Artists Teaching Artists

Artists Teaching Artists

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When I’ve talked with my colleagues about the reasons we’ve come back to grad school, I’ve found that it tends to be a well thought out, informed choice. This is not to say time and effort don’t go into choosing an undergraduate program. However, when reinvesting in a higher level degree, the decision is not just based solely on the opportunity for career advancement. Knowing the campus environment plays a huge part in the process…At least, it did for me.

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Let me continue by saying I’ve been around the academic block. In my years of secondary education, I’ve been on quite a few different campuses. What drew me to Columbia is that it is an artist community. What I mean is that a majority of the students, rather than a small segment or department, are artists. So when I find myself working on projects, it feels more like artists supporting artists.

It may sound a bit cliché, but I’ve found that Columbia takes pride in thinking outside the box. Don’t roll your eyes. Being a cliché is not a bad thing. Think about it. When you are in an environment where the arts are a small segment of the population, the faculty and other student body don’t understand the special needs it takes to be an artist. Unlike a traditional campus, the Columbia College Chicago community understands the creative process. They “get it” when you discuss the process of developing an idea. They “get it” when you fight through a creative block.

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You can’t help but appreciate the collaborative atmosphere. In my program I’m learning that a director must be able to work with different groups to complete a project. Those lessons start with the faculty who are happy to open their office doors to you. And, if you’re not sure that the first door is the right one, someone else is more than willing to open another door for you. But simply put, the faculty and staff of Columbia want you to succeed. That’s the benefit of being in a community of working artists. That’s why I enjoy being here.