2014-2015 Cohort

Laura Adlers

Laura Adlers…from Toronto, Canada

Laura has worked with artists and arts organizations across Canada for almost twenty years through her freelance business, The Adlers Agency. From 2011-2014, she was the National Program and Community Relations Director for Business for the Arts in Toronto, where she was instrumental in managing the national expansion of the artsVest™ program.

In addition to her extensive work with Canadian artists, Laura is deeply committed to her Latvian roots and promoting world-class Latvian artists to the rest of the world. Most notably, she was the international manager for Latvian Youth Choir BALSIS and conductor Ints Teterovskis from 2009-2014.

Laura’s interests during and after completion of studies are international program development and comparative studies of international arts markets, including cultural policy issues, culture management practices, and social innovation models for the arts. In addition, she has a special interest in Indigenous cultures around the world and believes that as a global community we all have so much to learn from them.

Laura has dual citizenship from Canada and Latvia and holds Canadian and EU passports.

Maria Cristina (Bebi) Arroyo-Pont

Maria Cristina Arroyo-Pont…from San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

Maria Cristina majored in Management, Marketing, and International Business from Villanova School of Business in Philadelphia. While studying abroad in Spain, she had her first educational experience in Cultural Heritage Management Studies. After graduating from college in 2012, she worked for two years at Vision-to-Action (V2A), a Puerto Rican Strategic Management Consultant Firm, focusing on projects of process improvement and strategic planning in the industries of Banking, Health Insurance and Auto Insurance. It was during these years when she realized she wanted to pursue a career that combined her studies in strategy management with her passion for international culture. Maria Cristina believes MMIAM’s balanced curriculum as well as its unique international experience will give her the necessary skills to pursue a career in Arts Management. After graduating from this Masters, she would like to get professionally immersed in the arts and cultural industry and work in strategic sustainability and economic development for an international cultural organization.

Frances Craven

Frances Craven…from Manchester, United Kingdom

Although Frances performed on many occasions for her dance school, it was only when she had the opportunity to get involved in the management of the shows coupled with working backstage, that she felt she was doing something she truly enjoyed.

Over the past 4 years her experiences have involved leading volunteers for the PSi Conference and LUDUS Festival at the University of Leeds. She also worked on a variety of projects for Journey9; a marketing and events company, as well as directing and producing the Little Leeds Fringe; the first ever artistic fringe festival to take place at her university. Most recently she was involved in collating all performance information for the UK’s national theatre of new plays; Paines Plough, and preparing it for the 2012/2013 Arts Council Annual Submission Report.

The MMIAM program interested Frances because it provides an international dimension to her learning experience, all while studying organizations who at the heart of their culture believe that any medium of art can be enhanced by strong management. Her ambition would be to set up her own business with the same values and vision.

Yan Gu

Yan Gu…from Shanghai, China

Yan’s undergraduate education in sociology, her working experiences as an event planner, her personal adventure with visiting more than 30 countries all over the world, and most importantly her enthusiasm in arts all convinced her to choose this program, starting a new journey. Economical and financial development have carried China forward at an extremely fast pace, today China plays an indispensable role in the global art market. She is particularly interested in visual arts and looking forward to facilitating and accelerating arts communication and transaction to a larger scope.

Seulgi Hong

Seulgi Hong…from Seoul, Korea

Seulgi has a double bachelor’s degree in French Language and International Trade & Policy from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea. Prior to joining the MMIAM program, Seulgi worked at the Embassy of Czech Republic in Korea as a Culture & PR Officer. Her professional background includes government relations, public affairs, and event management from small to large-scale conferences and exhibitions. Since her childhood, art and music have always been a great passion. She has pursued arts as a hobby through drawing, painting, crafts, photography and playing jazz piano. Seulgi wishes to combine her professional background working in diverse culture, with her interest in arts. Her main interest lies in arts education & engagement, creative youth development, and management of non-profit arts organizations. As a Korean native, Seulgi is fluent in English and French, and has studied Spanish and Chinese.

Wenhan Ou

Wenhan Ou…from Guangdong, China

Wenhan has been playing piano since the age of 13, and had performed with many famous Chinese pianists. In 2014, he graduated from China Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Arts Management. During his past 4 years, Wenhan has traveled most of China and studied local policies for performing arts with his mentor, Dajing Xie, ex-president of China Arts Management Education Association. What’s more, he is the executive propaganda conductor and stage manager in the campus and has helped operate more than 60 concerts and artistic activities. In 2013, he had an internship in the 16th Beijing Music Festival and in 2012 an internship in the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China. As an arts manager, he always thinks that if someone wants to manage artists, he needs to be an artist first. Wenhan hopes to find his arts management career by both performing on the stage and controlling behind the stage.

