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Veronica Bustoz

Veronica Bustoz
BA in Technical Theatre, Aquinas College

Area(s) of Interest: Music, TV/film, Performing arts, Theatre, Dance, Nonprofit work, Entrepreneurship, PR/Marketing

Experience: Stage managing for Los Colochos Teatro, a theatre company from Mexico City hosted by The Goodman for the Destinos Theatre Festival. Los Colochos presented MENDOZA, a Spanish-language adaptation of MACBETH set during the Mexican Revolution. It was my first time calling cues on a show in Spanish, with a cast that primarily spoke Spanish, and acting as translator between Los Colochos and Goodman staff. I was nervous my Spanish wouldn’t be good enough, but the gig went well and led to more work at The Goodman.

Ideal job in 10 Years: I’m not sure yet, but I know I’d like to have a hand in hiring or creating opportunities for artists who are BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ, or have a hand in creating programs that make art venues/arts education more accessible to people who are low income.

What led you to enroll in the MSLCE program at Northwestern?

After theatres shut down in March, theatre artists across the country began discussing ways in which theatre companies have upheld white supremacy and have failed all artists of color, but especially Black and Indigenous artists. Additionally, we began to challenge the practices that can make a career in the industry unsustainable: unpaid internships, long hours for low pay, and limited opportunities for artists of color. The MSLCE program found me when I was considering what my contribution to moving the industry forward could be. I wanted to rely on the leadership and administrative skills I already had, but felt powerless to exact any change. I believe elevating myself to a leadership position through the MSLCE is the right path for me to be able to make the kind of changes I want to see in the arts, even if the program leads me to opportunities outside the theatre industry.

What are you most looking forward to about the MSLCE program? Honestly, I’m most excited for classes! Reading through the list of electives when I first applied, I wondered if there’s a way to take them all– they all sound so good!

If you could have lunch with one person (living or dead), who would it be? I would love to have lunch with my uncle who passed a couple of years ago. He was incredibly artistic– he wrote poetry, he drew, he was a musician, and he was the kind of person who always made time for his nieces and nephews. I have very fond memories of listening to music with him, dabbling in various musical instruments, and using his art supplies when I went to visit. I would love to discuss the intersection of the arts and social justice with him, and talk about his favorite music. I never asked him his favorite musical artists while he was still with us. His artistry and patience had a huge influence on me.

Which leader or influential figure inspires you the most and why? Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Her progressive policies and grassroots organizing are amazing, she is unafraid to speak up and challenge outdated policies and politicians, and I think we need to start handing over leadership, locally and nationally, to younger folks.

Where are you from?  Chicago, IL