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Faculty Helps Artists Become Profitable Entrepreneurs

From drawing and singing to writing and performing music, Adjunct Professor PJ Loughran developed an early love for the creative arts.  

“All I wanted to do was find a way to have a life doing those things,” he says. “I was fortunate to come from a family that didn’t dissuade me. My parents saw what I was interested in, and they supported it. And, most importantly, no one ever warned me that it could be difficult.”

After graduating from New York’s Parsons School of Design with an illustration degree, he struggled to pick a career path: music or art? He had always been interested in both, and very much wanted to pursue both … so he did. Loughran landed a regular column illustrating for The Village Voice and began performing his songs in New York City nightclubs as he worked toward becoming a published illustrator and performing artist. (more…)

Anywhere Is Home: Julia Relova’s Endeavor in Creative Enterprises

By Priyanshi Katare

‘Anywhere Is Home’ is a podcast run by student Julia Relova that explores the concept of ‘home.’ Through her work, she is providing a creative space for people to discuss and challenge the linearity attached to the idea of personal and homely spaces. “I’m trying to go beyond just understanding ‘where’ home is,” she explains, “but also what and who makes it home and when it becomes home.” According to Relova, the concept of home is universal and there is a common thread that connects all of us. This forms the basic premise of her work.

Relova chose podcasting as her medium because she loves talking to people and knew that she could utilize that to her advantage. “A lot of the time on the podcast I let the person talk as much as they would like before I interrupt,” she explains, “I think that’s really powerful in terms of storytelling because not many people get to tell stories the way they would want.” Her interview process is focused on furthering such stories. “When it comes to storytelling in a non-script form, there is a lot of opportunity for me to dig deeper and get more context,” she elaborates. (more…)

From Theatre to Accessibility: Veronica Bustoz on Her Journey

When Veronica Bustoz was a student at Aquinas College, her life was consumed by theatre. “If I wasn’t in class then I was definitely at rehearsals,” she explained. However, it was her college’s production of ‘Those Shining Lives’ that has stayed with her throughout her professional career. Growing up, Bustoz didn’t have access to arts. It wasn’t till she was in high school that she was able to participate and learn about the theatre community. “I started with ushering and then moved on to the costume crew,” she elaborates, “ and then I was in a play myself and I loved it so much.” When she started out at the collegiate level, she dabbled in technical work along with performance but found her calling in stage management. “I got to see a little bit of everything during the production. It was exciting and it kept me engaged. I knew this was it for me,” she explains. (more…)

Student Looks to Future Connecting Creative Content with Company Mission

by Priyanshi Katare

A semester abroad in Australia changed Audrey Jones’ professional journey. The trip opened up her horizons and gave her the opportunity to understand where she saw herself fitting in the future and why she wanted to do the kind of work she was doing. It inspired her to take a massive step towards her career in the business side of the creative industry by changing her major at Belmont University in Nashville from Performance to Creative and Entertainment Industries. By working for marketing agencies and creative agencies, Jones eventually found a space for herself in storytelling with content creation and casting, where she can engage with the clients more closely.  “I just really enjoy being hands-on and being a part of the process that is oftentimes the beginning of the bigger picture,” she explained. (more…)

Understanding the Impacts of What You Watch

When you sit down to watch a new movie or enjoy your favorite sitcom series, do you ever stop to think about what you’re learning?

Nathan Walter, an assistant professor for the MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program, has spent years evaluating strategic messages, media psychology, communication ecologies, and the correction of misinformation. Whether we realize it or not, he says, the media we consume can influence our daily habits and thoughts; research demonstrates that engaging stories can play a valuable role in helping people process new, difficult, and controversial information, as well as adopt certain attitudes and behaviors.

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Discovering Her Own Way in Film

As she was growing up in China, photography and film always helped Wenli Liu ’17 feel connected to creative industries across the globe: Almost everyone can understand, interact with, and relate to these mediums.

That lifelong interest led her to earn a BFA in Photography, Art Administration, and Visual Communication at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. When she returned to China each summer, she interned for a TV series, a video news agency, and The Walt Disney Company.

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A New Constructive Paradigm for Theatrical Institutions

By Priyanshi Katare

Cassin wasn’t always sure of a career in the arts. Growing up in an affluent suburb of Chicago, the conversations happening within his area and  Chicago, made him question how realistic a career in the arts could be. However, his experience since then has educated in how he can be impactful in the arts. “From the undergraduate level, my goal has always been to give back and to be able to create an accessible space for people who choose to not make the leap because they don’t think it’s possible,” he explains. (more…)

Finding the Right Niche within the World of Entertainment

A journey to find his true career passion has taken Charles Wang ’20 around the world. Following his BA in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management at Tongji University in China, he came to the United States to explore new opportunities.

After attending New York University for a year, he decided the technology management program he had selected wasn’t a good professional or academic fit, so he transferred to the University of Southern California for a fresh perspective—and to study public policy analysis.

“That still wasn’t what I wanted to do,” says Wang. “I just couldn’t live with it, so I started trying to find internships so I could get myself into a professional environment and feel what it’s like to be at work.” (more…)

Taking on Digital Innovation and Social Justice with Expanded Curriculum

When Pablo Boczkowski, MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises director, launched this School of Communication degree program in 2014, he envisioned curriculum that would help students connect their creative expertise with the business knowledge, strategic skills, and entrepreneurial mindset necessary to successfully lead projects and teams in entertainment, media, and the arts.

He served as the director until 2017, shaping the new program while also acting as co-director of the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina, a joint venture between the University of San Andrés and Northwestern University.

In May 2020, he returned to the MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program to serve as the director once again, with a renewed focus on expanding the curriculum and boosting industry engagement.

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Erato Li Looks for Ways to Support and Preserve Cultural Heritage

by Priyanshi Katare

Erato Li believes that the future of our cultural heritage lies in our ability to diversify the perspectives around it and how we consume it.

“I studied and went to work in different countries so the one thing I really value is diversity. I try to understand different people in different cultural contexts,” she explains, “I think creative industries really need cultural resources.”

Prior to her time at Northwestern’s MSLCE, she studied Heritage Management at the Macao Institute for Tourism studies where she learnt the ins and outs of conserving and preserving culture. During her time as an undergrad student she picked up storytelling — a skill that would prove to be crucial to her future undertakings— while pursuing a class project that examined films produced in Macao and their cultural significance. (more…)