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Janklow Program, Seattle Art Museum Launch ‘Competitive Fellowship Program’

Fourteen-month fellowship offers traditional coursework, field-based learning in arts leadership

Sep 18, 2015 | Article by: Rob Enslin


Photo of Grace Shen

Jiaying “Grace” Shen G’17

The Janklow Arts Leadership Program in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences has announced a competitive fellowship program with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in Washington state. A leading visual arts institution in the Pacific Northwest, SAM is home to more than 25,000 objects, spanning a diversity of media, cultures, and time periods. 


The fellowship is the Janklow Program’s third with a major arts organization. The program launched the concept in 2014 with the Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, followed by a second fellowship with Florida Grand Opera (FGO) in Miami, this past June.

“We are extremely proud to work with SAM in this capacity,” says Mark Nerenhausen, the Janklow Program’s professor of practice and founding director. “The museum has a rich legacy of forward-looking leadership—one that is not afraid to take risks with new business models, while creating a climate for new ideas. I can’t think of a better environment to develop core competencies in nonprofit leadership and administration.”

Jiaying “Grace” Shen G’17, a native of Northeast China, is SAM’s inaugural Fellow. Last year, she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tsinghua University in Beijing, before moving to Syracuse this past summer. Her training includes internships at China Minsheng Bank, the National Art Museum of China, and Beijing Holch Capital Ltd.

As a SAM Fellow, Shen will spend 11 months at Syracuse, taking courses and working on a long-distance project for the museum. Afterward, she will intern for three months in SAM’s development office, getting hands-on training in corporate and foundation relations. Throughout the entire process, she will be mentored remotely and on-site by members of SAM’s leadership team.

“The fellowship will be a great opportunity for me to apply myself in a professional setting,” says Shen, who also co-founded an art studio in Beijing. “The combination of classwork and an internship will give me the skills, experience, and connections I need to become a successful arts leader. Importantly, it will make me more competitive in the global job market.”


Photo of Mark Nerenhausen

Mark Nerenhausen

The Janklow Program’s affiliation with SAM stretches back to 2012, when Maryann Jordan, then the museum’s senior deputy director, joined the program’s advisory board. (In the past decade, SAM has hosted several University events, including shows organized by Gary Radke ’73, professor emeritus of art history.) The relationship kicked into high gear in 2013, following an internship by Noël Frodelius G’14, a member of the Janklow Program’s inaugural class, who is now employed in SAM’s administration department.

Earlier this year, Nerenhausen approached SAM with the fellowship concept because of the myriad opportunities there for personal mentoring and workplace immersion. “SAM has been a leader in world-class visual arts for more than 80 years,” he says, alluding to its rich array of collections, installations, special exhibitions, and programs. “Much of SAM's success stems from the fact that, in addition to enriching lives, it is a strong economic player in the community. It understands the strategic importance of cultural tourism.”

Nerenhausen also credits Peter Horvitz ’76, a retired newspaper executive living in the Seattle area, for opening doors for him. A self-described "enthusiastic arts supporter," Horvitz calls the SAM partnership “innovative and exciting.”

“Seattle is blessed with a vibrant arts community, including a world-class ballet, opera, and art museum,” says Horvitz, who also serves on the Syracuse University Board of Trustees and the Newhouse School Advisory Board. “An internship starting while the student is at Syracuse and then continuing onsite at SAM is a win-win.”


Photo of Noel Frodelius

Noël Frodelius G’14

Frodelius thinks so. She says the fellowship program has short- and long-term benefits for everyone involved, and would like to see it emulated by other arts organizations. “We’re taking a new approach to the internship process by selecting our intern when he or she is admitted to the Janklow Program,” Frodelius says. “This allows us to set expectations and form a relationship with the student before classes start. It also results in someone who is already prepared and knowledgeable about the museum, enabling him or her to take on more demanding projects.” 


Adds Nerenhausen: “The fellowship better trains students by aligning and integrating the academic portion of their education with practical experience in their field of study.”

SAM joins an illustrious list of other Janklow partners and advisors, including FGO; Broadway Across America; the Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Webb Management Services; Jack Eldon, vice president domestic of Disney Theatrical Productions; 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 & 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 1933, SAM draws on its global collections, powerful exhibitions, and dynamic programs to provide unique educational resources benefitting the Seattle region, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. SAM maintains three major facilities: its main museum in Downtown Seattle, the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the city’s waterfront.

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Contact Information

Rob Enslin
315-443-3403
rmenslin@syr.edu