Career Night for the Arts Alumni Feature: Lauren Pollock ’07, Gallery Director

by Rachel Lee

Meet Lauren Pollock from the BC class of 2007! Pollock is currently the Gallery Director of the Leila Heller Gallery in New York City (read more about the Gallery, with locations in New York and Dubai, here).

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heights Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association, bringing together all of BC’s best resources to help BC students turn their creativity into a career. You can also read the bios of all of the attending alumni here. 

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Lauren Pollock graduated from Boston College in 2007, with a degree in Art History. She continued her graduate studies at Hunter College in New York City, and completed a 6-month internship at The Jewish Museum where she assisted with the exhibition Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater1919-1949. Currently she is Director of Leila Heller Gallery, an art gallery specializing in contemporary international art with locations in New York City and Dubai. There she oversees the gallery’s ambitious exhibition and art fair programme, manages artist relationships, and helps to organize numerous off-site projects. Currently she is serving as the editor of a forthcoming book on the work of Shiva Ahmadi, to be published in 2017.

What is your most memorable art-related experience at BC and could you describe what you learned from it? 

Definitely the many afternoons spent at the MFA [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]! It is so wonderful that the Art Department at BC takes advantage of having so many amazing museums and institutions at its fingertips. The time I spent engaging directly with works of art for coursework was immensely inspiring and a driving force behind my decision to pursue a career in the arts.

In today’s fast-changing art world, what are some of the biggest changes you have witnessed during your career? 

The accessibility to art, or more specifically to images of art. Art enthusiasts, collectors and the general public now have vast resources for viewing art online and via social media. Already just in the number of years that I have been working in the gallery world, I feel there has been a noticeable change in how art is experienced. While there are many advantages to this of course, I hope that galleries and museums continue to remain spaces of learning, enjoyment and social engagement!

As a director of a contemporary art gallery, what is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Being able to work closely with so many amazing and talented artists. There is a great feeling of fulfillment in seeing a project or exhibition of their work to fruition, especially one that is well received publicly and critically.

Some of our artists have also had really fantastic public installation projects, which are especially exciting to work on…You feel the work is able to have this whole other life outside of the gallery! One of our artists currently has a large-scale outdoor sculpture featured in a public park in the city of Chicago, presented through the Chicago Parks District. Knowing that countless people pass by that work every day is pretty special!

What are some of the qualities or skills that you feel will help a BC student succeed in today’s art museum/gallery field?

Being passionate, driven and curious I think are all very important qualities to have! And definitely being proactive and engaged. For anyone seriously interested in pursuing a career in the arts, my advice is to just get out there: see art, visit museums and galleries, connect with people who are in the field, and ask questions!

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BC Students: Don’t forget to check out all of the amazing artistic alumni attending Career Night for the Arts 2016, and make sure to read our interviews with Maureen Donovan, the Deputy Director of Harvard Art Museums; Eric Butler, Theatre Producer; Erin Dionne, Author; Karen Stein, Art Director and Principal Designer at goodgood; Daron Manoogian, the Communications Director of Harvard Art Museums; and Stephen Zubricki III, Principal Designer for Mystic View Design, Inc.  Meet these alumni and more at Career Night for the Arts, Thursday November 17th, 2016 at 7-8:30pm in the Heights Room!

Career Night for the Arts 2016: Meet Theatre Producer Eric Butler from CSOM ’12

Meet Eric Butler! Eric is a theatre enthusiast and business aficionado, proving you can combine your interests in both management and the arts in building your very own career! Eric is one of our incredible BC arts alumni guests attending….

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heightscareer-night-final-1 Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association.

 

 

Eric Butler is the founder of Final Bow Productions, a commercial production company that invests in live entertainment, specifically Broadway and touring theatrical productions. He has served as a professional fundraiser in the not-for-profit sector since 2006, and his passion for education and the arts has helped him raise several millions of dollars for private institutions in his home state of Massachusetts. With substantial professional experience in fundraising and investor/donor relations, and an educational background in business and theatre arts, Eric is able to utilize these skill sets as he explores opportunities to produce and invest in works for the commercial stage. In the corporate sector, he has served as a consultant for Brown Brothers Harriman and an MBA Associate/Project Manager at Liberty Mutual, both with headquarters in Boston, MA.ericbutler.jpg

Eric is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA where he received degrees in Psychology and Theater. Following his graduation from Holy Cross, Eric served as a production assistant on the Broadway musical High Fidelity. In 2012, he received his M.B.A. (specializations in Marketing Informatics and Brand & Product Management) from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Eric is also an alumnus of the Commercial Theater Institute in New York City, NY.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finalbowproductions3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ButlerEric

  1. You have worked extensively in the art world, specifically in the theater arts, and your career has progressed along. How would you describe this journey? 