Jozef Spiteri

Jozef Spiteri…from Montréal, Canada

Jozef was born in Warsaw, Poland and has lived in a plethora of time zones. This enabled him to witness the positive effect arts have on communities worldwide, whether it is preserving one’s cultural heritage or expressing a new idea. After graduating from the University of Ottawa with B.A. in Honours History and Communication, he worked as the Vice President for Social Activities for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa. Noticing an untapped event budget, he took a chance to lure his favorite bands to campus and to bring to life some of his ideas. He then ventured into the world of advertising, where he focused on public/urban art, artist management, touring, and experiential marketing. During this time, he realized he wanted to pursue a career in the arts while integrating his knowledge of marketing and events to create a better awareness of art and culture. His ultimate goal is to work for a marketing agency geared towards using the arts as a tool and to create a cultural exchange between the Arctic countries. As a final note, Jozef is looking forward to the curriculum of the MMIAM program and is excited for future ventures.

Derek Stevenson

Derek Stevenson…from Lethbridge, Canada

Derek was first drawn to the arts in high school when he was cast in his first role in a production of Hansel and Gretel. Since that time he has never looked back. After performing in over 25 different productions in Lethbridge and the surrounding area, completing a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and a Bachelor of Management in Finance at the University of Lethbridge and becoming the Artistic Director/General Manager of the University run theatre company TheatreXtra, Derek recognized his passion not only for performing but for the managerial side of the arts. Following his graduation, Derek was hired by the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge where he quickly became a leader in the arts community. Derek took on many large projects, including the grand opening of the city’s new Community Arts Centre, Casa. He also became an advocate for a new Performing Arts Theatre project, and represented the arts on various city initiatives. Derek is thrilled with the opportunity to study in the MMIAM program and is excited to learn about Arts Management on a global scale.

Derek in the media:
Lethbridge Herald (Dave Mabell), December 4, 2015.

Shardai D. Taylor

Shardai D. Taylor…from Macon, USA

Dancing since the age of four, Shardai’s years of dance training, as well as classical music training, would culminate in her graduating magna cum laude from Brenau University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance, minor in Spanish Language and Literature.  Following college, she would go on to dance with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 in Dayton, Ohio.  Shardai then translated her performing arts background into development work for a New Jersey performing arts center.  As a member of the second cohort, she is thrilled to be a part of this program as it combines her interests in the arts and international business.  In the future, she hopes to put her artistic background and MMIAM degree to use in arts administration, with an ultimate goal of managing a dance festival or company.

Shardai in the media:
Dance Magazine (Suzannah Friscia), December 28, 2015 and in the January 2016 issue, Vol. 90, No. 1.

Amanda Vojvodin

Amanda Vojvodin…from Windsor, Canada

Amanda’s diverse and multicultural heritage is what first drew her to arts and culture. From an early age Amanda studied dance and theatre; going on to later teach both in her community. Her scholastic achievements, as a Jeunes Ambassadeur to France at l’Université Stendhal in Grenoble, focused on cross-cultural learning through the arts. She continued her education at l’Università Cattolica in Milan, focusing on Italian Arts and Heritage. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with two undergraduate degrees; Honours B.A Specialization Theatre, Arts Administration (French Immersion) and Honours B.A Italian Language and Culture. For 4 years Amanda worked at The Parliament of Canada both as a House of Commons Page and a Parliamentary Guide. This inspired her to study cultural policy in preparation of her goal to work and represent Canada as the Minister of Heritage. Currently her studies are focused on cultural heritage as represented through fashion, a field in which she hopes to pursue a career in. Amanda is honoured to have been selected as one of the few in the world for the MMIAM program, and is looking forward to the year ahead!

Amanda in the media:
OurWindsor.ca (Shelby Wye), September 28, 2015.

Jessie Wang

Jessie Wang…from Beijing, China

Originally from China, Jessie has lived in France, Canada and the US. Jessie is particularly fascinated by brilliant arts and cultures across the world. Fluent in both French and English, Jessie has a MA in media communication from Université de Montréal. Her work experiences in multiple government-based cultural exchange programs and arts institutions have contributed to her professionalism in cross-cultural communication and project management. Ambitious, determined and open-minded, Jessie aims at promoting cultural exchanges in a global scope, for she believes national treasures of art and culture belong to all mankind. Jessie is also a creative thinker, a world traveler and an amazing chef.

John Wells

John Wells…from Clearwater, USA

Upon graduating from the University of Florida in 2011 with a B.A. in English and Film Studies, John moved to Los Angeles to begin his work as an arts educator. Aside from teaching documentary filmmaking, songwriting, and drama, he coordinated community arts events such as the annual talent shows and monologue workshops. It was in this collaborative environment where he discovered the impact the arts can have on individuals as well as their community. In pursuing his masters in the MMIAM program, he aspires to work in developing an international creative exchange through digital media, community arts projects, and arts education programming. In his leisure time, John enjoys playing guitar and piano, eating great food, and going to the movies.