Adrian Anderson Phung ’14 has had an interest in the arts since she was little. In high school, she dabbled as a flutist, painted for the theatre, drew and immersed herself in art history. While she wouldn’t call herself a master in any of these art forms, she knew early on that a career incorporating her passions was important to her.
It was this desire that led her to Ithaca College. Anderson, who is from Philadelphia, was unfamiliar with the college. However, she found the Theatre Arts Management B.S. degree requirements to be exactly what she was looking for in her collegiate education.
“I was not wrong,” says Anderson when describing the program. She worked shifts at the box office, was an usher for performances, and helped with the production of shows. Her course work was carefully curated to provide an even split between business acumen and art. “Essentially, IC gave you the tools to drive your own career in the arts field,” she says.
Each student was also assigned a practicum experience every semester. These experiences included management of performances, holding opening night receptions, and publicizing the events.
The four years at IC, combined with Anderson’s internships with the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Walnut Street Theatre, and the Barnes Foundation led to her carrying out her dreams. For two years after graduation, Anderson worked at the Philadelphia Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest theatre in America which is currently celebrating its 210th anniversary season.
“It was a great first job out of college,” says Anderson. As part of a small team, Anderson was able to gain experience in a wide variety of promotional activities from email marketing and social media promotion to merchandising for the gift shop. The historic venue provides shows, tours and educational sessions, which Anderson helped to promote.
In 2017, the Barnes Foundation was hiring for a marketing design and content specialist. Anderson jumped at the opportunity and had a relationship with the hiring manager from her senior year internship. Anderson loved her job at the theatre but longed for an opportunity to work at a museum. “My background as an art history minor and experience scene painting drove my desire to get closer to this art form,” she shares.