My career in the arts, like everything else, is a work in progress. The learning never ends. I’m blessed to be able to balance my work in commercial theater investing/producing with a more than full-time career in educational management. I do have to say that I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness shown to me by the Broadway community. I have been very fortunate to have received advice and mentoring from some of Broadway’s most successful producers. There is a tremendous level of support and opportunity out there for those who seek to network with and learn from the best.

  1. What made you decide to start your own company and what was the most fun part and the most frustrating part about starting your own company?

At Boston College, mostly through Professor Gallaugher’s Graduate Tech Trek, I developed a love of entrepreneurship. Starting Final Bow Productions was a way for me to begin to apply the skills developed in graduate school on a very practical level. It has been a blast for me to combine my love of theater with my interest in business. In my life, I always strive for balance. Investing and producing allows me to think analytically, yet be surrounded by great creativity.

In this industry, you need patience. It can take a very long time for a project to come your way that you think has strong commercial viability, but still possesses artistic integrity. The good ones are worth the wait.

  1. Your past/current work experiences involve being a fundraiser in the non-profit sector and also a consultant and an MBA Associate/Project Manager in the corporate sector. Could you describe and talk about your involvement in both non-profit sector and corporate sector and how it impacted your career? 

In many ways, my past and current experiences have served as a ‘perfect storm’ for producing. As an undergraduate psychology and theater double major at the College of the Holy Cross (the other Massachusetts Jesuit school!), I was exposed to many of the Western world’s best classic and contemporary dramatic works through theater history, dramatic literature, acting, and production courses. These classes gave me the ability to think critically about dramatic structure and recognize and appreciate strong, quality work.

My experiences in business school and in the corporate sector have given me the skill set to recognize investment potential in the arts. Broadway is a business and when evaluating investment opportunities you need to be comfortable dissecting contracts, capitalization and operating budgets, and recoupment schedules. There isn’t a project that crosses my desk where I don’t apply Porter’s Five Forces as part of my analysis!

And the last piece is the ability to raise funds. Obviously, theatre can’t be produced without the necessary resources. There are certainly many similarities between fundraising for a non-profit and raising capital for commercial theatre. Both philanthropists and investors want to see their funds treated with the utmost fiscal responsibility and to hopefully see an impactful return from their support.

  1. What during your time at BC do you feel was the most helpful advice or experience on your path to your career?

The best piece of advice I received in grad school might have come from Professor Bob Radin during the first week of class in his Managing People and Organizations course. He told a group of wide-eyed MBA candidates, “If you’re not good at something at this point in your life, you’ll probably never be good at it. Find something you’re good at and be the best you can be at that.” In a society that hands out ‘participation’ trophies left and right – this type of direct advice really brought focus and direction to the type of discernment that should be a part of your graduate school experience.

Given my unconventional background, the Boston College MBA program also put me out of my comfort zone. Having never taken a business course previously, I was forced into intense, academically rigorous accounting, finance, marketing, and management courses during our first semester. This fish-out-of-water/underdog experience (genres that almost always work) proved to me that natural competence combined with hard work can lead to unbridled satisfaction amid risk.

Also check out our interview with the Deputy Director of the Harvard Art Museums, Maureen Donovan!

Career Night for the Arts Alumni Profile: Erin Dionne!

by Alexa Villareal

Leading up to Career Night for the Arts, we have prepared some alumni profiles to give you insight into the careers of our alumni attendees. Today we are focusing on Erin Dionne ’97, a children’s book writer and professor at Montserrat College of Art. She received her M.F.A from Emerson College and worked in marketing at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a publishing company. She then continued to write for papers and magazines alike, including the Boston Herald, before settling in as a teacher.

