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Non-Profit Arts Engagement’s Collaborative Role in Influencing Cultural Change

By Aimee Ortega

Theater number three in the historic Harper Theater, located off of Harper Avenue in Hyde Park, was filled to capacity a few weeks ago as an audience of community members, students, scholars, artists came together to see a free screening of the Emmy nominated documentary and Sundance Film Festival winner, American Promise. (more…)

Gigi Pritzker Shares Stories, Insights and Industry Advice with MSLCE Students

by Thomas Wall

As graduate students, we are constantly seeking advice on how to advance our careers. But when that advice comes from an Emmy-winning film producer and CEO/Founder of her own media company, it carries a special weight. Thanks to the MSLCE program, we were granted the opportunity to meet, hear from, and most importantly learn from acclaimed filmmaker, businesswoman, and all-around trailblazer, Gigi Pritzker, on January 17th. (more…)

EPICS Team Kickstarts Winter Quarter With Career Management Session “New Year Reboot”


The winter quarter is already off to the races for the current MSLCE cohort. We recently participated in an advanced Career Management Session titled “New Year Reboot: Your Career Strategy + Opportunity Search,” led by Mandi Glowen of the EPICS team. In the session, we focused on strategies and ways to enhance our process of researching, applying for and securing summer internships and post-grad positions. (more…)

Interpreting Data in Creative Roles: Culture and Arts Analytics


I’ll admit – initially, I was pretty nervous to take a masters-level course with “analytics” in the title. I’ve never been a numbers-minded person – I’d much rather take the reins with my words when explaining things. But after taking Agnes Horvat’s Culture & Arts Analytics class as part of the MSLCE program, I realized that there’s a way to combine both words and numbers when it comes to analyzing and discussing trends and patterns in the industry. (more…)

New Lessons in Familiar Packaging: Organizational Processes in Creative Enterprises

By Tom Wall

It’s something completely new wrapped in something familiar. In so many ways, Pablo Boczkowski’s Organizational Processes in Creative Enterprises course was unlike anything I had ever experienced in the classroom before. While I knew nothing about the three lenses approach to analyzing companies, heuristics and decision-making biases, or the pros and cons of variable compensation before taking this course, Pablo was able to explain these high-level concepts to my cohort and I, and put them in contexts that would be recognizable and relatable to us through real-world case studies involving companies and brands we had all likely encountered at one point in our lives.

MSLCE Students Gain Insight Into Non-Profit Theatre World, “Experience Economy” at Goodman Theatre


A select group of MSLCE students, accompanied by EPICS staff Mandi Glowen and Jonah Zeiger, recently took a site visit of the Goodman Theatre, Chicago’s largest (and oldest) non-profit theatre.

The cohort met with John Collins, General Manager, and Kate Welham, Senior Director of Institutional Giving and Development Operations, in a two-hour session and tour of the iconic locale. Both Collins and Welham were very open during the session, answering questions with insight and candor while simultaneously maintaining a positive outlook on the future of the industry. (more…)

Where Are They Now? 5 Questions with MSLCE Alum Adrian Alea

Adrian Alea, Class of 2018

Adrian graduated from MSLCE in Fall of 2018. While in the program, he had had a Community Impact Fellowship with the Public Theatre in New York, participated in Northwestern School of Communications’ CommFest, and aspired to start his own creative management company. MSLCE recently had a chance to connect with MSLCE Alum Adrian Alea and ask him a couple questions about what he’s up to now, and what he values most about his time in the program.

What is your current role(s)/project(s) and what are your responsibilities?

