By John Hounihan
Over the break between quarters, the MSLCE program set forth on its yearly Industry Immersion treks to the media capitals of the United States. For half of the cohort, that meant a week in the Big Apple.
Performing arts, marketing strategy, and media leadership were the focus of the week, and each day was filled with site visits and professional talks with some of the big players in the media capital of the East. As we touched down at LGA, there was no time to spare on the way to our first site visit – Lincoln Center Theatre. A fitting beginning to our week, it was incredible to see the first stages of a show at the highest level of non-profit theatre. We chatted with Anne Cattaneo, LCT dramaturg and one of the first players in the U.S. dramaturgy scene. She brought insights on working in the NY theatre scene and gave us a better understanding of the works and organizations under the Lincoln Center umbrella. Her advice was a simple, fitting start to the week – if you love theatre, find what side you want to live on, and find a way to thrive.
After a free evening to explore, we woke bright and early Tuesday. From there we set out for a full day of professional immersion, on the intersection between performing arts and marketing. Our Tuesday morning speaker, Rachel Chanoff, impressed us with insights in what seemed like all parts of the creative sector. Chatting about the work of her curation and production company, THE OFFICE, brought something that perhaps no site visit or speaker has been able to capture – experience that could resonate with the personal goals of every student in the room.
A quick walk to Hell’s kitchen brought us to Araca Group, a theatrical production and brand management company with a major, unique focus – merchandising for Broadway shows. Our hosts, Danny and Tyler, facilitated a discussion with professionals from a wide range of responsibilities within the company. We learned about their artistic/production arm, the account management arm, and the main focus of the company, their merchandising arm. Each discussion brought different understandings of work on this side of the creative sector.
Finally, we headed farther West after lunch, and met with Adam Tucker, Northwestern Alumnus and President of the New York chapter of one of the world’s largest advertising firms, Ogilvy and Mather. The for-profit side brought different insights, and Adam’s experience with some of United States’ largest brands paved the way for a rich discussion in client management and competitive advertising. The first half of the week was full of insights that only the Big Apple can bring, and as we traveled back to midtown we felt about as immersed in the industry as a group could feel.
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