Kate Beckley Joins AES as a Summer Department Assistant

Kate Beckley is the new summer Department Assistant for the Arts Extension Service, and just graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and with Certificates in both Arts Management from the Arts Extension Service, and Media Literacy from the Communications Department. The combination of her certificates and education has supplied her with a deeper appreciation for art and what occurs behind the scenes in order for the final product to be visible to audiences. This is expanding upon the appreciation she already possessed from years of theater experience and growing up in a community that is rich in the arts. The Arts Extension course “Foundations in Arts Entrepreneurship,” Kate’s favorite class, taught Kate to think about her future in the arts world and how build her arts business. It was this course that made Kate realize that she hopes to use her passions for arts management to pursue a career as a program coordinator for a theatre and one day manage her own performing arts venue.

While an undergraduate, Kate was an active member of the UMass Theatre Guild, the only student-run theatre organization on campus. Throughout her four years in the group, Kate served in many roles but her favorites involved stage managing. During her senior year she was the group’s Musical Producer, making her the individual in charge of the musical performance produced each semester. Musical Producers are members of the Executive Board for the organization, so Kate served as a leader for the organization as a whole and a representative of the group when meeting with UMass faculty and staff. Working with the UMass Theatre Guild led Kate to seek out AES’ arts management classes.

While an undergraduate student, Kate worked as a student researcher in UMass’ Human Relations Lab. The research focused on how people interpret specific events and how these interpretations affect their emotions, self-concepts, and support for different social and political policies. This research provided Kate with a unique lens to study people and their attitudes, and she hopes to explore using this research on arts events and their audiences.

During Kate’s senior year, she was a social media intern for Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, MA. In this role she worked closely with marketing the performing artists, their events, and the venue, and utilize what she learned for her Media Literacy Certificate. Kate created content across the company’s social media platforms to successfully promote upcoming events. The opportunity let Kate explore and gain a better understanding of the role of marketing in the arts.

As the new Department Assistant for the Arts Extension Service, Kate will be spending the summer working on AES’ marketing, specifically writing email marketing and social media content, assisting in new program development, as well as fundraising efforts. Kate is excited to create and populate a new Instagram account for AES to better connect with campus students.

The Arts Extension Service and Arts Management Certificate are what helped Kate to realize what kind of career she wanted to pursue in the arts world, jelling seemingly disparate elements that she had already been passionate about for years into a career path. In her new position in the Arts Extension Service, Kate is excited to aid in the process of connecting students interested in the broader arts with the unique opportunities this program provides.