Though I was majoring in art history as an undergraduate, I knew I didn’t want to apply my passion for the arts towards a curatorial or teaching career. When it came time to do my practicum for my major, my professors suggested (since I was also getting an emphasis in business administration) that I pursue an arts administration internship.
As I was searching for the Summer Arts Festival’s contact person, I ended up unknowingly leaving a message for the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival saying that I could provide a summer’s worth of service. They soon returned my call and offered me the position of assistant site manager. I had attended the organization’s summer “Shakespeare on the Green” productions faithfully for years–but this would be my first foray into theater or arts management.
And I got bit by the Shakespeare bug: I interned for another summer and have volunteered or provided professional services to the organization almost every year since. I believe in the power of live theater, the talent of the Bard, and the camaraderie of a theater company.
My most striking memory, though, came at the end of that first summer of hard work, on the last night of the three-week run, when I sat on the steps of the stage and looked over to where the audiences had been. I reflected on the joy we had experienced and provided, the passionate people with whom I worked, and the utter satisfaction I felt. I was set on a lifelong path to serve and be committed to the arts.
Marjorie Maas was named Director at Nebraskans for the Arts, the state’s citizen advocacy organization for arts-related legislation, in December 2010. She works closely with the Nebraska Arts Council and serves as Nebraska’s state captain for arts advocacy through Americans for the Arts as well as a national council member for the State Arts Action Network. Previous to this, she successfully owned and ran Palette Promotions, a public relations, marketing, and fund raising consultancy which assisted artistic entities as well as other clients from the business and nonprofit sectors. Marjorie received a BA in Art History with a business emphasis at Truman State University, sculpting a foundation for an arts administration career. She and her husband have two young children.