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Erin studied English and Communications at Boston College. She looks back on her time fondly, most distinctly her time in the marching band. Her participation inspired parts of her novel Notes From an Accidental Band Geek. Erin’s novels have garnered recognition from Scholastic Book Fairs as well as features in state lists and major magazines. Some titles include Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies, The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, and most recently her fourteen day mystery books Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking and Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting.

Tell me a little bit about your time at BC! What groups or clubs were you a part of and what are your favorite memories?

I loved being at BC! I was really active in the BC bands program, and did marching band and pep band for all 4 years. One of my favorite experiences was marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1995 (so much so that I memorialized it in my novel NOTES FROM AN ACCIDENTAL BAND GEEK). I also had a great time playing in the pep band during the NCAA basketball tournament. We went to Salt Lake City one year and Orlando another.

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You’ve written for magazines, newspapers, and written books of your own, which is the most challenging and which is your favorite?

All types of writing are challenging for different reasons–deadlines, short turnarounds, and dealing with sources can all impact the journalism and magazine story writing processes. Writing novels involves lots of time and work to create compelling characters. Although I enjoy all of the types of writing I’ve done, I have to say that writing novels is my favorite–it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid.

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What during your time at BC do you feel was the most helpful advice or experience on your path to your career?

Taking Elizabeth Graver’s writing workshops were especially helpful to my career, because I learned to revise and edit my work–crucial in all of my endeavors.

How do you balance teaching, being a mom, and writing?

Haha. There’s no such thing as “balance.” Things are always shifting in priority. When I’m on a deadline, I have to fit everything around that. When grades are due, I have to grade. When the kids need something, they come to the front of the line. It’s a juggle, and each day is different.

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How did you get inspired to write and what inspired you to write your books for teens?

I’ve wanted to write since I was a little kid, because I loved books and reading. I write for tweens and teens because those are the stories I’m most interested in telling and the voices that resonate with me.

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Come meet Erin Dionne and other alumni artists at Career Night for the Arts on Thursday, November 12th! From 7:00-8:30pm in the McMullen Museum in Devlin Hall, you can come network and converse with BC alumni who have turned their creativity into a career.

Not sure how to network? Nervous about striking up conversations with new people? Come join us between 6:00 and 7:00pm right before the event in Devlin 008 for “Networking 101,” an advice session with networking tips and tricks from the BC Career Center. As a bonus, there will be snacks provided during “Networking 101” !

To see all the BC alumni artists attending Career Night for the Arts 2015, visit bc.edu/careernight.

Career Night for the Arts Alumni Profile: Daron Manoogian

By Estefania Szapiro Akl

 

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“I am constantly looking at the world around me”

As our event Career Night for the Arts approaches, we wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the accomplished alumni that will be joining us for the night. Today, we are talking to Daron Manoogian’98 who is currently the Director of Communications at Harvard Art Museums. He has progressed and succeeded in the Communications industry working in Public Relations, Marketing, and Communications. Join Daron and other talented alumni to get insight into their careers and lives, and take the opportunity to do some networking.

Daron Manoogian had two academic careers at BC. He had originally enrolled in CSOM in 1984, but in his junior year as he got into more classes with his major realized he had made the wrong choice. Daron immediately took a leave of absence and spent 10 years working in various jobs in retail, nightclubs, and healthcare before returning to his education. In 1995 he enrolled in the Woods College of Advancing Studies and majored in Communications. After being in the workplace for a decade, he finally knew where his interests were. Father Woods allowed him to begin where he had left off, and had all of his previous credits transferred. He spent the next 3 years working full time during the day and going to classes part time in the evening. Daron received his diploma in 1998 and was ready to join the communications industry

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(Photo of a new Harvard Art Museum renovation by Renzo Piano, courtesy of The Boston Globe)

I read some of your articles published in The Heights from when you were a student here at BC. Could you discuss your involvement in it as well as your involvement in other creative BC clubs or organizations and how it impacted your career?
I think that I’ve always had an interest and knack for writing, so the Heights was a great outlet. When I was in the College for Advancing Studies, I didn’t have much time for extracurricular activities.

