Arts Administration and Policy: Current Students

Mariela Acuña (Dual '22)

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.

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Karla Aguiñiga (MAAAP‘ 21)

Karla Aguiñiga, is a transfronteriza (Mexican/American) artist, educator, and curator from Tijuana, Mexico. She is the founder of Torres Gutierrez, a nomadic art gallery that showcases emerging artists from Mexico and Southern California. Currently, she is the Public Programs and Engagement Coordinator at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. She has curated exhibitions such as “Fantasies and Fallacies” and “Dual Vision” at the Mexican Center for Culture and Cinematic Arts (CCCM) in Los Angeles- both featuring works by 35 LA-based Mexican and Chicanx artists, writers, musicians, performance artists, and filmmakers under the age of 35. Additionally, she has curated Latinx centered public programs for the Craft Contemporary Museum and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She is a founding member of AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides). AMBOS seeks to express and document border emotion through art made on opposite sides by providing a platform to bi-national artists along the border. Additionally, she is the secretary of Relaciones Inesperadas in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds a Bachelor in Art from the University of California Los Angeles.

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Elise Marie Butterfield (MAHA '22)

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).

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Maura Connors (MAAAP‘ 21)

Maura Connors is a MA candidate in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Masters of Arts Administration and Policy program (expected 2021). She has more than seven years of experience in digital and influencer marketing, writing, programming, and artist management across a variety of industries, ranging from architecture and arts nonprofits, to collegiate admissions and hospitality. Maura has a comprehensive understanding of the hospitality and arts worlds and recognizes the importance of storytelling and placemaking within these spaces. She currently works with art advising groups like CNL Projects and Johalla Projects in Chicago.

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Kathryn Rose Cua (Dual)

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.

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Sofia Gabriel Del Callejo (MAAAP‘ 21)


Sofia Gabriel Del Callejo (Mexico City, 1991) has BA in Cultural Studies and Management, and she is pursuing an MA in Arts Administration & Policy in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is a Mexican art manager with five years of experience in cultural media and marketing, communication, networking, and fundraising. She is interested in contemporary and emerging art in Latin America.

Before her arrival to Chicago, she worked as Head of Press and Personal Assistant of the Deputy Director at the National Museum of Art in Mexico. She was the Coordinator of Communication and Public Relations of the Mexican sculptor Jorge Marín, and the Studio Assistant of the artist Tania Candiani. Also, she has collaborated with the Office for Cultural Affairs at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Currently, Sofia is a Graduate Assistant of the Arts Administration & Policy department in SAIC. And she is interested in finding new models to develop the cultural sector in Mexico, as well as creating new fundraising strategies to get resources for socially engaged projects in her country.

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Ruby Jean Dudasik

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.

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Clayton Reed Kennedy

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.

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Rebecca Lowe Mosena (MAAAP‘ 22)

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.

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Vicente Robinson (MAAAP ‘21)

Vicente is a first-year graduate student in the Arts Administration and Policy department at SAIC. Originally from the greater Houston area, he attended Texas A&M University for his undergraduate studies where he earned a BA in Performance Studies. Currently, he is a Graduate Student Clerical Assistant in the Office of the President as well as a Graduate Student Ambassador in the Office of Graduate Admissions. Vicente is passionate about music, and especially about applying the questions presented by the MAAAP coursework to the popular music industry in the United State

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Francisca Rudolph (MAHA '21)

Francisca Rudolph (MAHA ‘21) is an arts administrator and independent curator. She earned dual BFAs in Art History and Mathematics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Her work explores the digital dissemination of art historical information in the interest of disrupting the hegemonic narratives often found in the online presence of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. Francisca is interested in an applied art history that offers a lens for thinking about intellectual property law and digital cultural heritage. She currently works as the Administration Director at SITE Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

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Tatyana Scott (MAAAP '22)

Tatyana Scott (MAAAP ‘22) is a first year student with 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.

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Moe Zhao Headshot

Moe (Mengxuan) Zhao

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.

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