September 11, 2020 | By Mariana Cameli | Back to blog

It is with great excitement that I introduce myself as an MBA candidate in the Bolz Center for Arts Administration Class of 2022! It has been an electrifying and humbling experience meeting the fellow Bolz cohort of MA-B: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership students. The class is full of incredible arts and culture leaders who already have made lasting impacts on the community. I am grateful to be a part of such a special group and hope to learn from everyone’s experiences and skillsets to become a stronger, more informed arts administrator post-graduation.

I arrive at the Wisconsin School of Business with experience in a variety of different creative industries. During college, I worked in fashion production and ran around New York City scouting for talent. I then transitioned into retail as a merchant assistant at Macy’s in women’s contemporary shoes. I then landed my breakthrough role in the arts as an intern at CODAworx, a digital community and resource hub for the commissioned art economy. I was brought on the team after the completion of my internship and over the years, I wore many hats and worked on a variety of projects. While on the membership team, I supported worldwide artists and connected them with commissioning opportunities. In my market development role, I leveraged outside industry data to qualify key art incorporation opportunities. My time at CODAworx solidified my desire to support creatives and drive community engagement with art. Most recently, I worked at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This was an exciting opportunity to explore the nonprofit, institutional art sector. I initially worked in visitor engagement, where I supported students, community members, and international visitors as they interacted with the museum and sculpture garden. Later I was brought on to the development team to work on the museum’s major fundraising events. My experience at the museum not only fortified patron cultivation skills but also solidified the importance of the relationship-building between an institution and the community in which it exists.

After living around the country, I decided it was time to return to my home state of Wisconsin. The MBA program through the Bolz Center was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with the community and reestablish myself professionally in Wisconsin. I am looking forward to honing traditional business skills and growing my cultural literacy. With these tools, I hope to support innovative, inclusive, and welcoming opportunities for diverse, Wisconsin-based audiencesas they engage with creative and cultural institutions.

As part of the experiential learning emphasis of the Bolz Center’s program, I have been matched with the Overture Center for the Arts for my Applied Learning Placement this year. I will be serving as the Strategic Planning Coordinator, working with a variety of departments to navigate through current and future challenges and opportunities for the organization. I am thrilled to be partnered with such a fantastic organization and cannot wait to learn and grow throughout the placement.

Upon the completion of my MBA, I hope to continue to work in the nonprofit sector and serve as a development officer at an arts or cultural institution in Wisconsin. And while, like most industries, the state of the arts is a bit in flux, I welcome the opportunity to confront these challenges together with my  Bolz Center classmates!