First-year arts administration students explore Charlotte destinations

Coordinated by the Student Professional Development Center, Elon students met with leaders of some of Charlotte’s top performing arts attractions and an Elon alumna.

Elon arts administration majors traveled to Charlotte and met with representatives of some of the Queen City’s most popular attractions for deeper understanding of the business side of the performing arts.

On Monday, April 17, students toured the Charlotte Ballet and Blumenthal Performing Arts while learning about those institutions’ values and practices from their staffs and management. At Blumenthal, they met with Raegan Kirkpatrick ’19, an arts administration alumna who is the center’s marketing and promotions coordinator.

Brooke Gustafson ’26 was one of the students who participated and was eager to meet Kirkpatrick after connecting with her through an earlier class assignment.

 First-year students Abi Colburn, Brooke Gustafson and Tea Jones at the Charlotte Ballet“I’ve been highly interested in interning at the Blumenthal since I came to Elon and met other students who had participated in that program,” Gustafson said. “I got to meet Raegan in person and create even more connections to a company I would love to be involved with in the future.

“The opportunity to connect with and glean knowledge from such high executives of these successful arts companies is invaluable.”

The excursion was coordinated by Danielle Golinski of the Student Professional Development Center. Golinski is the SPDC’s associate director of corporate and employer relations for Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and says the center routinely arranges for groups of students to participate in Career Treks such as the one for the Arts Administration Program this week.

Those trips allow students to make professional connections, gain insight into fields and industries, and to explore in-person the concepts discussed in their courses. Golinski said the treks and their outcomes are a highlight of her job.

“Blumenthal Performing Arts and the Charlotte Ballet previously expressed a desire to get more connected with Elon students, especially through internships and post-graduate opportunities, and this career trek was a positive step in that professional relationship,” Golinski said. “Our students showed up fully engaged, with many specific and tailored questions prepared, and were able to connect what they have begun to learn in the classroom to that of the professional working world. Dots were being connected along the way, and it was great to see them very excited, passionate and curious. I look forward to additional opportunities to partner with programs within the College of Arts and Sciences to provide treks for their students.”

Another Career Trek — to Carolina Biological in Burlington — is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, at 3 p.m. That hour-long tour will discuss the local company’s business supplying educators and scientists with specimens and supplies. If you would like to participate, email Golinksi by Monday, April 24.