April 29, 2021 | By Sophia Willer | Back to blog

“Who knows? Have patience. Go where you must go and hope!” -Gandalf

I had to start this blog post off with a Lord of the Rings quote because, why not? This past year has been an exercise in patience as well as growth. It has been a series of ups and downs with small victories and hardships experienced equally. Although these two semesters were not what I was expecting, I found a space to grow and discovered opportunities and interests that I hope to explore and pursue post graduation.

Returning to school, my main goal was to gain additional training and to network with others. As someone who learns visually and through hands on experience, the opportunity to work closely with an arts organization was appealing to me. I ended up being paired with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (WCO) and I have learned a great deal during my time with this organization. As the Education and Community Associate I have assisted in the expansion of Super Strings, a program that brings free violin lessons to underserved children in the Madison area. Through this work I have learned about what it means to be a collaborator, communicator, and leader. Most importantly, I was able to put these lessons into practice and this experience has furthered my own interest in community work and programming.

My time in this program has given me not only leadership experience but also allowed me to discover new pathways for myself. One class that was meaningful to me in this respect was Arts Entrepreneurship. This course included class discussions, guest speakers, and projects centered around arts entrepreneurship. One term that has stuck with me is the word ‘multipotentialite’ or someone who has multiple interests and talents. Entrepreneurship is the best pursuit for a multipotentialite as it affords flexibility and makes it possible to pursue and combine various interests. I identify as a multipotentialite and before this class, I was unsure of how I could combine my interests into a tangible project. This course inspired me and birthed the idea of Artful Biking, a summer event that will engage Black Women and take them on artful rides around the Madison area. In addition to biking and art, there will be opportunities to attend bike workshops to learn about bike safety and maintenance. Following graduation, I am hoping to spend a year planning out Artful Biking’s maiden season to present in the Summer of 2022.

I am incredibly thankful and grateful for the Bolz Center of Arts Administration and the opportunities, support and knowledge I have gained during my time in the MA: Arts & Creative Enterprise program. Before my time in this program there was this sense of lack of direction. I knew I wanted to work in the arts but I did not know in what capacity or how I could be involved in the arts while also maintaining and pursuing other interests. This program has given me a new perspective and I am so excited to begin a new journey after I graduate. The journey is in discovery. To quote Gandalf once more and to add my own twist to this loved quote, “all we have to decide is what to do with the time and talents that are given to us.”