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Tara Klee

Tara Klee

Meet Tara Klee UMass Amherst alum who completed the Campus Certificate in Arts Management.

You have what many would consider a dream job at Madison Square Garden.  What was your major and how have your classes with the Arts Extension Service (and undergrad at UMass) impacted/influenced your career search and current job?
“My experience working at Madison Square Garden has truly been amazing and extraordinary. I am the Senior Coordinator of MSG Live. I love what I do and I get to do it at the best venues in the world. The amount of diverse, iconic and legendary concerts/events that we do is very rewarding and I am beyond grateful to be able to be a part of making those events come to life.

I designed my major at UMass in the BDIC program and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration in Artist and Repertoire Management. I also graduated with a Certificate in Arts Management through the Arts Extension Service program.”
My classes within both of these departments have given me the proper fundamentals and foundation to be able to understand the management side of not only the entertainment industry but also nonprofit business and companies. I was very motivated and knew that I wanted to work in concerts and entertainment so the classes that I chose to design my major with, and that I took for the Arts Extension Service influenced my decision-making on what I would need in order to be successful in my career after graduation. They helped give me the skills to be able to have the current job that I do at MSG.

Tara Klee at Madison Square Garden
Connect with Klee on Linkedin.

Many of our students are artists or musicians who make their way into arts management. As an athlete who came into arts management, what was your path to get here and where do you see connections between sports and the arts?

“I have been an athlete my whole life and enjoyed every minute of it, but I was always intrigued by the arts and music. When I heard about the Arts Extension program I thought to myself, what an amazing opportunity to learn about arts management in an even deeper type of way than just concerts and music. It really opened my eyes to many different forms of art and gave me a better understanding of what entertainment/arts management really is. As an athlete you work on your skills and practice to become better at your craft. I believe that artists have the same mindset as athletes except they are just creating a different form of beautiful art. I think that athletes and artists have many similarities because they are both truly passionate about their craft and invest their mind, body and soul into what they do or create.

Tara Klee and UMass Softball

What are your summer plans?

“Getting concerts/events back into our venues in our post Covid-19 world! We have an amazing Fall 2021 and 2022 lineup for our MSG venues but just continuing to create extraordinary and amazing concerts, like the Foo Fighters show that we had this past June which brought live music back to MSG. I will also be chilling at the beach and getting my usual relaxation and meditation for August.”

Tara Klee

Who inspires your personal creativity and passion?

“This is actually one of my favorite questions that I get asked! I have two people that inspire me everyday. The first in my Nana. She was a huge influence in helping to raise me for 15 years and always encouraged me to see the world in a different light. She was truly a woman who loved people and life. She reminds me everyday that beauty lies within all, but it takes open eyes and an open mind to see it with the heart. The second is artists. There is nothing more beautiful in the world than seeing an artist on stage having the time of their life while 20,000 people are singing their lyrics in unison back to them. Being able to be a part of helping to create that experience for the artists and people is why I love what I do.

Tara Klee and her grandmother

Looking back, what experience with AES classes and/or their impact on other areas of your career and life do you remember?

“I am very grateful to be able to have taken these classes and graduated with the certificate in Arts Management. It has impacted the opportunities I have been given in my career because it gave me a diverse background for the arts, not just music. It also opened my eyes to so many opportunities in arts management and the business. I really recommend the current students at UMass utilize the resources around them, like Dee Boyle-Clapp (because she's amazing), and broaden their horizons while getting their certificate. There is so much out there in the arts and entertainment field, and the more you're exposed to, leads to opportunities in the future.”

“The arts/music/entertainment are the foundation of our everyday lives! The beauty that we see around us comes from people and artists who create these visions and inventions that design the world, culture and society that we live in. Whether you're an artist yourself, work behind the scenes like me, or are into the inventions of technology; we are all a part of creating art. I know that the grind and work can sometimes be a lot having been in the current students shoes about 5 years ago.”

I would like to say to the current students, aspiring students and art lovers everywhere to keep going and keep sharing your art! I get inspired by you everyday and your goals and dreams can come true. Believe in yourself and your hard work and passion will pay off.”