How to turn a passion for the arts into a career.

By Emily Harrison Weir

Students who dream of a career in the arts will gather February 7 to hear from Mount Holyoke College alumnae who have made that dream come true for themselves.

The fifth annual Crafting a Life in the Arts event will open with a keynote address at 1 pm in Pratt Hall. Kristen Collins '93, a specialist in early medieval and Romanesque manuscript illumination, will speak to the group. Her career journey began with the study of art history and French at Mount Holyoke, which eventually led to her current role as associate curator of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The keynote speech will be followed at 2 pm by three small-group breakout sessions. Students will have the chance to ask alumnae questions specific to their area of interest—visual arts, performing arts, or creative writing and film.

Alumnae working in the fields of architecture, studio art, art history, creative writing, dance, film, music, museums, and theatre will discuss their individual career paths and field questions from students with similar aspirations.

“This is a great opportunity for students to hear from alumnae about the varied paths you can forge to create a career in the arts,” said Ellen Alvord ’89, coordinator of academic affairs at the Art Museum and cochair of the InterArts Council, a cosponsor of the event. “Alumnae are eager to connect with current students and share their stories and advice. There is a real feeling of MHC sisterhood at the event.”

A networking reception in Rooke Theatre lobby from 3:15 to 4 pm will allow students to chat with alumnae in more depth, one to one.

The event is part of Mount Holyoke’s Lynk experience, which connects students’ academic interests with career possibilities throughout their four years on campus.

"It will be exciting to learn how the panelists’ paths evolved, to envision the many ways a Mount Holyoke education can catalyze a life in the arts, and to have such a great community together for the day,” said Liz Lierman, Career Development Center director.

More information and registration details for students are available online.