Hometown: Collingdale, PA
BS Art Education, BFA Sculpture
“I have always enjoyed the expressive quality of art”
What is your connection to the arts?
My father and I used to work on drawing dinosaurs when I was a child and so this is always something that I draw upon when asked about my connection to art. This left some kind of impression on me that made art a safe thing for me to just enjoy. Going through public school my focus was always directed to art classes and then in my undergraduate degree programs I concentrated heavily on art history. I have always enjoyed the expressive quality of art because of its ability to allow me to clearly articulate a thought. I tend to talk too much and often I find it hard to keep on track with my original idea so utilizing a concept like “art” helps me put time into an idea that I am looking to express.
Why did you choose KU's Arts Admin program?
After graduating from my undergraduate programs at KU I came to two realizations. The first being that I personally did not find the thought of teaching as a pleasurable one and the second being that I am not in a position, financial or otherwise, to sustain myself with my own personal art work. For a while there I was focused on trying to just keep myself afloat paycheck to paycheck and then I took on a position at a public charter high school that concentrated on the arts in an admin based position. This coincided with my decision to explore the where else “art” can take me beyond the classroom or studio, and fortified my interest in working to improve the lives of others through the arts. I heard that KU was starting this program and saw this as a great opportunity to act on that interest to move further with these interests.
What do you hope to get out of the program?
I am looking forward to developing skills and knowledge on how to function in the not for prophet sector. I would like to work with a combined effort to promote the arts while advocating for the protection and support of my LGBTQ community. My plan is to utilize the information that I am gathering from this program to bring this effort together both internally and externally from my communities.
Joseph received his undergraduate degrees from Kutztown University.
Which course are you most excited to take?
To be honest I am currently really enjoying this Ethical and Legal Issues in Art course that I am taking this semester. I have a pension for enjoying a good debate so ethics have always been an interest. I am also really interested in the Marketing Strategies and Planning course because of my current role as a coordinator at my school. Logistics and development are two fields that can always use attention and so building my understanding of the inner workers of the “how did they do that?” aspect of an organization really cannot do me any harm.
What's your favorite local arts/cultural hotspot?
I am recent transplant to the Lehigh Valley that started working full time at the charter school while beginning this program so I do not get out into the hotspots very often. I believe the LVCA where I work is a very interesting and “happening” community asset for the south side of Bethlehem so I can’t ignore this place. As I mentioned earlier, I have a strong interest in LGBTQ organizations and so I am finding out a lot of really impressive things about Allentown’s Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center and New York’s Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. I am also enjoying events such as Pride in the Park in Allentown (presented by Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley) and the bi-weekly Tea Dances of Easton (presented by the Easton Main Street Initiative).