News from the Arts Administration Graduate Program
                                           Winter 2015
In This Issue
Letters from the Editor and Program Directors 

 Carly Rapaport-Stein
 ArtsLine Editor

Editor's Letter


As John Donne so famously said, no man is an island. And for those of us who create and administrate art, this is especially true as ideas fly around the world with the click of a button, imbuing our interactions and our art with an ever-increasing global flare. As the world becomes more interconnected, understanding the tides both within and outside the arts world and their effect on our artistic output gains importance and urgency. We do not and cannot create in a bubble, as art wends its way into every aspect of life, forming a growing document of our living history. It becomes important, then, to keep our ears to the ground, to know what is happening throughout the world, and to amplify the voices of people who are making and reflecting on our moment in history. We have to look outward and pay attention to the world to understand the issues that will shape our lives and our art.


This issue of ArtsLine directs our gaze outward, examining some of the issues that are influencing art and creativity. The expanding Chinese contemporary art scene is explored through an interview with American-born artist Maya Kramer, issues of art influencing place are investigated through domestic and international moments of creative placemaking, and the confluence of art and the economy are analyzed through a look at the effect of the minimum wage on arts participation.


As you read this newsletter, I hope it sparks discussion and thought about what issues will affect us in the coming months and years. Feel free to reach out
to continue the discussion!


Carly Rapaport-Stein

Graduate Assistant, ArtsLine



Arts Administration Faculty

Julie Hawkins,  Campus Program Director

Jean Brody, Online Program Director 
Neville Vakharia, Assistant Professor & Research Director

Andrew Zitcer, Assistant Teaching Professor & Thesis Director
Program Directors' Letter

Dear ArtsLine Readers:

Happy 2015!  We hope the new year has been good to all of you thus far.  At Drexel, we're knee deep into the winter quarter, and looking forward to many upcoming events for which we hope you can join us.


  • Michael Kaiser, President Emeritus of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and known for his work as a turnaround agent at some of the world's most prominent cultural organizations, will be visiting Drexel.  Originally scheduled to be on campus January 27, Kaiser's visit was postponed due to inclement weather, and will be held now on Thursday, February 19. You can RSVP here.
  • AAGA's 12th Annual Art Auction will be held in the URBN Center on Friday, February 27.  Proceeds from this annual student-led fundraiser enable first-year arts administration students to attend  National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.  Come join us and show your support for our programs and for arts advocacy, and please visit the AAGA website for more information.
  • Early March brings a visit to campus from two of our peers from Carnegie Mellon University and American University, who will serve as external reviewers of Drexel's Arts Administration programs.  Their two-day visit is part of a year-long strategic planning and evaluation effort, known as Program Alignment & Review (PAR), that will culminate in a new long-range plan for our programs.  Alumni and students have been an active part of the process thus far, and will meet with our site visitors as well.  If you'd like to participate, please reach out to Carly Rapaport-Stein to find out how to get involved.  We'll be scheduling times with the external reviewers on March 2, and you'll be able to participate either by coming to campus or online, so watch for an invitation to one of their listening sessions. 
  • In April, several full-time faculty members will travel to Portland, Oregon for the annual conference of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE).  There, we will present our research and share ideas with peers from other arts administration programs across the country and around the world. 
  • Jean Brody is working on plans for a Professional Development Day later this year.  The tentative date is May 9.  Online students, please watch for a brief poll seeking your interest in and availability for a program on that date. 

While we certainly have a lot coming up this winter and spring, it's been quite busy already this academic year. In the fall quarter, 13 students graduated and 20 students successfully completed their master's thesis.  We recently held a retreat for full-time and adjunct faculty, during which we reviewed the overall curriculum relative to recent changes in the field to help determine where we might make adjustments going forward in order to better prepare students for their careers. And in addition to the program happenings, faculty kept busy:

