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Syracuse Launches Fellowship Program with Florida Grand Opera

Two-year fellowship involves University coursework, paid internship

Jun 30, 2015 — Article by: Rob Enslin

Photo of Mark Nerenhausen

Mark Nerenhausen

The Janklow Arts Leadership Program in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences has launched a competitive fellowship program with Florida Grand Opera (FGO) in Miami. Celebrating 75 years of continuous production, FGO is the oldest arts organization in Florida and the seventh-oldest in the country.

“This partnership marks a unique chapter in the life of the Janklow Program,” says Mark Nerenhausen, the program’s professor of practice and founding director. “Florida Grand Opera is a world-class organization that will afford students hands-on training in multiple aspects of arts leadership, including operations, finance, development, community engagement, and marketing communications. I can’t think of a better laboratory for aspiring arts leaders, policymakers, educators, or journalists.”

According to Nerenhausen, one Janklow student will be selected as an FGO Fellow. The fellowship involves one year of academic coursework at the University, followed by a yearlong paid internship at FGO. Along the way, the FGO Fellow will benefit from personal mentoring by FGO senior staff, including Susan T. Danis, general director and CEO, and Brendan Glynn, director of marketing, and the opportunity to work--in some cases, remotely--on various FGO projects.

Photo of Susan Danis

Susan Danis

Says Danis: “We are honored to partner with the Janklow Program in training the next generation of arts leaders. Both organizations share a passion for advancing the arts and, at the same time, realize their economic importance. My hope is that this partnership will foster bold, new ways of looking at the arts that are mutually beneficial.”

Nerenhausen, who approached FGO about partnering, is no stranger to South Florida, having served as president and CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (in nearby Fort Lauderdale) from 1998 to 2009. He says opportunities for professional mentoring and workplace immersion are among the reasons he choose to work with FGO.

“It’s an interesting time at Florida Grand Opera and in American opera, in general,” Nerenhausen adds. “South Florida presents a myriad of special opportunities for an arts leader, including shifting demographics and an ever-evolving political climate. The impact of these challenges on fundraising and operations cannot be overstated.”

The agreement comes on the heels of a recent meeting at FGO's offices in Doral, Fla., where representatives from the Janklow Program and FGO discussed challenges facing opera companies today. Among them were issues of funding, sound business models, production costs, and gender equality in the workplace. The day culminated with FGO’s critically acclaimed production of Menotti’s Kafkaesque tragedy, The Consul.

FGO joins an illustrious list of other Janklow Program partners and advisors, including Broadway Across America; the Broward Center; Webb Management Services; Jack Eldon, vice president domestic of Disney Theatrical Productions; Maryann Jordan, senior deputy director of the Seattle Art Museum; and Rachel DeGuzman, president and CEO of 21st-Century Arts.

The Janklow Program is a 15-month, 39-credit-hour master’s program that trains leaders of nonprofit and for-profit organizations in the creative and performing arts. Based in the Department of Art and Music Histories, the program is named for Morton L. Janklow ’50, one of the country’s most powerful literary agents and arts advocates.

Founded in 1941 as Greater Miami Opera and later merging with The Opera Guild Inc. in 1994, FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works, as well as commissions and new productions—all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish.

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Rob Enslin