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Juilliard Announces $5 Million Gift for Entrepreneurship Program

Laurie Niles

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Published: January 26, 2015 at 10:16 PM [UTC]

A high-level music program trains its graduates to be the finest in their fields -- but does it train them to go out and make a living?

The Juilliard School intends to increase its commitment to doing just that, with the announcement last week of a $5 million gift from Juilliard Board Trustee Michael E. Marks and his wife, Carole, to create the Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship. The gift was given in memory of Michael Marks’s brother, the late Alan D. Marks, who earned his Bachelor of Music in Piano from Juilliard in 1970.


“Part of Juilliard’s mission is to provide our students with the skills they need to realize their fullest potential not only as artists, but also as leaders and global citizens," said Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi in a press release. "Michael and Carole’s gift will reinforce and expand our current programs, allowing us to better equip our students to succeed as young professionals in a rapidly changing world.”

The Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship will include:

Modules with emphasis on business skills and entrepreneurship will be incorporated into the first-year Juilliard Colloquium course for all first-time college students. New course offerings with an entrepreneurial focus will be made available for all students throughout their course of study.

The Alan D. Marks Center will expand Juilliard’s series of weekly Lunch & Learn programs (lectures, seminars, and discussions that bring students in contact with prominent industry leaders), as well as a new Entrepreneurship Residency program in which guest artists and entrepreneurs will be brought to campus for multiple days to contribute to the Lunch & Learn series, conduct roundtable discussions, provide individual and group consultation, and make classroom and studio visits. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in three-day Entrepreneurship Intensives, which will provide 20+ hours of instructions in areas of business, marketing, arts management, and more.

Financial Support
The Juilliard Entrepreneurship Challenge will be continued, providing financial and coaching support to student entrepreneurial ventures through a competitive application and interview process. The Marks Fellowship Program will also provide significant financial support to select graduating students each year, with career advancement grants of up to $10,000 annually.

Public Speaking
Students will have access to coaching and seminars on the subject of public speaking, as well as online recording and evaluation tools. As a component of recital adjudication, music students will be independently evaluated on their speaking skills from the stage.

Alumni and other industry professionals will be selected to serve as consultants for individuals, groups, and for various student-initiated projects. Bi-annual networking events also will be hosted in order to foster greater interaction among students and working professionals.

Online and Stored Content
The Center will expand its bank of online content, including non-credit online coursework, interviews, podcasts, presentations, subscriptions, and other resources. New software will provide students with easy access to center resources, job postings, articles, and resume templates.

Hire Juilliard Performers Program
The Alan D. Marks Center will ensure the continuation of the Hire Juilliard Performers program, providing students and recent alumni with training and experience as professional freelance artists. Training includes client interaction, booking, contracts, programming, and various other logistics. Over 500 students and alumni per year participate in the program’s over 450 performance opportunities in and around New York City.

Featured Concerts
The Alan D. Marks Center will oversee the more than 50 ongoing off-campus concert series and featured performances for various concert venues and arts/cultural organizations.

Career Consultation and Private Teacher Directory
The Alan D. Marks Center will provide career consultations and maintain Juilliard’s Private Teacher Directory.

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