  • Last September, Neville Vakharia hosted the launch of CultureSpots in the Pearlstein Gallery here on campus. CultureSpots, whose creator Cliff Stevens worked with Neville during the tool's development process, is a new mobile platform that enables organizations such as small or mid-sized galleries and museums to easily provide visitors with a customized mobile audio tour experience.  You can visit the website to learn more about the tool and how to use it for free.  
  • In November, we hosted classical musicians from China's National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA), who performed a pop-up concert in the URBN Center lobby.  The performance was followed by a conversation between Philadelphia Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore and President of China's NCPA Chen Ping, which was moderated by Julie Hawkins.
  • Adjunct Instructor Cathy Hernandez received an International Experience Fund grant from Drexel, allowing her to travel to London to interview leading arts managers for her course, Managing Performing Arts Organizations. The interviews were conducted in October, 2014 and consisted of conversations with Jasper Hope, Chief Operating Officer of The Royal Albert Hall, Amanda Decker, Cultural Strategy Coordinator at The Mayor's Office, Andrew Ward, Director of Dance Forward, and Margaret Andraos, Senior Philanthropy Manager with The Royal Opera House.  These interviews will be seen by students taking the course online in Fall 2015.

As we continue to reflect on the history of the programs and their future direction this year during the PAR process, we are consistently reminded of the incredible breadth, diversity, and accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni.  We are so proud of all that you do to bring arts, culture, and creativity into the lives of others.  Thank you for all of your contributions, and keep up the great work!



Jean and Julie


An American in Shanghai, by Carly Rapaport-Stein

Artist Maya Kramer moved to Shanghai to help open a gallery, fell in love with the burgeoning art scene, and chose to move her life to Shanghai. I spoke to Maya about the Shanghai art scene and her life as an American artist in China.


CRS: Tell me about your history as an artist.

MK: I studied painting at the Maryland Institute, worked as a curator at the Guggenheim for three years, completed an MFA in sculpture at Hunter, and then managed a collection for an art collector in New Jersey.

While managing the collection, I had a tiny, freezing studio in Bushwick, NYC, and would then go to Bernardsville, NJ, where the collector had a house filled with Warhols. I lived in his pool suite for three days a week, working on the collection. In my weekly life, I was oscillating between luxury and poverty, and I didn't feel entirely comfortable in either world.


CRS: What first attracted you to China?

MK: A former curator at the Guggenheim started a private museum in China, and offered to pay for my help in setting up the museum. At first, I was extremely hesitant to go. But I began to realize that I knew how art was created in NYC, and I wanted to try something new. After two months of being in Shanghai, I realized that I wanted to move my life here.


CRS: What's been your experience with the Shanghai arts community?

MK: In Shanghai, where I'm based, you go to one opening and you know everyone - the visual arts community is tiny! If you don't know the language, it is much harder. I'm learning Mandarin, but I will always be learning more. Mandarin is an incredible language, a very visual language. It is conceptual art. The language is a visual puzzle, and it makes total sense once you start thinking of it as a pictographic language. Unless you actually study the pictures, you'll never understand the beauty of Chinese.


CRS: What are some of the movements happening within contemporary Chinese art?

MK: The traditions and perspectives are so different, and it's hard to wrap your mind around that as a Westerner. There is what we understand as the Western trajectory of art, a linear progression from one movement to the next. In China, that trajectory does not hold the same place, and artists have no holds barred - they can mix and match all of these crazy things that don't make sense or don't belong together. For instance, social realist painting has a huge influence, and so does ink painting, which stems from a 5,000 year old tradition. You can't reconcile those two things, but somehow contemporary artists deal with both in the same work in a way that is surprising and fascinating.


CRS: What is the art museum scene like in Shanghai?

MK: When I moved to Shanghai, I think there were two art museums open, and now there are eight or nine. There is a different cultural perception of art museums here - private citizens are driving the cultural train by opening most of these museums, rather than having museums funded like American nonprofit entities. Often, the people opening museums do not have a ton of experience, but the museums themselves can be quite interesting, as people are choosing things outside the established canon.

The K11 Art Mall, for example, is exactly what it sounds like - a mall covered in art. The founder of the mall collects art and has incredible pieces displayed throughout the mall, which also houses luxury stores and a food court. The only government funded art museum I can think of is The Power Station of Art, an old power station that the government converted into an art museum. The art is all over the board, everything from a show of tapestries borrowed from a museum in Paris to exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art.


