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Taylor Walters-Chapman

Taylor Walters-Chapman
BFA in Performance, concentration in Gender & Women’s Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Area(s) of Interest: Music, TV/film, Fine arts, Performing arts, Theatre, Arts/music festivals, Nonprofit work, Entrepreneurship, New works

Experience: Writing and producing an opera has to be my biggest achievement- I spent two years researching a folk legend, chatting with local historians and even going on two trips across the country to get my feet wet. Then, a 6 month production schedule, including 2 fundraisers, made sure everyone was paid fairly and even supported the costs of a videographer! It gave me a real taste of what it was like to produce a new work from scratch.

Ideal job in 10 Years: Running a new works department or company- I’ve been mainly working in the opera sphere but I would be happy in musical theater or other live entertainment. I’m extremely passionate about creating opportunities for disadvantaged people to have their voice be heard and help them tell their story, and collaborating on new shows feels fresh and exciting every time.

What led you to enroll in the MSLCE program at Northwestern? My mentor actually went through this program and I watched how it took all of his raw hustle and funnel it into projects and a career path where he could stretch his wings and be celebrated instead of turned down. I want the same thing for myself- I have a lot of ideas and energy but only have the opportunities I create for myself to use them- I want to work with others and take advantage of what else is out there instead of exhausting my own ecosystem.

What are you most looking forward to about the MSLCE program? I definitely am interested in the Power of Pitch and Persuasion! I even peeked at the recommended reading list from last year’s class and have checked them out already. Otherwise, I’m really interested in being coached as to my “brand” and help figuring out what goals I really want to focus on. And, of course, collaborating with my cohort and making something I never would have thought of on my own!

If you could have lunch with anyone person (living or dead) who would it be? Rhiannon Giddens is an opera singer (very much alive!) who went from singing at the Met to recording folk albums, and it’s my understanding she’s writing and producing a folk opera right now! She also hosts one of my favorite podcasts, “Aria Code,” which breaks down an aria from an opera every week musically and historically. I just love everything she produces and how she’s connected folk music storytelling to opera- my two greatest loves.

Where are you from? Chicago, IL, USA