Charlotte D’Armond Talbert has a love for the arts and education. She has been working in the arts for over 22 years and has been teaching for University College for eight years. We asked Charlotte how her extensive background in the arts has brought a different perspective to her courses and advice she has for those wanting to work in the field.
Q. What is your professional background and what motivated you to teach?
I have a diverse background as a college theatre professor, graduate instructor in arts management, arts education consultant/grant reviewer and as a performer, producer and director in theatre. I hold a doctorate in Theatre, Speech Communication from Louisiana State University and with numerous production credits. As the Coordinator of the Scientific and Cultural Collaborative, a 501(c)(3), I work closely with marketing, development, volunteer coordinators, operations managers, and education staff from culturals: Central City Opera, CherryArts, Colorado Ballet, Colorado Symphony, Denver Art Museum, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Film Society and others.
Teaching at the college and graduate level is very rewarding to assist students in discovering how the arts build self-expression, community, and engagement. Practical skills including developing organizational, writing and research skills used in my classroom can be applied to nearly any career students choose. My former students include staff at Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Cultural Council, production staff for Broadway’s Cabaret, Hairspray, Red Oaks and Walking Dead and feature –film Lincoln along with college professors, artists, dancers and performers.
Q. How do you bring your expertise in arts and culture to the classroom?
Management in the arts requires more than merely having great artistic ideas – as a producer of theatre, a grant manager and operations director for various endeavors, I have been able to share relevant experiences along with major theories about budgeting, staffing, volunteers, programs and evaluation to the classroom. Produce four major theatre productions in 8 weeks with a limited budget – you’ll have examples of successes and challenges to share!
Q: What new and innovative teaching methods have you brought to the classroom?
The primary focus of my work in the arts over the past 22 years has included connecting cultural organizations to K-12 schools in a collaborative nature as well as creating networking meetings for working professionals in arts, culture and science. These connections, arts to the zoo, have allowed me to hold courses at Swallow Hill Music, Colorado Ballet, Museum of Outdoor Arts and other sites or to help link students with staff online as well.
Q: What has the impact been on students?
I’m very proud to say that the intense interaction between University College students and professional arts organizations around the world have resulted in our students beginning as volunteers or serving on boards of directors with others obtaining internships and eventually jobs in the arts. Our graduates currently serve as program managers, executive directors, on cultural councils and teachers, performers and patrons of the arts. Combined with self-motivation, University College gives our students the tools to succeed.
Q: What advice do you have for students who want to work in the arts and culture field?
Don’t let anyone discourage you from a career in the arts! While the work may be less consistent than standard office work, you can have a life utilizing artistic, business, teaching, management and unique experiences in the arts.
Charlotte D’Armond Talbert has a PhD from Louisiana State University and teaches in the Arts and Culture program.
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