You have worked in the Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations departments of different institutions and have progressed. Could you describe and talk about this progress and how you got hold of your current position as the Director of Communication for the Harvard Art Museum?
I’ve always tried to be selective about what kind of organizations that I chose to work for. I don’t have the ability to put my heart into a company or product that I do not feel is important. Working for WBUR was a great experience — a quality news organization. After learning about the opening at Harvard, I thought that it could be interesting, and a place to grow. Here at Harvard for 10 years, I have grown from being the Public Relations Officer with one staff member to being the Director of Communications overseeing a staff of 15 in the areas of PR/Marketing, Design, and Editorial. The Harvard Art Museums have offered me the opportunity to really express my creative side, and we enjoy brainstorming and working as a team on a range of print and digital materials, advertising and marketing, social media, media relations, and special events.

What is it like to work in the arts? Have you always had an interest for the arts?
Yes, I’ve always been a creative person, taking art classes, and I enjoy music. I feel that the arts are a very important part of education and life. That is why I support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math), instead of the more popular STEM curriculum.

What are the top 3 qualities, skills, or abilities that might help a BC student succeed in your field?

Working collaboratively with others, having the right mix of thinking fast and taking the time to make the right decision, and creativity (thinking “outside of the box” as they say).

How do you incorporate creativity in your day to day and how do you manage to stay creative?
I am constantly looking at the world around me, not to copy anything necessarily, but to inspire my own ideas. Having a staff that includes younger people with fresh ideas and a better sense of what is trending.

Which Festival Goer Are You? Top Three ArtsFest Essentials for Every Artistic Persuasion

By John Hogan

The winter is finally thawing and gaggles of Nantucket red shorts are migrating back to New England. Frisbees, sunshine and warmth, visible grass—so many things that seemed like a distant memory have returned. And what better way to celebrate the end of a winter that even Ned Stark wouldn’t have had enough blankets for than attending this year’s Arts Festival? Beginning this Thursday and continuing on until Saturday, the campus-wide celebration of creativity is bound to have at least one event for everybody. Are you a theatre pundit? A literary connoisseur? Check out our list of top three festival essentials for every artistic persuasion.

Top Three Can’t-Miss Festival Moments…

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…for Art Aficionados        

Don’t get lost in the in the marathon of events and forget to see the star of this year’s Arts Festival: alumni Chris Doyle ’81. His receiving of this year’s Arts Council Alumni Award is more than deserved: his interdisciplinary work combines video, animation, and watercolors and channels the parallels between urbanity and nature. Watch the full version of “Bright Canyon” here. Other works of his, like “The Fluid,” explore how cultural frames affect our view of landscapes. A constant theme of his work is the evocation of ecological wonder and vibrancy and the relationship between civilization and nature. Doyle will receive the Arts Council Alumni Award on Friday at 4:00. The ceremony and following reception are free and open to all.

Make sure to come by on Friday at 2:15 for Inside the BC Studio. Here Doyle will be interviewed about his career, his time at BC, and the relation between the two. Also stop by the tent on Saturday at 2:00 for the Industry Insider Panel. Here the tables will be turned and Doyle will interview Denise Markonish, Curator of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the MFA. Both events will paint a portrait of the arts industry and illustrate what it’s like to be the person painting the pictures as well as the person who puts them on the wall.

Acclaimed Artist Chris Doyle '81 is the Alumni Arts Award Recipient for 2015.

Acclaimed Artist Chris Doyle ’81 is the Alumni Arts Award Recipient for 2015.

…for Theatre ‘Thusiasts

If you’re longing for live performance—whether comedic or dramatic—there are a few events to keep an eye out for. The Boston College Theater Department will be performing Shakespeare’s final play The Tempest all three nights in Robsham at 7:30 PM. But if you’re looking for something more lighthearted than fraternal betrayal and twisted monarchial machinations, the Committee for Creative Enactments is putting on an “interactive comedic murder mystery” in the O’Connell House on both Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 and 9:00. Another option is to come celebrate the 35th anniversary of My Mother’s Fleabag—they’re performing in the O’Neil Plaza on Friday night at 8:00.