CRS: What are some of the challenges of showing art as an international artist?

MK: It is very challenging on two fronts, being a woman and being a foreigner. Feminism does not exist here, and as a woman, it is harder to get my voice heard. Additionally, the Chinese are rightfully excited about the fact that their culture is starting to take center stage, and many Chinese people want to invest in the next generation of Chinese artists. Showing work is not hard, but, as a foreign artist, selling work is tough. Your work does not circulate as much in arts criticism, and magazine reviews of shows focus mostly on Chinese contemporary artists with maybe one or two foreign artists thrown in the mix. Culturally, I see a general movement in which people are starting to see art as a return on an investment, rather than something that they are personally engaged in.


CRS: Has living in China changed your art?

MK: Absolutely. China is the coolest place to make art I can even imagine. I made one of my favorite sculptures, a tiger skull made from laundry detergent, in 3 weeks, and the gallerist paid for all of my supplies. What I could do in New York City was confined to what I could do myself, including what I could physically do. If I wanted to cast a mold or weld something, I had to pay for expensive tools, teach myself to do the work, and then do the work. It took a long time and I was always limited - living in NYC, I just could not make art at the scale I wanted to, which was frustrating on many levels. Working in China, if I don't know how to do something, finding a collaborator is easy and inexpensive both in terms of labor and materials, opening up a huge realm of possibility in what I can accomplish and what my art can be. It has been a phenomenal change and an extremely interesting time in my life.


Maya Kramer, "There is Nothing You Can Measure Anymore"

For more information about Maya and her work, please visit

Finding a Place: Lily Yeh and Creative Placemaking, by Suhee You


The world of art has progressed into something bigger than just hanging a painting in a gallery or a performer singing on stage in front of a large audience. We have seen growth in artists wanting to share their vision with a broader audience and the desire to connect on a deeper level with humanity. In a sense, art has become a movement; a movement to transform the way we see and live our world. And if you're aware of this movement, you recognize the term creative placemaking. But what is creative placemaking? NEA's Jason Schupbach defines it best: "in creative placemaking, public, private, not-for-profit and community sectors partner to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city or region around arts and cultural activities."


Artist Lily Yeh is at the forefront of practicing creative placemaking. As a co-founder of The Village of Arts and Humanities, Yeh began by cleaning up a vacant lot in North Philadelphia. Neighborhood children began to assist and work at the site, gradually turning it into a lush park with beautiful mural paintings and broken tile sculptures. Today, the Village has become the go-to spot for job training, health education, and arts programs for its community, as well as a fun and relaxing hangout-spot for children and adults of the neighborhood. The Village offers land reclamation projects, economic development within the city, and often collaborates with other local nonprofit organizations in the city. 


In 2002, Yeh began to pursue and nurture her new project Barefoot Artists, expanding the creative placemaking origins of The Village of Arts and Humanities to a more global scale. With a mission to build communities through art-making, Lily Yeh travels to communities in countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Ecuador and China. Like the Village of Arts and Humanities, through her work with Barefoot Artists, Yeh aspires to empower residents, establish communities and create sustainability.


Yeh began to conduct workshops to start the healing process through art. In 2004, Barefoot Artists launched The Rwanda Healing Project, a project to deal with the aftermath of mass genocide that still reverberated a decade later. Yeh aimed for two programs within the project: Genocide Memorial Park and the transformation of the Survivors Village. By empowering its people with the proper tools, Yeh created a sense of self-sufficiency and resilience within the Survivors Village. Jobs have been created, health and education opportunities have emerged, and the development of a banking system occurred. The completion of Genocide Memorial Park symbolized a new beginning, and today, the people of the village continue to transform their community.  What was once a dark and grim place to live has transcended into an environment for nurturing dreams and a fully-functioning town - a living testament to the power of placemaking and of art.


