Today, New York City's Juilliard School, the renowned dance, drama, and music conservatory, announced that it has received a $5 million donation to create the Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship. It will be the school's first official career services center.
According to the New York Times, the center "will incorporate business skills into the Juilliard Colloquium course; offer intensive sessions on business, marketing and arts management; provide career advancement grants to some graduating students; and give students help with public speaking and networking."
The school—whose alumni list includes Robin Williams, Kevin Kline, Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney, Viola Davis, Philip Glass, and Wynton Marsalis, among many other famous and not so famous artists—is widely considered to be one of the top performing arts institutions in the world. Its acceptance rate of 7 percent perhaps underscores its prestige.
The donation was provided by Harvard Business School alum, former KKR partner, and Juilliard board member Michael E. Marks, along with his wife, Carole. Michael Marks currently runs a private equity fund called Riverwood Capital, which was founded in 2007. In addition, he's a lecturer at Stanford Business School.
Although Marks' background doesn't sound like the most artsy on Wall Street, he does hold two degrees from the liberal arts school Oberlin College (famously the alma mater of Girls creator Lena Dunham). And, in fact, the Center is named after Marks' brother, "a pianist who graduated from Juilliard in 1971 and who died in 1995."
In any case, the creation of a career services center at the prestigious arts school seems long overdue, and here's hoping that other arts-focused institutions light in their career services offerings will follow Juilliard's lead.
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