…for Music Maestros

Thursday and Friday both have a few notable options for live music in the O’Neill Plaza. For those of Gaelic origins or orientations, Seamus Connolly is directing the Irish Studies Music Program Thursday at noon. There will be dancing, music, and discussion of the culture behind them both. Later on at 8:00, CAB and the Music Guild will co-host BC’s Best. Come watch original singer-songwriters and bands battle each other for the approval of tired college students! Jazz enthusiasts should be pleased to hear that BC bOp! is performing Friday at noon. If you feel like bOpFlix! wasn’t enough, then you have the opportunity to see bOp! perform one more hour of its extensive jazz literature. Whatever you spend the rest of your day doing, make sure to stop by the O’Neil Plaza again at 9:30 for BC Underground. There you’ll find an hour and a half of genres that are typically underrepresented in the BC community. Break dancing and electronic music aren’t advertised too often around campus, so don’t miss the opportunity to transcend the BC bubble on-campus.

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…for Lit Lovers

There’s a plethora of literature and poetry readings at his year’s Arts Festival. Stylus—BC’s largest and oldest student-run literary publication—is having a reception for the launch of its Spring issue. Come to Stokes South 195 at 7:30 to hear short fiction and poetry read by their original authors. But if that’s not enough to entice you, know that there will be snacks.

If Stylus doesn’t interest you, there will be two smaller—and perhaps more subversive—readings to keep an eye out for. Juice will be having two readings, both in the Stokes Art Tent. Come Friday at 6:15 or Saturday at 6:00 to hear poetry that embodies the black experience in both the university and postgraduate worlds. The Laughing Medusa will also have a reading Friday afternoon, again at the Stokes Art Tent. Take a seat at 1:00 to hear the work of BC’s most progressive and creative women.

… for Dance Devotees

BC’s dance teams have been rehearsing vigorously these past few weeks for their upcoming three days of performances. Rather than splitting each team into its own event, there will be a Dance Showcase of all the teams together in the O’Neil Plaza each afternoon. You can watch the eighteen groups perform styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop at either 12:45 or 2:45 on Thursday, 1:15 on Friday, or 1:00 on Saturday. These showcases are a unique opportunity to see extraordinarily talented dancers perform styles you’re both familiar and foreign to in the same space.

If you’d rather dance than watch people dance, you’ll have to wait until 8:00 on Saturday for Dancing with bOp! There’ll be live jazz and choreography from BC dance groups. If you’re not too busy watching The Tempest, there could no better way to end this year’s Arts Festival than with dancing and jazz. You may be tired after three days of wandering from creative spirit to creative spirit, but I guarantee you’ll leave in high spirits.

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Something “ArtLifting” For Your Friday: BC Alum Empowers Disadvantaged Boston Artists

By Kristen Mabie

"Blue Moon Over Back Bay" by Dante Gandini

“Blue Moon Over Back Bay” by Dante Gandini

I met Spencer Powers, ’07 and his sister, Liz, at a crowded Cambridge restaurant one evening in November of 2013 to begin my internship at ArtLifting. I had been hired over the phone and never had an internship before so I had no clue what to expect, but it did not take long for me to feel not only comfortable with the Powers siblings but incredibly excited about the future of the Boston-based startup. ArtLifting, a L3C (low-profit limited liability company), seeks to empower homeless, disabled, and other disadvantaged individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork. I got involved with ArtLifting before the company’s ecommerce platform opened, and at the time, four artists were going to join the program. Though it was a new venture, after seeing just a few pieces of artwork I had total confidence in the Powers’ vision. These four talented artists made me reconsider the stereotypes of homeless and disadvantaged individuals in our Boston community and what it means to be an artist.

Over the course of a few months, I was privileged to be able to see ArtLifting flourish. In January, the first four artists – Dante Gandini, Katie Schulz, Randy Nicholson, and Allen Chamberland – received their first checks, and it was clear the company was destined for success. In the months that followed, more artists from around the city got involved with ArtLifting, one company bought a large amount of artwork to be installed in their office, and ArtLifting was receiving more and more media coverage. Though I no longer work at the company, I regularly check in on what they have been up to and am thrilled to say that now, a year later, the company has expanded nationwide to support 45 artists in 8 cities.

