Natalie Wilson

"I've always been involved in the arts in one way or another, and have known for a long time that I would work in the theater. Currently, I am working as a freelance stage manager. I do a lot of work with Interact Theater Company but have worked all over the Twin Cities theater scene, including the Guthrie, Theater Latté Da, and The Illusion.

"I work in the technical side of theater, managing the communications and day-to-day schedule of theatrical productions. But I am also an avid music fan, gallery attendee, and audience member. I love the buffet of arts that the Twin Cities have to offer.

"For me, the most appealing aspect of the MPS in Arts and Cultural Leadership program is the ability to work in the field while I am pursuing my degree. I love that my career is seen as an asset to the program and not a hindrance. The professors teaching the classes are also working professionals, which I have found valuable beyond compare.

"The program is helping make me savvy to the business practices of the arts and will help me to be a decision maker in the field. As a freelance artist, I am at the whim of the organizations that hire me. As an ACL grad, I will be able to be one of the folks at the table making decisions that affect the health and future of the theater that I work for. I want to be one of the people who decides where an organization is going and what they are presenting. I will be able to create the vision instead of just supporting it.

"In addition, I feel that international partnerships are an important part of a progressive arts community. The ACL program has helped me develop that interest as well. Around the time of my enrollment to the program, I had the idea of joining Interact Theater Company on an international development trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. My ACL adviser was integral in helping me arrange the trip and setting up the parameters of my independent study. I was able to work with Interact for two months and earn independent study credits. The partnership we created was so successful that next year I am going back to Thailand with Interact to continue the work. I would never have been able to be a part of such an extraordinary learning experience without the ACL program."

Natalie Wilson photo
"I want to be one of the people who decides where an organization is going and what they are presenting. I will be able to create the vision instead of just supporting it."