2015-2016 Cohort

Lya Alonso

Lya Alonso…from Guadalajara, Mexico

Lya majored in Communication Sciences from ITESO University in Guadalajara in 2007. Just after graduating she got involved in the production of a documentary film on the indigenous communities in Chiapas, which was well received in local and international film festivals. Since then, she has devoted herself to audiovisual production, participating in films, music videos, fashion, and advertising.

Later on, inspired by her own city’s history, she became interested in the field of cultural management, and developed a program that aims to enhance cultural tourism in Guadalajara, which received a government grant.

Because of her interest in learning about economical sustainability and cross-cultural projects, she is thrilled to be part of the third MMIAM cohort.

Mariana Cascante

Mariana Cascante…from Bogotá, Colombia

Mariana is a curious person who enjoys art, management, and languages. Her attention to detail would make her an excellent editor, but she is actually an industrial engineer with a master’s in the same field from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her interest in management and culture led her to pursue a certificate in international business while finishing her undergraduate studies.

Most of her professional experience has been dedicated to market research and understanding consumer behaviour, and exploring and determining what drives consumer decisions about products and services. She believes that art managers can be of vital importance to finding the connections between the value of art and people’s thoughts and emotions, and then effectively transmitting this value to their diverse audiences. Through the program she hopes to develop skills to stimulate the arts through seamless dialogue among artists, viewers and all participants.

She has volunteered for organizations devoted to bringing art and basic education to children in disadvantaged communities in her hometown. Her broader interests include the arts, city and museum walks, language classes, and reading. If you are looking for interesting reads, this is one of her recommended reading sites: www.brainpickings.org.

Anne d’Amours

Anne d'Amours…from Québec City, Canada

Anne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Laval University in Québec City with a major in Business Administration. In 2015, she completed a Master’s in Fine Arts at Laval University, focusing on the impact of museum displays in contemporary art exhibitions. As a painter and printmaker, she did an international art residency and has participated in local individual exhibitions. Complementing her career as an artist, she has worked with museum, gallery, and event curators and administrators to mount exhibitions. Her passion for art also led her to become involved in teaching young people and the elderly. Her broader interests include cinema, outdoor activities, and cooking.

The MMIAM degree truly mixes Anne’s two main interests: art and business. It embodies all the topics that drive her – economics, politics, culture, and event planning. As a future arts manager, she is excited by the challenges of an intensive year of study and the opportunity to experience life on three different campuses and visit a fourth. Travelling has long been a powerful motivator for Anne, who can now add Dallas, Montréal, Bogotá, and Milan to her globetrotter lifestyle.

Charlotte Diwan

Charlotte Diwan…from Geneva, Switzerland

Charlotte Diwan was born and grew up in Geneva, Switzerland. She then obtained a BA in International Relations from the University of London. Throughout her studies, Charlotte interned a number of times in a human rights NGO working in development/outreach and advocacy. Through this, she developed skills in research, non-profit work, and fundraising. During her studies, her interests varied from international governance to political and cultural theory. She also developed her enthusiasm for visual arts by attending art fairs and exhibitions in different countries and developed an interest in the intersection of politics and visual arts. She wrote her bachelor’s thesis on the development of American abstract expressionism in the United States during the Cold War, exploring cultural diplomacy and ideology.

After graduating in 2008, Charlotte worked for a gallery and art dealing/advisory company in Geneva where she was able to develop skills in art history, cataloguing, and the international art market. She was introduced to more practical tasks such as helping organize exhibitions, communicating with other galleries and actors in the art world, managing art collections, and archiving and inventorying work. She would like to continue working in the visual art market in the future.

Kassidy Greiner

Kassidy Greiner…from Kansas City, USA

Kassidy Jacqueline Greiner’s diverse interests in arts and cultures have long been the driving motivators in her life. As a professional ballet dancer, Kassidy performed with dance companies throughout the US including Ballet Tucson, Nashville Ballet, and the Richmond Ballet. Her favourite ballet performed is Serenade by George Balanchine. She supplemented her career as a performing artist with work in arts administration and development.

Kassidy holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Foreign Language with a concentration in Spanish and a minor in Mediterranean Studies. In her undergraduate career, she studied abroad at Universidad de Córdoba in Spain and served as a mentor to the International Buddy Exchange Program. In her senior year internship, Kassidy designed a preschool Spanish immersion program serving the children of university faculty and staff.

The MMIAM program merges Kassidy’s lifelong passion of arts and interests in education and international business. She is so excited to bring together these facets in one culminating master’s degree. Her other interests include the visual arts, yoga, and travel.

Tiffanie Guffroy

Tiffanie Guffroy…from Lille, France

Originally from Lille, France, Tiffanie has a wide range of academic and professional experiences in different countries, in the cultural field. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Political Science from Sciences Po Lille, specializing in culture and development. During her studies, she spent a year at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and nine months at the French Embassy and l’Alliance française in Malta for an internship.