During a screening of her new documentary, The Barefoot Artist, Lily Yeh was asked about her familiarity with the term creative placemaking, its economic effects, and how the work she has done may come from a different place than others. It's important for current and future arts administrators to look at and understand her answer.  She explained that the desire for creative placemaking doesn't come from an external source, or from the desire to make a place beautiful or create jobs. It comes from an internal place - a place of wanting to connect with others on a human level. Be the best truthful and authentic being, listening to your heart's voice. Then the plans will come, and the place will be enlivened. 


Suhee You is a first year graduate student in the Arts Administration program.

The Art of the Minimum Wage, by Hannah Rechtschaffen


The United States deems itself a leader in the world, exerting its power across the globe with military action and financial market control, but our support of the arts and culture sector at the federal level does not match funding levels across the globe. The U.S. government spends 1/40th of what countries like Germany and England spend per capita in their arts and culture sectors.[1] And, worse than our federal arts spending, minimum wages for citizens of the United States lag far behind other nations. While we as a sector continue to focus on arts funding, one of the true culprits of our low revenue and audience participation is the low funding for our audience's quality of life. The U.S. lags behind Japan, Australia, England, Ireland, France, and more, in minimum wage. As people of all ages are being forced to make due with less and less, it comes as no surprise that spending is lagging in support of the arts. It has become the extended responsibility of arts and culture sector leaders and activists to band with those demanding higher wages in order to see that the quality of life and the ability to enjoy arts experiences increase across society.


As the minimum wage in the U.S. comes under fire, and wage issues are on the ballot box across the country, spending on individual arts experiences has correlated to the regional increases in pay.[2] This suggests that audience participation is not solely dependent on improved programming and access, but also on simply having the funds to consider experiences that are beyond basic need. With more and more focus being drawn to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) worldwide,[3] many people are looking to their employer as the driving force behind their quality of life. In the arts and culture sector, as we spend countless hours examining audience participation and writing grants to secure the funds we need to provide arts experiences, our scope often stops short of the minimum wage argument, and we do not acknowledge the toll that low pay takes on the ability of our audiences to participate.


As we see countries like China and Germany lead the arts and culture sector in funding, the U.S. must rise to the occasion and begin to value the artistic needs and experiences of its populace more highly. The population growth noted in cities that are heavily focused on developing their arts and culture sectors, such as Philadelphia, Austin, and Chicago, points to the high value being placed on the arts by people with the means to relocate. Coincidentally, these cities have also recently experienced increases in their minimum wage, or are in the midst of a movement to do so. Here in Philadelphia, groups like and work to raise awareness of our wage crisis, and they look to partner with other groups in their advocacy efforts.


Our population is speaking to the government with their money, moving to cities that support and value the arts, attending and consuming arts and culture products, both outside the home and online. Without a change in both our federal support of the arts and our economic support of our workforce, our reputation, functionality, and global leadership will suffer. It is in the best interest of the arts and culture sector to support the movement that is demanding higher wages, which will ultimately provide arts participation opportunities for every income level. We as a sector have long since disproven that art is solely for the consumption of the elite, and now our responsibility extends to ensuring that not only the elite can afford it.


[1] Gummow, Jodie. "Culturally Impoverished: US NEA Spends 1/40th of What Germany Doles Out for Arts Per Capita." AlterNet, February 5, 2014.

[2] Altman, Morris. "A High-Wage Path to Economic Growth and Development." Challenge 41, no. 1 (February 1998): 91-104

Hannah Rechtschaffen is a first year student in the Arts Administration program.



Alumni Spotlight: 11:11 ACC, by Addy Gonzalez-Renteria


In 2009, my business partner, Erin Stone, and I founded the non-profit arts organization 11:11 A Creative Collective (11:11 ACC). While I was working on 11:11ACC, I was also completing my studies at Drexel. My thesis, "The Feasibility of Creating a Community Cultural Plan for the San Fernando Valley," tied in nicely with the work I was already doing with 11:11 ACC and opened up new possibilities and perspectives into the role the organization played within the bigger context of a cultural plan for the Valley.


