Alumni Features

‘Creative Entrepreneur’ Works for MoCA’s Assets for Artists

Krystal Henriquez ’16 poses in front of artist Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 958, on exhibition at MASS MoCA.

For years, arts management alumna Krystal Henriquez ’16 dreamed of working among the creative people who are employed at MASS MoCA. As a program assistant for its Assets for Artists residency program, she enjoys multiple opportunities to work with new artists.

Because she works with Assets for Artists, Henriquez also is a fulltime employee of MASS MoCA. “The program helps artists to strengthen their financial and business capacity to sustain a lifetime of creative excellence,” she said. “We host free professional development workshops, residencies, matched savings grants, and a relocation incentive program. … It fits me well.”

While she was a student in MCLA’s arts management program, “Just about every class and conversation I had with my peers and professors applied to the real world – and this job – immediately after I graduated,” Henriquez explained. ‘[My professors] not only gave us the coursework, they always made a point to suggest to their students how to react, engage, dress – essentially how to present themselves in the workplace. Those tools have remained relevant.”

She continued, “My professors knew me well, so they knew this job would be a good fit, and their recommendations led to this job.” Henriquez also served an internship with MASS MoCA through MCLA, through which she created a number of connections, as a result of her work.

For two years, she also produced a FIGMENT event in North Adams after a stint as an intern as a production assistant for FIGMENT Boston. Today, “I’m now on the Board of Directors of FIGMENT Project Inc. and on the administrative team for FIGMENT Global. My current work with them is as a benefit committee member for their upcoming Masquerade Benefit in New York on Nov. 8. It’s been exciting to grow with this amazing organization. I hope that an MCLA student will be inspired and excited to take on the role of the new producer for the 2019 event.”

Her other MCLA activities included an exploration in film production for the Wind-Up Fest; participation in the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference in New York City, where she took in dozens of performing arts events; and her involvement in many of Fine and Performing Arts productions, which gave her confidence and a “can-do” attitude.

 “The size of the school makes it easy to network and find the resources that apply the most to you,” Henriquez said. “I really took advantage of that. From being a scenic designer in theatre performances, to trying my hand at being an arts editor of the SPIRES literary magazine, it all resulted in the skills that make me the arts manager that I am today.”

Henriquez enthusiastically recommends MCLA to prospective students.

“Students looking at MCLA should know that the school size really works to your benefit because of the strong community that can be built there. Your professors care, listen, and remember the things that matter to you. And, I didn’t graduate with a ton of debt – the ultimate college win.”

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