I used my Summary Project to launch my own entrepreneurial endeavor rather than letting it end with graduation. I discovered there is little research on networking in the arts, and few artists receive networking training or feel comfortable participating. I designed "Be Known: Networking for Arts Entrepreneurs" to remove the negativity associated with the word networking and to help artists build reciprocal relational capital. I have since turned my project into a session at an entrepreneurship conference in Tempe, Arizona, and given eight workshops on networking in the arts.
When I look back, visualizing internally on my experience in the MFA program, I realize that I have been blessed. From the start, my introduction to the staff was warm and uplifting and I mean that not as a cheese statement. By the end I knew it was the start of a whole new life. Since graduating I have been honored with several visual art opportunities, operate several nonprofits and continue to be an advocate for life. I believe that it is a direct result of pursuing my dreams and a stellar program. Lastly, what I treasure the most about Seattle University’s MFA program is the giving and essence of character to liberate you in life.
There is no doubt in my mind that without spending the last two years at SU I would not have been able make the choice to become an artist – and hopefully a teaching artist. Before, I was lacking a healthy balance between feeling confident in my work and knowing that I could do better. Previously, my focus rarely went beyond what my work lacked. The last two years taught me that being unsatisfied with my work and confident with my work are not mutually exclusive states of being.