Jana Gautschy is this year’s Director of Productions for the Student Programming Board, a student organization that plans and produces campus-wide programs at Columbia College Chicago. The Board puts on about eight events each semester that support the campus’s artistic community including the annual Drag Show, Biggest Mouth, and Manifest. As part of her position, she is Stage Manager/Talent Buyer for Manifest this spring.
What brought you to Columbia College Chicago and what is your major?
I heard about Columbia my junior year of high school through one of my friends that had been accepted. At this point I knew I wanted to go into music but did not want to take the route of education or performance. So, I did some research into the school and discovered Music Business. I instantly fell in love with the thought of working in an industry that I enjoy and have so much respect for. So, at the end of junior year I made the decision to major in Music Business Management with a minor in Intellectual Property Management.
What has it been like working on Manifest over the last three years?
Working on Manifest the past three years has been one of the best experiences I have had at this school. My first year I was involved in planning the pop-up lounge and then working it day of. This was my first exposure to Manifest and I think because of it I was really able to understand what Manifest is all about. My second year I was shadowing the previous Director of Productions, so I became more focused on the talent we were going to be putting on stage. My roles were helping coordinate all communications with talent and then Assistant Stage Manager day of. Now, I am at the point where I am handling anything that happens with the stage. I am responsible for booking all talent, contracting them, communication, and stage management day of. It has been really awesome getting to work on different aspects of Manifest and growing from it as time has gone on.
How have your experiences on the Student Programming Board inspired your future career goals?
The Student Programming Board has opened up so many opportunities for me and has introduced me to people that I have connected and built relationships with. With all that being said, it has inspired and helped pave the way for figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. The club combines events and live music, which I have come to learn is something I love. Therefore, I could see myself being a festival director one day or just being on a festival planning team. I already have my foot in the door within the festival world because of people I have met while being in this club. I could not be more thankful for this organization, and I don’t say that lightly.
What advice would you give other students who are interested in getting involved with Manifest or the Student Programming Board?
My first piece of advice is to just go for it! Don’t be afraid to get involved, the sky is the limit really. With Manifest, keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities; there are so many ways you can get involved. The whole point of the festival is that it is student run, so anyone is welcome. With SPB, just come to our meetings or events! We are always looking for new members, no matter the major, and welcome everyone with open arms. Columbia is all about getting involved and making connections and I think the perfect way to do that is to join an organization on campus.
How can people follow along and learn more about Manifest?
There is the Manifest website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page. The website is your one-stop-shop for all things Manifest as it includes ways to participate and its history.
Manifest will take place Friday, May 15, 2020.