Feb 19, 2014
commented on Cornish—Seattle's Preeminent Art School—Risks It All
Soooo my background: I graduated from Cornish in 2006 and now i'm working there for what's soon to be Seattle's minimum wage. I'm out of work for four months of the year (summer and winter break), but so long as I don't apply for unemployment I can keep my benefits package. For the year 2013 Cornish paid me around 17,000. I work roughly 40 hours a week, but that's not counting the time I spend after my work day using the studio space for my own art practice. This is a huge benefit and the major reason I stay working at the school. There's been months long stretches were i'm on campus from 8am to 12pm trying to cobble together an art career. Also I haven't seen a raise in 3 years and most likely won't have a position next year... but with that said...
I see a lot of students with potential. I also see the few that just shouldn't be there. But because Cornish is trying to run 90-95% of its operating cost off tuition we're stuck keeping students who serve no other function than keeping the lights on. It drags down everyone. Walking through past BFA shows I would think to myself "why the hell is this person allowed to graduate, let alone show their work" Research centered learning will be a boon for the program so long as we actually make the students do the work, and stop shuffling them from year to year. BUT WE CAN'T because we need their MONEY!
The article hits it on the head with "cognitive dissidence" raising money (mainly by tuition) but cutting operating costs (mainly by a hiring/wage freezes, and moving toward an adjunct only system). The school needs to invest in the future but the ways administration has gone about this haven't been entirely fruitful. I think the new program Christy is trying to implement is going to be amazing, but are students directly out of high school going to know what to do with it? And if they don't how much hand holding is everyone (teachers included) going to need to get the system running and effective.
When I was going to Cornish, tuition was about 80,000 for 4 years, currently students are looking at 132,000, plus a forced meal plan and $800ish a month in dorm room fees which all freshmen are required to live in. The article is mainly centered around the art department and honestly that's where most of the trouble is. I can't speak directly to theater, dance, or music, but I know Design has around a 90% retention rate. That's an amazing number and I believe what's driving this retention is students can see a job in the design field post BFA. Art students on the other hand, or at least the ones with any ounce of sense know they're studying a field with very very little revenue opportunities.
May 23, 2013
commented on American Gothic
@d.p. Did you see the OTB show? If not, maybe you can critique performances you've actually seen... I'd honestly welcome that.
P.S. The pheasants weren't headless.
Jan 18, 2012
commented on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Only go to this movie if you really really enjoy spy movies. otherwise you will really really hate this movie and want to leave the theater after 10 minutes.
also, spy movie does not = James Bond
Oct 14, 2011
commented on Stage Magic Question of the Day
Ryan would most likely agree with you, but i'm just going to say as one of the people that puts IV/Saint Genet actors through their rigors, lighten up. It's just a tech question. You can't talk about the work you're producing as the holy of holies all the time.
Oct 10, 2011
commented on The 98 Percent in the Arts
I'd like to point out that these organizations pay their participants a very nice living wage. Unlike most small theater companies or arts organizations which tent to rely on vast amounts of volunteer hours or meager stipends... I think the real question and crux or the issue is who "deserves" to be an artist with a paycheck that doesn't put them in debt at the end of the month.
Sep 24, 2011
commented on Prey Opens Tonight
That "molting fowl" was a labor of love. Over 1300 feathers made by hand and stitched back together exactly duplicating their original configuration. You're crazy if you can't see the beauty it. Though I did make the damn thing so my bias is a bit obvious.