Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
What does it mean to have a life in Arts and Culture in Niagara? Here’s a profile of a Brock graduate who is carving out a successful career with our professional affiliate, the Centre for the Arts. Sara took many of the courses that constitute the STAC program.
Sara Palmieri is the Sales and Marketing Manager at our professional affiliate, the Centre for the Arts at Brock University. Now in its 44th season (2013), the Centre presents an annual season of multi-disciplinary performances from September to April of each year, showcasing National and international artists. At the Centre since 2003, Sara has worked on developing community outreach and workshop programs, marketing initiatives, audience development, sponsorship and programming for young audiences. Sara is an active member of the cultural community in St. Catharines and beyond, sitting on the St. Catharines Niagara Centre for the Arts Task Force, a provincial conference planning committee, and a provincial grant advisory panel.
Sara has grown up immersed in the cultural community in St. Catharines and received a BA from Brock University in Communications, Media/Culture Stream. She’s a great example of the type of career and lifestyle a graduate of the STAC program can build. Sara shares some of her thoughts with us:
What are you doing now?
I've been working full time at the Centre for the Arts since I graduated from Brock in 2003. I started off as the Media/Promotions Assistant and in 2005, was promoted to the Sales and Marketing Manager. I am also one of the co-founders of In the Soil: Niagara's Homegrown Arts Festival and sit on the City's Niagara Centre for the Arts Task Force.
What did you study at Brock, and why?
I chose to study Communications (Media/Culture stream). Prior to starting university I was unsure about what I wanted to do when "I grew up". I knew I wanted to be involved in arts and culture and was attracted to the Communications program because it offered a great overview of communications, popular culture and film that I thought would be transferable across different career paths. I also was able to take the fourth year Arts Administration class [a STAC course], which at the time was instructed by Arts Consultant Janis Barlow. She is one of the reasons that I decided to pursue a career in Arts Administration and to stay in Niagara.
Why did you come to Brock?
I 'literally' grew up at Brock, more specifically in the arts at Brock. My dad, Adrian Palmieri, is an instructor in the Dramatic Arts department (since the early '80s) so I have fond memories of attending many student performances and Centre for the Arts presentations. I already felt comfortable at Brock and enjoyed St. Catharines-Niagara - I didn't want to leave. I wanted to find a place for me in this city and Brock was my first choice.
What was the best thing or experience that being a student at Brock offered you?
I really enjoyed the sense of community at Brock. Not just within my own program, but within the arts. I was lucky enough to get a part-time job at the Centre for the Arts Box Office. The opportunities and experience that I had working as a student paved the way to where I am today. The support and guidance that I received from the Centre's Director Deb Slade during my academic career solidified my decision to stay in Niagara after graduation. There's always been a creative buzz at Brock. A lot of the people I've met are still friends today, and many of them are now my colleagues. They've also chosen to stay in Niagara and pursue their careers.
What's the best thing about working in arts and culture in Niagara?
The people and their passion for arts and culture. I am always taken aback by the collaborative nature of people who work and volunteer for arts organizations in our community. The sum is definitely greater than the parts. I'm especially excited to be in the community at we get closer to the relocation of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and realization of a new performing arts centre in downtown St. Catharines. It is because of the passion and the people in this community, and their contributions to the creative fabric that the arts are being embraced. There are going to be so many more opportunities and jobs in the arts and it's an exciting time to be in Niagara.