Chair. On behalf of your fellow alumni, ARAD students, faculty, and staff, we want to thank you for your past and future contributions to the Arts Administration Program. The Committee looks forward to getting started in service to ARAD alumni and students!

Co-Chair: Priya Sircar, 2011, New York

Priya is a practicing artist and an administrator committed to maximizing cultural experiences for the broadest possible public. At Lord Cultural Resources, Priya has managed planning processes engaging cultural, business, education and civic leaders, as well as hundreds of everyday citizens, in developing plans that aim to achieve each community's or organization's cultural goals and potential. Priya has worked with the City of Chicago, Wyoming PBS, Houston's Memorial Park, Boston Jewish Film Festival, Artpace/Linda Pace Foundation, New York Public Library/Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Norfolk Botanical Garden, Fort Monroe, The Blanton Museum of Art/The University of Texas, and Brooklyn's Billy & Company among others. A dancer-choreographer, actor and former musician, Priya has directed dance troupes in Austin and performed throughout Texas and in New York and New Orleans. These experiences have led to public speaking engagements on trends in performing spaces at World Architecture Day 2013 and on reconciling community and organizational identities at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) 2014 annual conference. She also has produced narrative and documentary shorts that have screened around the country, including at SXSW in 2010 and 2007 and winning Best Documentary Short in the SXSWclick online film festival in 2006. Priya's recent theatre work includes The Gallery Players' A Raisin in the Sun, Columbia University's M. Butterfly, and Billy & Company's adaptation of August Strindberg's A Dream Play. Previously, as a grantmaker at the global public health organization the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now LIVESTRONG), Priya managed the provision of community- and capacity-building funding and services to organizations throughout the U.S. Priya started there in development, liaising with donors, cultivating prospective donors and helping to establish the Founder's Circle. Priya holds a M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University and B.A. in the interdisciplinary Plan II Honors Program at The University of Texas.

Co-Chair: Eric Oberstein, 2009, North Carolina

Eric is a GRAMMY-nominated producer, arts administrator, musician, educator, and consultant. Eric holds Master's degrees in Arts Administration and Arts in Education from Columbia University and Harvard University, respectively. He currently serves as Associate Director of Duke Performances, the performing arts presenting organization at his alma mater, Duke University. Most recently, Eric served as Executive Director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, the New York-based non-profit that supports the GRAMMY-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), directed by Arturo O'Farrill. He served as Producer on the ALJO's 2011 album, 40 Acres and a Burro, nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Eric authored a chapter on the topic of the Creative Campus and university arts engagement, looking at how institutions of higher learning are engaging their communities in a cross-campus, interdisciplinary fashion through the arts. His chapter appears in the acclaimed anthology 20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century. A New York-born saxophonist and drummer of Cuban American descent, Eric has worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Office for the Arts at Harvard, and the Research Center for Arts and Culture.

Shagorica Basu, 2002, California

Shagorica is a result-oriented Non Profit Development Manager with National and International experience in Institutional Giving (Corporate, Foundations,and Government). Her strong grant writing skills and keen ability to provide strategic guidance helped her successfully raise funds for Sesame Workshop, National Center for the Performing Arts Mumbai, and Art India Magazine. She has also served on the board of The Field (an artist services organization) for six years in New York. She is passionate about preservation and conservation of traditional art forms while supporting edgy, contemporary, and thought provoking art. She recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Shagorica has a Certificate in Arts Administration from New York University and a M.A in Arts Administration from Columbia University.

Sarah Bolson Barnett, 2008, New York

Sarah joined The New York Botanical Garden in 2008 as the Manager of Foundation Relations. She was promoted to Associate Director of Foundation Relations in 2009 and to Associate Vice President for Foundation Relations in 2011.  In her current position, Sarah oversees the Science Development and Foundations Relations Departments, which are responsible for raising more than $3 million each year in foundation and government support. Before joining the Garden, Sarah held several positions in the arts and cultural field, including for Martin Vinik Planning for the Arts LLC, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC Office of Parks and Recreation, and Playwrights Horizons. Sarah graduated Magne Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University, and received an Masters of Arts in Arts Administration from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2009. She was the 2013 recipient of the Teachers College Early Career Award. 

Carolyn Charpie Fagan, 2012, New York

Carolyn is the Education Programs Manager at The New Victory Theater, where she oversees the production of all in-school related content, long-term residencies and teacher professional development programs. Before coming to the New Vic, Carolyn worked administratively at the Center for Arts Education, Mannes College of Music at The New School, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston. She was inspired to enter the field of arts administration after working full-time as a theater teacher for two years in Boston's public and private schools.  Like many arts administrators, Carolyn's primary background is as an artist. When she is not at New Vic, she is working on her career as a performer on the stage and screen. Carolyn holds a BA in Theater and Philosophy from Boston College and an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.