I recently formed my own LLC (The Alea Company) which focuses on creative direction and production for theater, live events, and music videos in both commercial and non-profit industries. I concentrate on developing, directing, and producing content and stories that elevate the social consciousness of humanity and analyze the human spirit. Currently, I am associate directing Disney’s new musical in development and directing a musical adaptation of the award-winning novel Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia, featuring music & lyrics by IBEYI (Beyoncé’s Lemonade). I am finishing up post-production for my second music video “Nena Nena Nena” for singer-songwriter MICHA and will be directing Fucking A by Suzan-Lori Parks at Yale University come January 2019. Other projects currently in development include a TV mini-series based on the novel Monkey Hunting that centers around the 1800’s sugar-cane slave trade and migration of Chinese immigrants to Cuba, a theater adaption of Chekhov’s Three Sisters set in 1980’s Miami during the Drug Wars, and a new play by Obie Award-winning playwright Caridad Svich entitled STAND

Tell us about any interesting or unique projects you worked on during your time in the MSLCE program.

In Understanding Creative Enterprises and Organizational Processes, we had a final project where we had to develop a transmedia story based on existing intellectual property and pitch how we would create it by forming an organizational body. I pitched using Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth as our source text. With a truly dedicated and inventive team, we formed an organization that would expand the story through graphic novels, a sequel film, a theme-park installation, and a special ballet based on the original film. Coming into the program, my foundation was mostly in theater and artist management; however, this experience inspired me to continue to pursue developing and producing transmedia stories and experiences.  (more…)

Where Are They Now? 5 Questions with MSLCE Alum Lauren Vernea


“My advice would be to put everything you have into the program. Go to the all the events, network with people outside of MSLCE, and most importantly build within your cohort.”

Lauren Vernea, Class of 2017

What is your current role(s)/project(s) and what are your responsibilities?

By day, I’m currently a freelance documentary associate producer based in New York City. On nights and weekends, I’m an actress, writer and narrative film producer. After doing my internship at the end of MSLCE, I was hired by the company for another project and from there, thankfully, the work kept coming. I’ve been able to work for some really awesome companies like Mass Appeal, Vox, and ABC News, producing documentaries for Netflix, PBS, Starz, and Fox. As an Associate Producer I work mainly with producers and editors, getting documentaries ready for air. This includes finding archival videos and photos, scheduling shoots, reviewing cuts, performing journalist duties, etc. My favorite aspect of the work is shaping the script/story and conducting interviews. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and lead shoots at music festivals and really cool events. I’ve met people I’ve looked up to all my life and learned from them. I wish I knew more about this industry before I moved to NYC and I tell other MSLCE students that reach out to me to look into it and take it seriously. It’s a really awesome industry.

Besides my day job, living in NYC really made me step up my game as a writer, actor, and singer. I’ve been able to take classes in all three of these areas and find professional work opportunities. I’m creating pitch decks, acting in plays, writing and performing sketch comedy at The People’s Improv Theater, singing in cabarets near Broadway at Don’t Tell Mama, and workshopping my comedy TV pilot scripts that I’m prepping to shoot next year. The people who live here are overly ambitious and it does rub off on you. It can be a stressful city to live in, but the access you get to the industry, outside of LA, is unparalleled. If you’re like me and you always wanted to work in entertainment, it’s a playground here. 

Tell us about any interesting or unique projects you worked on during your time in the MSLCE program.

My favorite project during MSLCE would definitely be the fictional sketch comedy network we created called “Sketch Connect” in Entrepreneurship for the Arts with Prof. Greg Latterman. That was by far my favorite class of the program as I love creating creative organizations from the ground up. What made this class different, however, were the research tactics I learned and feedback I received through the class that allowed for the final product to turn out so much better. The Digital TV class with AJ Christian was amazing as he’s just an amazing and authentic person who genuinely wants to mentor creators of color. He really helped me find my voice and understand more about the TV industry as a whole.

Joshua Baggett Wants to Be a Storyteller

By Miya Williams Fayne

Joshua Baggett fell in love with theatre in his freshman year of high school. While studying the play The Death of a Salesman in his acting class, he witnessed the power of storytelling firsthand. “I had never experienced that sort of reaction from a book, or film or TV show,” he recalls.  “After that initial read I knew the theatre is where I wanted to be.”