All for the Art: Spotlight on Kelly Barratt

Art Spotlight Kelly BarrattWe’ve all taken a class where a professor makes us attend an extracurricular activity. At first, we groan about how “we did not sign up for this” but ultimately realize that it is better if we just go to some event. We walk all the way to Pollak Theatre, sign in to watch a show, and swear we plan on leaving in 15 minutes.

However, we end up staying the whole time because the show ends up being so interesting, we can’t bear to leave. Often times, students don’t consider all of the work that goes into these events, like the student labor and faculty communication.

One of the people who makes sure all of these events go smoothly is Kelly Barratt.

Kelly Barratt is the Assistant Director of the Center of the Arts, whom you’ve probably seen setting out attendance sheets and helping students get tickets. Although her main focus is marketing, she wears many different hats in the office.

“I like how I get to do something different every day. One day I’m painting the walls and the next day I’m working with artists or creating brochures,” she said.

Although she loves her job now, she never intended to fall into this career. When she was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, she was planning on becoming a lawyer.

After joining a Pre-Law fraternity, she decided that law was not in her future. At the same time, she was working in the Art department and gained an internship at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.

It was here where she realized that there was a field in Arts Administration, and got her Master’s degree in Museum Exhibit Planning and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

People can get so wrapped up in doing so many things, we forget that the important part of these tasks is to do them correctly and passionately. This is something Barratt does effortlessly, no matter how stressed she is (which is very often).

Azalia Whitlock, a freshman communication student mentions how no matter how stressed Barratt is, she never shows it. “Even though she has a plate full of stuff to do she never shows any form of distress or doubt. She’s always really happy. Her energy and positive personality lightens up the room and your mood, even if all she says is a simple ‘Hello.’”

Barratt wants students to know that the Center of the Arts is open to everyone, and not only when professors require it.

“A lot of students don’t realize that they can get free or discounted tickets to most of our shows. They get to experience something without risk and see something they’ve never seen before. That’s what college is all about, experiencing something you normally could not or would not do. All students are welcome here,” she said.

Not only is Barratt passionate about her job, she also cares about her students.

Khristian Nascimento, a junior marketing student says that every time he comes in to work, she is always happy and friendly. He also mentions how even if it may be inconvenient, she always puts her students first.

“One time I needed to take some time off from work to focus on my studies, and I was very nervous I would get reprimanded. Instead, the exact opposite happened; Kelly told me to take as much time as I needed, which is more than any other boss would have done for me.”

Even Barratt herself agrees that one of the best parts of her job is working with students.

Vaune Peck, Director of the Center of the Arts says that Kelly is always at the ready to help others. “She is a consummate professional, and has an incredible ability to accommodate anyone. No matter how much she has on her plate, she is always willing to work with anyone’s needs, even if that means she gives herself too much work.”

No matter how busy she gets, Kelly is always a strong force of positivity and professionalism. Her hard work and dedication inspires all of her students to work harder and to be nicer to each other.

Although she can usually be spotted running around the theater on show days and checking things off her mile long to-do list, she will always take time to make everyone feels at home in the theater she loves so much.

It is safe to say as a student worker and as a patron of Pollak Theatre that the Center of the Arts would not run as smoothly without her.

IMAGE TAKEN from monmouth.edu/mca