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Taking Storytelling from the Stage to the Screen

With his initial sights set on becoming an actor, Daniel Dvorkin ’16 spent four years in a highly creative, intense undergraduate acting conservatory. Although he loved the experience, he didn’t receive any business education while he was there.

“After graduation, I realized I didn’t want to be an actor,” says Dvorkin. “I wanted to pursue the bigger-picture perspective of entertainment.”

To stay true to this goal, he spent nearly five years running a nonprofit theatre company he founded as an undergraduate, which gave him the chance to develop and produce—honing a unique mix of creative and business skills. To make ends meet, he also worked at a few regional theaters and restaurants. (more…)

MSLCE Student Helps Entrepreneurs During Internship

by Priyanshi Katare

Marcus Farne loves working with entrepreneurs.

He’s also had to be entrepreneurial himself. After starting the MSLCE program in the winter quarter, Marcus has been learning to cope with the demands of a rigorous academic curriculum all while searching for opportunities to help expand his experience. In true entrepreneurial style, he leveraged his network and resources to land an internship that could help him further his pursuit within the creative industry. This summer he has secured two internships, one of which is at Shinabery Agency. (more…)

MSLCE Student Seeks Innovation in Storytelling + Solutions for Arts Organizations

By Priyanshi Katare

Laura Rensing has an eclectic professional background. She’s held a wide range of jobs; from writing to publishing to theaterand while she can’t pinpoint exactly what turned her toward the creative industries, the through line for all her work has been her love for storytelling. 

“I like being able to tell stories through whatever medium I have,” she explained, “as I grew in my career, I learned to tell stories through data and use that to present the course of action I considered best.” 

After college, Rensing worked for a publishing organization and it was there that she realized the work she was doing wasn’t as fulfilling as she thought it would be. 

I thought why not pursue something I actually interested in and made the transition to a more cohesive arts focused job…while doing non-profit work it’s about the mission and how many people have been reached. To me, that is more satisfying than having the end goal be to simply bring in money.” she explained.   (more…)

An End to the ‘Feedback Sandwich’: Clarifying Approaches & Responses to Feedback with The Leadership Laboratory

by Sam Sartori, MSLCE Candidate ’20

If you’re anything like me, hearing the words, “can I give you some feedback?” can make you cringe. I’ll be the first to admit that receiving “constructive criticism” has never been one of my strengths. However, it is something I continually strive to be better at as I work through leadership development. So when I found out we had the opportunity to do a dive deep into understanding how to both give and receive feedback, I immediately said: “sign me up!”  

Back in the fall, our cohort attended a session with Jacob Goldstein, founder of The Leadership Laboratory, to learn how we can use the golden rule of improv (saying: “yes, and…”) into our day to day lives. This was one of my favorite career growth sessions from MSLCE, so I was excited to have another opportunity to learn from Jacob about positive behavioral change.   (more…)

A Move from Filmmaking to Learning the Film Business

Brianna Matthews ’16 always knew she wanted to be involved in filmmaking. Her father was an actor, and she had her sights set on a hands-on, conservatory-style undergraduate program that teaches students how movies are made.  

As a film production major at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she learned the ins and outs of how each motion picture studio department works together to create a film. 

As she replicated sets from Hollywood movies, learned software, and studied filmmaking fundamentals, she realized there was still a lot she didn’t know about the film industry. After graduation, she was completing internships and doing freelance production work on television and movie sets like American Idol, Bird People, and Love is in the Air. 

“I didn’t really have a pathway to something long term,” she explains. “After a while, I realized this wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted. I wanted to move to the business side of the industry—to something a little more stable. I wanted to learn how movies get to the set stage in the first place.”  (more…)

How Data is Permeating the Media Marketplace

Jim Webster, professor at Northwestern University’s School of Communication, went to college for the first time in Fall 1969, it was a tumultuous time. The country was in the throes of the Vietnam War and President Nixon had moved U.S. troops into Cambodia. In Spring 1970, many college campuses simply shut down and canceled the second semester. 

 As Webster prepares to retire at the end of the summer, he’s experiencing trying times once again: His MSLCE course—Understanding Media Markets: Users, Makers + Metrics—has moved online for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s certainly a curious bookend to my life as an academic,” he says.  (more…)

Shifting Business Models and Exhibitions at the wndr Museum

by Samantha Sartori

In grad school, we read a lot of case studies.

This quarter in our Business Models course, we’re discovering the importance for companies to be able to shift their business model when the time is right.

So when we took a visit to wndr museum and met with their team, it ended up being a live case study for us. We saw first-hand how this local, interactive art museum is learning to shift its model. (more…)

Everything You Need to Know: Applying for the MSLCE Program

Our program is truly unique. Specific to creative industries, Northwestern’s MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises (MSLCE) empowers professionals with the tools and skills to advance creative work across entertainment, media and the arts.

We help you develop an entrepreneurial mindset for the business side of creative industries. To do this, you’ll learn in the classroom, of course—but you’ll also learn from your peers and their diverse professional and personal experiences.

Academic qualifications matter during the application process, but they aren’t the only factor. Let’s take a closer look at each step and what you need to know! (more…)

Build Your Toolkit: Career Advice from the Inside Track on Marketing and PR for the Arts and Entertainment

by Samantha Sartori 

This winter quarter, our cohort had the opportunity to get an inside perspective on career paths in the marketing and PR sector of the arts and entertainment. This mini-series event featuring hiring decision-makers was all about leveraging the best set of tools to get your resume to the top of the stack and how to succeed during the job interview.

Here’s some of the sound advice we learned in order to execute a smooth job search and land the role. (more…)

A Balancing Act: Executive and Artistic Leadership in the Performing Arts Speaker Series

by Samantha Sartori

Day and night.

Yin and yang.

Left and right.

You can’t have one without the other.

The same holds true for performing arts organizations: you can’t have the artistic side without the executive side.

Our MSLCE Speaker Series this winter set out to demystify how the two sides come together to connect the creative and artistic vision with an organization’s business strategy. Erica Daniels, Executive Director of the Victory Gardens Theater, and Al Heartley, Managing Director of Northwestern’s own Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, spent an evening talking about their journeys from performer to performing arts business executives. (more…)