So far, 2019 in Houston has been wet, but at least the plants are happy. It’s been chilly, but the northern transplants (like me!) who suffer through the summer are happy in their scarves and underused winter wear. It’s been cloudy and gray, but…the…people who worry about skin cancer are happy, I guess? Oh, forget it; it’s bleak out there, folks. I truly love weather that inspires one to sit inside and read, but even I – and definitely my eight year-old – could use a little more sun and little less puddle-making rain here at the end of our holidays.
There has been one big bright spot shining at Frame Dance headquarters, however, and I am excited to share it – or, rather, her – with you all. Yesterday’s post was a misty-eyed goodbye, but today’s is a bright hello. It is my great pleasure to introduce Frame Dance’s brand new Program Manager, Bobbie Hackett! Bobbie is a grad student in Arts Leadership at UH who has worked with ROCO and the Houston Arts Alliance, so she’s already family in terms of the Houston arts and nonprofits community. Look for Bobbie at upcoming Frame Dance classes and events, and here’s a little “Bobbie Hackett 101” to encourage you to say hi.
Intro to Bobbie: Very Important Questions
Bobbie, tell us: salty or sweet?
I like a good combo of both, but if forced to choose, I’d choose salty.
Coffee or tea?
I drink coffee more often, but I prefer tea.
Slide or Swings?
If you could turn anything into an Olympic Event, what would you get the Gold medal for?
Laughing so hard that I cry over something completely arbitrary and not being able to explain why it struck me as funny.
What songs have you completely memorized?
I’m so bad with song lyrics it’s unreal, but I most often sing along with Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, or Taylor Swift.
What is your personal arts background?
I’ve always been involved in the arts in some way. My mom is a pianist and she and my dad were church worship leaders for awhile, so I started as a piano and choir geek pretty early on.
I have an associates and a bachelor’s degree in music/voice/opera, but I really just wanted to know how to sing, I never considered being an opera singer professionally. In hindsight, majoring in music was not the most practical decision, but it’s not one that I regret. I love what I’ve learned and I’m certain none of it was a mistake.
Can you tell us about your masters program, and what led you there?
Yes! I’m in my last semester of the Arts Leadership program at the University of Houston. The Arts Leadership degree is essentially an Arts Administration degree, but it differs from other programs in that it was designed to produce good leaders as well as good administrators. While we learn all the hard skills of administration like financial management, strategic planning, etc. we are also encouraged and trained to learn, explore, and develop soft skills and our personal leadership styles.
Because I never intended to make a living as a musician, I was pretty limited in terms of jobs after finishing undergrad. I floundered around a little and worked for a bank, did technical support for a tax prep company, and taught voice lessons on the side. I was really struggling with a combination of poor managers, low pay, and feeling like I wasn’t doing anything meaningful, but I also didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I started to see a pattern in all of my jobs though; I consistently had leadership and management roles thrust upon me, but I was always reluctant to accept them. I was really afraid that I wasn’t cut out to manage or lead. Those fears didn’t really stop me from thinking of ways that my managers could do things better or differently, though. I finally realized that if I kept wanting things done differently then maybe I should just do it myself. I bit the bullet and started looking for Arts Administration programs.
I stumbled upon the Arts Leadership program by accident. I had already been accepted to another program in Ohio, but my parents really wanted me to stay in Texas, so I applied to the University of Houston to appease them. Once I got my acceptance letter from UH I was overwhelmed about choosing between Ohio and Texas, but in-state tuition won in the end. I enrolled in classes and I’ve never been happier!
You actually know a lot about Frame Dance, even though you’ve just started! Can you tell the readers about how you learned about Frame Dance (and what you learned?!)
I do know a lot about Frame Dance! I took a Strategic Planning course in the spring of 2018; rather than just having my class learn about strategic planning, my professor put us all into groups and paired us with various arts organizations in Houston and asked us to create a strategic plan for them based on their needs.
My group was paired with Frame Dance, so I actually created the fundraising portion of Frame’s strategic plan. It was a lot of hard work, but it was so rewarding. I remember being grateful to be paired with Frame because everyone in the organization was so gracious and kind. Frame was really open with us about what they wanted and needed; they were also flexible and willing to let us bring in new ideas and plans and shake things up a bit. I was really drawn more to the people than to the organization, but at the end of the day, the people are the organization. 🙂
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m really looking forward to working for Frame Dance. I don’t have a lot of dance knowledge. I took a few classes in undergrad and really enjoyed it, but I’m a rookie at best.
I think every job is a new learning experience and I’m excited to learn and help!
Isn’t she amazing?! Bobbie, welcome to the team. This is going to be great.