Her professional career as an international arts coordinator started when she returned to the French Embassy in Malta to organize “Ulysse 2009”, a multinational travelling project centred around literature and peace in the Mediterranean region. This experience in Malta, Tunisia, Libya, Cyprus, and Lebanon enabled her to understand more clearly how international cultural cooperation could have concrete and powerful impacts.

Tiffanie has also had the opportunity to improve her skills and knowledge about various subjects directly related to culture and management, in different countries and in different languages. These include: public administration at the Conseil Économique, Social et Environnemental Régional (Lille, France); managing projects dealing with economics and innovation at the Eurometropolis cross-border agency (Kortrijk, Belgium); fundraising and project management at the National Theatre School of Canada (Montréal, Canada).

Brendan Healy

Brendan Healy…from Toronto, Canada

Originally from Montréal, Brendan began his career as an actor, appearing most-notably in Peter Hinton’s production of Greg MacArthur’s Girls! Girls! Girls!, presented at the 2001 TransAmériques Festival. It was at that festival that Brendan met Richard Maxwell, whose company, the New York City Players, is considered to be one of the most influential alternative theatre companies currently operating in Manhattan. That meeting led Brendan to decide to dedicate himself entirely to directing. He left for New York to intern under Mr. Maxwell.

Brendan attended the National Theatre School of Canada’s Directing Program and trained extensively with one of the pioneers of the American avant-garde Anne Bogart and the SITI Company before relocating to Toronto. Brendan established himself as a central figure in the city’s theatre scene and his work has been presented across the country. His shows have garnered multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and he is a recipient of the Ken McDougall and the Pauline McGibbon awards for directing.

Between 2009 and 2015, Brendan was the Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. During his time at Buddies, the company experienced an unprecedented period of artistic success with a string of celebrated productions. Brendan has been a regular instructor at the National Theatre School and he has presented seminars and taught workshops at universities across the country including Concordia University, York University, Brock University, and the University of Lethbridge.


Brittany Yvonne Johnson

Brittany Yvonne Johnson…from Pearland, USA

Brittany was born and raised in Pearland, Texas. She received two undergraduate degrees in 2011 from Texas A&M University, the first in International Communications and the second in Spanish. In 2013, she completed a Master’s in Journalism at the University of Texas in Austin. She spent her final year researching and writing about cultural museums in Austin. After graduating, she worked full time as the communications and social media manager and Spanish-English translator for Wheeler Avenue in Houston. During this time, she also served as a Battleground Texas fellow, working with the Southeast Houston/Brazoria County offices for the Wendy R. Davis gubernatorial campaign.

Brittany learned at a young age that she should appreciate, rather than make, art. Internships in the communications departments of both Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin and SFMOMA in San Francisco opened her eyes to the possibility that she could combine her previous training in communications and journalism, with her interest in museums and the arts.

In pursuing a degree in the MMIAM program, Brittany looks forward to linking her interests in the arts, communications and technology, and international relations.

She can be found online @brittanyyvonne and on LinkedIn: Brittany Yvonne Johnson.

Robert O’Brien

Robert O'Brien…from Hartford, USA

Originally from Hartford, Connecticut, Robert has been a performer for years in many disciplines. After developing a passion for music in high school, he decided to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree in voice at McGill University in Montréal with a complementary minor in philosophy.

In addition to performing, Robert also started managing in a cultural setting in high school and into college where he served as treasurer and producer for a collegiate theatre company. After graduating, Robert continued working with Opera McGill as stage manager, an organization with whom he sang as a student. While there, he was privileged to work on operas of all periods, including the Canadian premier of a new work, Volpone.

His next engagement was with the Adirondack Theatre Festival, where he served as intern to the general manager, an intensive experience that allowed him to be involved in all facets of theatre administration. Most recently, he held the position of Business Associate with TheaterWorks, an award winning theatre company in his home town.

Robert has a variety of interests in arts, culture, history and beyond, specifically in the music, theatre and recorded media industries. Additionally, he has a passion for travel and languages, which he aims to make the most of through international work. He still performs in opera and musical theatre works, most recently appearing in Connecticut with Madison Lyric Stage.

Kirby Richards

Kirby Richards…from Dallas, USA

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Kirby’s interests have been shaped by both her native city’s unique cultural environment and her travels abroad. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with dual degrees in Art History and History from the Honors College at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and double minored in Italian and Classical Studies. She also spent a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy, traveling extensively throughout Europe to write her art history thesis on the 17th-century painter Guido Cagnacci. She also wrote a history thesis on urban planning and the Dallas Arts District.

Kirby worked for two years at the Kimbell Art Museum alongside the curator of European art, where she contributed to exhibits including Bernini: Sculpting in Clay, as well as forthcoming shows relating to the Le Nain brothers and Casanova. She also assisted as an exhibitor at the Dallas Art Fair with the New York gallery Geary Contemporary. Most recently, however, she has worked in marketing and social media for a land use consulting firm in Dallas.

With a love of both international cultures and the arts, the MMIAM program was a natural fit for Kirby. She believes the program will give her the skills to be a successful, global-minded arts professional, and cannot wait to move into a career helping solve the ever-shifting challenges of this exciting industry.