"Mast" by Allen Chamberland

“Mast” by Allen Chamberland

If you are looking for a good cause and are a supporter of the arts in Boston – look no further. The first time I saw pictures of the artwork I was blown away, and to this day every time I check the website I am in awe. These artists, who have faced various challenges in their lives, have found a way to create beauty regardless of their situation. Their artistic mediums and styles are as diverse as their life stories, and the role art plays in each of their lives is unique, but their talent, strength and perseverance unites them as a group of artists who are truly inspiring. As an aspiring artist I can only hope to have the bravery these artists demonstrate by never giving up their creative process no matter what and allowing their powerful work to be seen by the public.

ArtLifting is not only showcasing the importance of art in our lives and breaking stereotypes about homeless or disabled members of our Boston community, but spreading this message nationwide. We have Spencer and Liz Powers to thank for that. The long hours they have spent establishing this company and allowing it to reach its potential are apparent. Whether you look at the website, visit their gallery in Boston, or read any of the media’s praise, you can just feel the enthusiasm shared by the Powers siblings, the artists, and everyone who has helped ArtLifting’s success. Everyone at ArtLifting truly embodies the Boston College slogan, “men and women for others.”

But don’t take it from me: check out the ArtLifting website, whether it is for artistic inspiration or to purchase the perfect gift. Read the stories of the inspirational artists, keep up with the motivated ArtLifting team and find out what ArtLifting is doing right now for the Boston community. You will not be disappointed. Though the artists themselves are not Boston College alumni, I am certainly proud to have interned at such an important organization and be able to say it was co-founded by a Boston College alumnus. The mission may be to empower the artists it features, but I think it is safe to say it has empowered many members of our community!

Connect with the Executive Director of ITVFest at Career Night for the Arts Tomorrow

By Lydia Ahern

Philip Gilpin, Jr '03 is the Executive Director of the Independent Television Festival

Philip Gilpin, Jr ’03 is the Executive Director of the Independent Television Festival

As part of our interview series with alumni who are enjoying successful careers in the arts, it is our pleasure to introduce Philip Gilpin, Jr., Boston College Class of 2003, who will be attending Career Night for the Arts tomorrow from 7-9pm in McMullen Museum. Career Night for the Arts is an excellent way for students interested in pursuing a career in the arts to speak with Boston College graduates who have already paved the way. Students from all majors are welcome!

Philip Gilpin Jr. began his career in entertainment as a Business Affairs Analyst at HBO until 2008, and has since ascended to the title of Executive Director of the renowned ITVFest. Philip was responsible for bringing the LA-born event to Dover, Vermont in September 2013, and its marked success has ensured its stay there through at least 2017. In his interview, he gives insight into the roots of his creativity, as well as the industries changing independent TV and the web scene. Philip describes his industry as, “the wild west:” here’s your chance to find out why.

As a Physics and Mathematics major at BC, did you see yourself ultimately working in entertainment? How has your major helped you in your field?

I had no idea that I would end up in entertainment. I have always enjoyed the arts and took a few courses at Robsham but it was not a long-term career thought at the time. Physics and mathematics are very creative fields, especially at the higher levels. They are both rooted in using logic to solve problems. That’s also the core of the entertainment industry – creating pieces of art through massive production processes that require a high level of problem solving skills.

How has the independent TV and web scene changed since you began working at HBO in 2003, and how might this affect students attempting to enter the field?

The independent TV and web scene has been forging its own path over the last decade. YouTube didn’t exist until 2005. The digital video revolution is only 8 years old. If one thing is clear to me after being involved with the digital industry at a high level, it is that we are all still making this up as we go along. That’s not a negative thing. That should be inspiring and encouraging to students because it means they are able to define the field as they see fit. There is a lot of space out there – a lot of unanswered questions about this industry- that current students should have a passion to solve. Those that find the best solutions will find themselves leading the industry.

What are the top three qualities, abilities, or skills might help a BC student succeed in the independent TV and web scene?

To succeed in the independent TV and web world you must have an unquenchable passion for storytelling, you must be willing to take risks that could mean personal financial ruin and you must love problem solving on the fly. This is an industry with no safety net. There is no “normal” professional progression (entry level, manager, director, executive, etc.). This is the Wild West. Gear up and be prepared when you step into town.