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Aanerud ’20 Heads to East Coast Through National Student Exchange

Theatre Publicity
Publication date: 
January 17, 2020

This spring Evan Aanerud '20, Fergus Falls, will study in the arts management program at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). He also will complete a performing arts internship at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

An Artistic Community

Through the National Student Exchange program, Aanerud will study in northwestern Massachusetts's Berkshire County, known for its thriving cultural economy and artistic community.

Aanerud saw the chance to study at MCLA for a semester as an "exceptional opportunity to synthesize a theatre arts and management education at UMN Morris" and MCLA's Arts Management program.

"[Arts Management] is an emerging field in undergraduate education," says Aanerud. "Arts managers work in museums, theatres, operas, foundations, dance companies, and festivals. Or they work for themselves to manage the business side of their art. Higher education institutions are beginning to see that skills in management are valuable assets for young artists."

Aanerud will intern at MASS MoCA, a 24-acre complex of contemporary visual and performing arts. Housed in a restored 19th-century factory, MASS MoCA is the largest museum for contemporary art in the country. Aanerud will work in the Performing Arts Department, which presents more than 75 performances year-round.

The Journey There

Aanerud says he would not have been able to pursue this field without UMN Morris. Arts Management is an Area of Concentration he's designed over the past year, with support from faculty and staff.

"The size and individual attention from faculty and staff at UMN Morris make the experience invaluable," he says. "I've tailored my degree to my interests and career goals."

The Road Ahead

One day, Aanerud hopes to work for a nonprofit theatre company. This is the next step in his journey there.

"As a future arts manager, I want to give artists the opportunity and space to expand their artistic imaginations."

About National Student Exchange

The National Student Exchange is a consortium of 165+ colleges and Universities that allows students to study at different institutions in the US, its territories, and Canada.

The program is administered at UMN Morris through the Academic Center for Enrichment. To learn more, visit

Photo by Geordi Jones