Arts Administration and Policy: Current Students
Mariela Acuña is an art educator and art administrator pursuing a dual degree in Art Administration and Public Policy and Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mariela thinks about her practice as an administrator as an evolving socially engaged practice. As Exhibitions and Residency Coordinator at the Hyde Park Art Center, Mariela is part of a team that develops and runs 15 exhibitions and 12 residencies for local, national, and international artists each year. Before moving to Chicago, Mariela held the positions of Public Programs Manager and Family Programs Coordinator at the Norton Museum of Art, where she worked to develop and implement programs for people of all ages and backgrounds to be inspired, think, make, and build relationships through art. She previously worked at the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, and Girls’ Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale. Mariela was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and was raised in Guatemala City. She holds a BA in Art History and a BFA in Sculpture from Florida Atlantic University.
Elise Butterfield is a graduate student in the dual MA program studying Arts Administration and Art History. She is an arts administrator, curator, dancer and disability advocate. Before moving to Chicago, Elise worked as Programs and Gallery Director at Art Access in Salt Lake City, Utah. During her time there Elise helped to start Breaking Barriers, a state-wide cultural accessibility training program, and created the Art Therapy for Survivors program. She curated numerous shows in the Art Access and Access II galleries, focusing in particular on working with emerging local artists. Currently, Elise works with The Space Movement Project, a Chicago-based dance company, and serves as an Associate Editor for the 2020 issue of emerge. She recently completed an internship with the Chicago Dancemakers Forum where her work focused on accessibility and program evaluation. Elise, a Seattleite, holds BAs in International Studies and Dance from the University of Washington (2014).
Kathryn Cua is a writer, editor, and cultural organizer. Kat’s background is in art history and journalism, and has had professional experience working in art museums and galleries. Her interests in her coursework lie primarily in dreaming up alternatives to the nonprofit model, collaborative and cooperative forms of working, examining the ways in which community care can exist at an organizational level, and developing new ways of valuing and validating artists and artwork. In addition, Kat is the Project Assistant at SAIC at Homan Square and the editor-in-chief of the 2020-21 issue of emerge, the department’s online journal on arts administration and policy.
Ruby Dudasik is an aspiring arts administrator, writer, and creator from New York City with a focus in theater and event management. A first year in the Arts Administration M.A. program, she has an academic background in performance theory and dramatic literature, with professional experience in non-profit events, fundraising, and audience development. Prior to moving to Chicago, Ruby worked on Broadway and in several art institutions of various sizes throughout the New York metro area. Ruby is interested in creating funding infrastructures for the theater industry that increase accessibility, inclusion, and affordability. Originally from Manhattan, she has also lived in Arizona, Massachusetts, and London. In May 2020, Ruby received a B.A. from New York University in Classical Anthropology and Global Liberal Studies, with a concentration in Arts and Literature.
Clayton Kennedy is an arts administrator and art historian from Fowlerville, Michigan. He earned his BA in Art History and Visual Culture from Michigan State University in 2020. While in undergrad, Clayton worked as a gallery assistant at both the MSU Broad Art Museum and the Michigan State Galleries. He also underwent an internship in arts administration at the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center. His interests revolve around exhibition-making and the democratization of arts institutions.
Originally from Southampton County, Virginia, Rebecca Lowe Mosena is an artist, arts administrator, and fundraiser with eight years of experience working in non-profit arts organizations and higher education. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she oversees the annual giving program. Before relocating to Chicago, Rebecca lived, studied, and worked in New York City for eight years. Her interests and research navigate contested public history, creative placemaking, and the roles that social memory, oral history—and their preservation—play throughout. Rebecca holds a BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City.
Tatyana Scott (MAAAP ‘22) has experience working with nonprofit and management. New to Chicago, Tatyana spent the last four years in Boston where she collaborated with artists and activists. She has been involved with fundraising ventures through art shows, has led volunteer networks, and has worked with multiple cooperatives and independent artist groups. Tatyana earned her BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from Eastern New Mexico University in 2016, where she worked with The Runnels Gallery and The Runnels Library Collection.
Moe Zhao is a MA candidate in Masters of Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is from China and received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from University College London. Her working experience in art galleries and institutions in China and the US and her design positions in architecture offices in China and Great Britain both contributed to her interest in being responsible for the future of art and design and being creative.