Erin and I saw a great need for the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles California to have an arts organization that would strengthen its artistic community.  The San Fernando Valley, otherwise known simply as "The Valley" makes up the largest part of the city of Los Angeles, accounting for approximately 77% of its land area. With no definitive comprehensive agency to oversee the cultural or artistic activity, programming, funding or marketing exclusively catering to the needs of the Valley, we knew something had to change.


We started with a small fundraiser to host a one-night group exhibit featuring Valley artists. The response and support this first show received was proof there was a legitimate interest and need to continue these "pop-up" shows. For the next two and half years 11:11 ACC focused on creating events that were accessible to all Valley artists and residents.


The pop-up shows evolved into what we at 11:11 ACC call "Traveling Galleries" and serve not only as strategic and temporary creative placemaking engines, but also serve the property owners with vacant storefronts to get their space noticed. One of the traveling galleries in the community of Canoga Park led to the creation of the "Third Thursdays Canoga Park Art Walk" which celebrates community, art, music and food. In its 4th year, the Third Thursdays Canoga Park Art Walk takes place during the summer and brings in approximately five to six thousand residents, including artists displaying their work, artisans selling their crafts, food trucks, musicians and the participation of neighboring businesses. Part of the current programming includes the traveling galleries, which now host a number of workshops, classes and exhibits, and a public art program called "Fill in the ____ Project" which aims to facilitate murals throughout the Valley.


11:11 ACC received non-profit status in 2013 and continues to thrive. For more information, please visit the website at and check out everything it has in store.



Addy Gonzalez-Renteria ('11) is an alumna of the online Arts Administration program.
Arts Happenings on Drexel's Campus
Drexel Performances
Philadelphia is rich with artistic and cultural activities, but so is Drexel's campus! In addition to the numerous special lectures and screenings held at the university, Westphal holds an active performance calendar. Click here for a complete listing of events or here to follow the Performing Arts at Drexel.
Student and Alumni News


Amy Scheidegger is now an Adjunct Professor teaching Audience Development for the Drexel Arts and Entertainment Management program. She is also speaking at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, on a panel called "Putting Artists First" for this year's Arts Advocacy Day kick-off event.


Brittnie Knight was promoted to Program & Sales Coordinator at the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.


Meg Metz Rye was hired as a Design Recruiter for Facebook in London


Sarah Johnson is now a Managerial Associate at Alliance Artist  Management


Filiz O'Brien was hired as the Membership Manager at Opera Philadelphia.


Moira M. Baylson joined Citizens Bank as Vice President, Regional Public Affairs Market Manager.


Lindsay Tucker So was elected as Emerging Leaders co-chair of Americans for the Arts' (AFTA) Emerging Leaders Network Council.


Michelle Baxter and Lindsay Tucker So were named New Leaders Council Fellows for the City of Philadelphia.


Amanda Gorsegner was hired as the Arts Education Director with the Monmouth County Arts Council in NJ. 

Emily Ost began work as the Gallery Manager at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery.

Jon Hummel started work as the Orchestra and Production Manager at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Mary Kate O'Keefe was hired as the Development Assistant at ArtsWestchester. 

Hannah Rechtschaffen is interning at the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

Congratulations to Kaitlin Beck, who brought daughter Dawn Rose into the world on December 23, 2014.

We would love to share your good news! To add your name and accomplishments to the Spring edition of ArtsLine, please contact Carly Rapaport-Stein
Arts Administration Graduate Association News

Upcoming Events


2014-15 AAGA Contacts

Brittnie Knight


Mike Tanis

Vice President

Naima Murphy

Events Director

Cara Scharf

Advocacy Director

Olivia Morton

Communications Director 

Leah Appleton


Hannah Rechtschaffen

Public Relations Manager 

Carly Rapaport-Stein


Suhee You

First Year Liaison 

 Clare Lowry

First Year Liaison

For general inquiries, please contact
Drexel University Arts Administration |
3501 Market Street, Suite 210
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Please use the email above to send any ideas for articles or news items. ArtsLine invites alumni and students to contribute relevant articles for future issues.