Hands-on Art


Caitlin Healy '08 of Clinton, Conn., is putting her bachelor's degree in arts management to work as she serves as the associate coordinator for MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC). She provides support needed to run the College's Gallery 51, as well as its DownStreet Art, MCLA Presents! and North Adams Open Studios initiatives.

"I have always loved the arts, but I am not artistic myself," Healy said. "Arts management allows me to be involved in the arts without being an artist. I love working for BCRC and being a part of the North Adams community."

Healy transferred to MCLA at the beginning of her junior year.

"I had been a commuter student at a state college in Connecticut and had just spent a year studying abroad in Florence," she explained. "When I returned I decided that I wanted to find a smaller school where I could really focus on my studies. My original plan was to double major in art and business. While searching for new schools I found that MCLA had an arts management program that already combined art and business, while focusing on non-profit management. It was exactly what I was looking for."  

Also attractive to Healy were MCLA's small student body and campus, and the fact that the College is located close to a number of major arts destinations, such as MASS MoCA and The Clark.

During her senior year, Healy traveled with a group of MCLA students to New York City to attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference. The event is the world's largest marketplace for the performing arts, and the top destination for arts administrators who want to experience the very latest in artistic performances from around the globe.

MCLA further helped to prepare Healy for the working world through its emphasis on hands-on learning.

"Being able to curate an exhibition at MCLA Gallery 51 and to help program MCLA Presents! gave me real-world experience," she explained. "Also, having great cultural institutions nearby, like the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and The Clark, gave me the opportunity for internships."

After graduating in December 2008, Healy started her career by serving in a number of short-term positions, including those at MASS MoCA, Pittsfield 250, the Storefront Artists Projects and DownStreet Art. She began work in her latest position at the start of this summer.

"Although I began work as the BCRC's associate coordinator in June, I have worked here in the past. Last summer I was an associate gallery manager, and I was a gallery attendant before I graduated from MCLA," she explained.

"I really like North Adams," Healy continued. "North Adams and the Berkshires region is a great place to be working in the arts. Seeing the changes that have happened over the years in North Adams due to the cultural community has been amazing."