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An MMA Curator and a Nonprofit Consultant Talk Museums, Technology, and their Careers

By Jacob Nelson

A curator from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MMA) spoke with a principal of the consulting firm Danzig & Associates last week during an MSLCE Speaker Series event about the surprising paths their creative careers have taken them on.

Femke Speelberg, the MMA’s Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, described getting offered her job in the midst of what she thought would be a lifetime of temporary gigs.

“It was something I completely did not plan for,” she said, “I was planning for a future of four months there, six months there, but the capital I accumulated paid off.” (more…)

MSLCE Students Take ‘Informative, Encouraging, and Inspiring’ Trip to NYC

By Hayley Bullock

The MSCLE Trek to the “Big Apple” was informative, encouraging, and inspiring.

Coming from a nonprofit and performance background, I was surprised and appreciative of the vast insight and knowledge I was able to gain from the experience. As we visited branding agencies, including Mother and Ogilvy & Mather, and heard from various alumni speakers including Alex White of Pandora, and Chris Meadows of Facebook, these experiences provided my classmates and me with valuable insight (more…)

MSLCE Students Learn the Importance of Networking on LA Trek

By Sarah Bergeson

Over the course of five days in Los Angeles, my fellow MSLCE students and I had several amazing opportunities to learn about various media industries by speaking to professionals from film/television, music, and talent agencies.

We began our trip by meeting with several Northwestern alumni, led by Marvel Animation Manager Diana Theobald and Tristar Productions Creative Executive Malcolm Gray, who gave us an overview of relocating to LA from Evanston. They happily answered our questions about how Northwestern helped them with the transition and continues to provide them with invaluable resources.


MSLCE Students Learn the Importance of Knowing Your Audience

By Scotty Stieber

Whether you’re planning on starting your own business or working within an existing company, knowing your audience is key.

What kinds of constraints face certain industries, particularly within the fragmented entertainment industry? How are companies working to overcome these often tech-related hurdles? James Webster’s course “Understanding Media Markets: Users, Makers and Metrics” aimed to increase students’ awareness of the complex digital environment we live in today by identifying the role we, as consumers, play in shaping the marketplace for the producers of media and the myriad measurement systems in place that quantify our dynamic, ranging preferences.


Students Meet Professionals from Facebook, Broadway, and MoMA on NYC Trek

By Benjamin Levine

The MSLCE program’s emphasis on networking and broad understanding of the creative industries culminates with the annual trek to one of the major entertainment centers of the country.

Half of the cohort that went to New York City, and met with a wide variety of companies and alumni associated with creative work to see the way these industries thrive in the Big Apple. From selling ancient Greek art to coordinating interactive exhibits at the Museum of Modern art, the trek exposed students to the ways the program’s coursework can be applied to the real world. (more…)

Digging into Business Models

By John Matthew Simon

An idea is only as great as its implementation.

In order to execute an idea, the entrepreneur(s) must have a stratagem that accounts for the infrastructure of the organization, value offered by the service and/or good solicited, who the target customer(s) is, what communication channels will be utilized, finances, and the expected revenue streams visa vie a business plan that is subsequently actualized into a business model.

What happens after this model is applied and when the market changes, as markets can and will do, especially in the creative sector where cultural trends send markets into frenzies each and every year? (more…)

From Corporate to Nonprofit, Arts Consultant Discusses Eclectic Career

By Jacob Nelson

When Dan Danzig first started out in the art world, he sold art collections to corporations.

It’s a unique job for an art curator, in that it involves getting to know the tastes of a large group of executives rather than a small group of museum employees. It takes a sharp sense of perception and an ability to work with many types of people.

“You have to navigate all the different tastes,” Danzig said, “Someone always says, ‘You’re not going to hang that on my desk are you?’”

The experience was just one of many in a long, eclectic career. (more…)

MSLCE Students Get Crash Course in the World of Creative Sector Finance During the Winter Quarter

by Benjamin Levine

A crash-course in the language of business can be a tough sell for a group of students whose primary focus is on performance and entertainment. Finance is a difficult subject that many people are averse to, but it is essential to understand when starting a business or working in an administrative role. One of the hallmarks of the MSLCE program is that it provides students an opportunity to explore these critical business skills in a way that’s digestible and practical. Professor Cory Sandrock, a Northwestern theatre alumni turned finance expert, was able to connect with the students through his experience as an artist and break down the rules of finance clearly so that a cohort that already thrives in the art world can start to turn their talents into a lifelong career. (more…)

Metropolitan Museum of Art Associate Curator to Speak at Northwestern

By Jacob Nelson

Though it’s been five years since Femke Speelberg moved to New York to work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she still needs to remind herself that she’s not dreaming.

“It’s such a great place, I still have to pinch myself I’m actually here,” she said with a laugh during an interview last week.

The city and the job were both big changes for Speelberg, who will be speaking at an MSLCE speaker series event on April 7. She grew up in a small village in the south of the Netherlands, so moving was a jump to “the other end of the spectrum.” (more…)