Daniel Gallant, 2004, New York

Daniel is the Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, as well as a writer, producer, actor, and teacher. He previously served as the Director of Theater and Talk Programming at the 92nd Street Y's Makor and Tribeca centers. He has produced theater and music events at venues including Summerstage, Town Hall, Brooklyn Museum, Joe's Pub, Abrons Arts Center, and the DR2 Theater. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Crain's New York, the Daily News and the New York Post; on MTV, NBC, NY1, CBS, Univision, the BBC; and in anthologies from Vintage Books and Applause.

Javier Iturralde de Bracamonte, 2010, New York

Javier is a global thought leader in international arts and culture whose work encompasses the fields of cultural strategy and planning, integrated marketing, and "cultural business development." He has over 12 years experience maximazing competitive opportunities, as well as developing organizational strengths and designing high-quality, cost-effective marketing programs for global arts organizations. Javier is founder of Articulaciones, a consulting firm and think tank that aims to contribute to the worldwide effort to strengthen the bridges between marketing, strategy, economy and the arts. Javier lectures extensively on marketing and strategic issues in the cultural sector, and has published, lectured, and organized several international summits, where some of the leading thinkers and doers in the arts field have been invited to share their ideas and experience. Javier is orginally from Madrid and has lived in Paris, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Montreal and Lima. He moved to New York City in 2008 for school and hasn't found another place he would rather live.

Alison Kaplan, 1992, New York

Alison received her MFA in Arts Administration from Columbia's School of the Arts and her J.D. from Pace University. She joins ARAD's alumni committee with over 20 years of strategic planning, board development, fundraising, and management experience for arts, education, government, and social service organizations. Prior to law school, she was a fundraising consultant to organizations in need of strategic and development planning. She is particularly excited to offer her knowledge of developing alumni programs, as well as her background as a Purchase College alumni executive committee board member, to the ARAD community. Alison's background includes grassroots organizing through her experience as a board member of Transportation Alternatives and as an Executive Committee member at the NYC National Lawyers Guild, Pace University Law School chapter. She currently serves as a board member to NAMI-NYC Metro, is a member of the Legal Problems of the Aging committee of the NYC Bar Association, and volunteers as a NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman. Alison received her B.A. from Purchase College. Recent awards include the Vanessa H. Merton Public Service Award and the Public Interest Law Center Pro Bono Justice Award for extraordinary pro bono service.

Yvonne Senouf, 1991, Greece

Yvonne is an international multi disciplinary art producer with more than twenty years of experience in the field. Her experience ranges from the private to the public sector working for prestigious institutions such as the Studio Museum in Harlem, McKee gallery NYC, The Museum of Modern Art, and Christie's among others. After more than ten years of experience in the art world, Yvonne founded Clinica Aesthetica, an experimental multidisciplinary activity dedicated to the production of cultural concepts exploring the fine line between arts, design, film, publishing, music and architecture. Yvonne conceived, organized and produced more than 20 cultural international events. Today, Yvonne is the co-founder of MELD, an ongoing interactive global art platform and collaborative catalyst to commission, produce and present ground breaking and evocative artwork, embedded in the issues and consequences of climate change. Among the projects, "Be the Change" a collaboration with Ted Prize winner 2011 JR a major global action under the umbrella of climate change with the participation of 23 cities in the world, accompanied by a 300 page publication relaying the project; Project Nero, a collaborative project with German artist Alexander Schellow, and 50 Greek Scientists, examining the Kifissos River (exhibited at the Center of Contemporary Art, Singapore).

Michiko Simanjuntak Grasso, 2001, New York

Michiko has been the Director of individual Giving at Japan Society since 2010, overseeing membership and patron programs, general and project support, planned giving, the annual Board appeal and the administration of donations to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of Development at Aperture Foundation, and has worked at diverse cultural institutions throughout New York City, such as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Ice Theatre of New York and American Express Philanthropic Program. She earned a Master of Arts in Arts Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Art History from Columbia University. 

Amanda White Thietje, 2008, Minnesota

Amanda is in her third season as Managing Director at Mixed Blood Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  With a Master's degree from Columbia University's Program in Arts Administration, she has served as a member of both the Strategy and Major Gifts teams at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, in Play Development for Broadway producer The Araca Group, and as Associate Artistic Director at the William Inge Center for the Arts, where she was placed as the recipient of a Theatre Communications Group Future Leaders Fellowship. She holds an MFA in Performance from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and she is an alumna of The School at Steppenwolf Theater Company. She has worked as a producer, director and actor for theatre companies throughout the United States, and she is currently the co-Artistic Director and a founding member of DalekoArts, an ensemble theatre company in New Prague, Minnesota. In addition to being an adjunct faculty member at St Mary's University, where she teaches in the Arts & Cultural Management program, she is also a member of the Board of Directors for Minneapolis' award-winning Walking Shadow Theatre Company.