The starting point of my journey is a little unusual, perhaps, in that it begins at the world’s largest casino in Macau. Working as a senior manager in entertainment, I saw high-caliber Western singers such as Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga up-close on stage for their first performances in Macau.
Because I was eager to bring a larger variety of shows to Asia, I decided to come to Yale to explore the international art scene in the US. As a Master of Advanced Management (MAM) student, I am devoting my career to arts-management and taking all my elective classes in music, drama, and film. Along the way, I have had the privilege of encountering different artists and learning about the impact they have had on art and society.
In my Music, Service, and Society class, for example, I learned about the Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman who dedicated his life to saving Jewish musicians and formed the Palestine Symphony Orchestra during the time that the Nazis came to power. In the same class, I discovered how Spanish conductor Pablo Casals strived to make music more accessible to the working class. I was excited to see how American dancer Loie Fuller illuminated her dance with innovative, multi-colored lighting techniques in my drama class. Exploring how French new wave directors Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut had shaped cinematic techniques helped me look at films in other ways.
In addition to the resources at the university, I have found amazing opportunities in the larger New Haven community.
While taking a class with the Yale School of Music’s Visiting Lecturer Sebastian Ruth, a musician who founded Community MusicWorks, which offers free music education to children regardless of their abilities, I learned that there is an arts festival which takes place in New Haven in June every year. It is a sixteen-day event which offers a vast number of international art programs most of which are offered to the public for free. Because my background was in for-profit, I was particularly interested in getting involved in art events such as this. I became a volunteer at The International Festival of Arts & Ideas and was amazed by its strong dedication to serving diverse audiences and the community.
Also, one of my recent class projects has allowed me to get more hands-on experience with local art organizations. In this project, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work closely with MAM classmates Rebecca Dong, Rodolpho Campos, Rodrigo Perez, and Joshua Chen in coming up with financial and event recommendations for Artspace, a non-profit arts organization in New Haven. With the valuable guidance from the Curator & Gallery Director, Sarah Fritchey, and Gallery Associate & Artist Liaison, Shelli Stevens, I am now able to look at the New Haven art scene in a strategic way.
From working in a casino to getting involved at non-profit art organizations and relocating from Macau to New Haven, my journey has been rich and fascinating. Now I am graduating and imaging myself as an artist – my work has been colorful, but what will be the most beautiful way to picture my future?