Making a Difference

Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership students have the opportunity to serve on nonprofit boards in the Twin Cities area during their Board Practicum. In addition to gaining valuable experience, these roles often turn into full-time positions. Here is what just a few students said about their experiences:

Lann Briel

Lann Briel, Northern Clay Center

“The experience was wonderful. Sarah Milfelt (Deputy Director of Programs) is a very strong and competent arts leader. They asked me to stay on after my initial year as an ACL student, so I did. Over the past year I’ve helped secure donations for events and helped host events at the center.” 

Lucas Erickson in Uptown

Lucas Erickson, Made Here (a program that puts local art in vacant downtown storefronts and is headed by the Hennepin Theatre Trust)

“We meet four times a year and curate all of the art in the windows. All the advisory board members work in the arts in some capacity. We meet to discuss what we want to happen in the future and what we want now (art in store fronts, street events, new grants, etc.). We also have two meetings per year where we discuss which art applications should be accepted. We look for four key things: is the art compelling, is it viable, is it relevant, and quality. It is a great learning experience, especially for somebody like me who has never curated art before! All of this would not be possible without that fantastic leadership of Joan Vorderbruggen (Director of Public Art and Placemaking, Hennepin Theater Trust).”

Heidi Jeub in her studio

Heidi Jeub, Visual Arts Minnesota and Great River Arts 

“I look back on those years as inspiration to look at leadership in a new way, and keep asking “is this the best way to do things?” There’s always a new way to do something. I mean, we are the ARTS, right?! Let’s get creative! I also learned that I was a strategic leader and could see the big picture. I learned how to present my ideas without scaring off support. Both situations got me hired as staff.”

Heidi is the recipient of the Graduate Studies Scholarship in the College of Continuing Education.

Alex Legeros head shot

Alex Legeros, Mill City Opera and MacPhail Center for Music

“MacPhail has a well-developed, mature governance system so I mainly watched and absorbed. I now understand how much energy goes into leadership at MacPhail—one of the best organizations in the Cities—and how that leadership vision gets executed through strategic plans. Another key skill I learned was how to recognize other people’s strengths and know when and how to encourage them to participate when they might have something more to offer.”

Alex is the recipient of the Julius Nolte-Harold Miller Scholarship, which supports non-traditionally aged students taking classes in the College of Continuing Education.