New School student and trumpet player Linda Briceño grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, in a community in which music empowered citizens. From an early age, she took part in one of the world's largest nonprofit children's music education institutions, El Sistema, which showed her how music could be a means for achieving social justice, educate people from underserved communities, and unite people from different backgrounds. But the world around her began to crumble as the country's government collapsed. “No one was safe-I was falsely accused of being a terrorist in my own country because I had ties to certain activists. When I left, I promised to use art to tell my story, so that those who were still in Venezuela could find hope,” she says. “The New School is making that possible.”
Currently earning a Master of Arts in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship at the College of Performing Arts, Briceño is a scholar and professional musician who was nominated for two Latin GRAMMYs during her undergraduate career at The New School. She believes that tools from the graduate program help her build a larger platform for art and activism. “The program pushes me to leave my comfort zone and develop a strategy on how my art can make the biggest impact possible.”
Being a working artist, Briceño knows firsthand that the standard MBA won't do for every student. In a global economy where specialization determines success, leaders, artists, and activists must be passionate experts in their fields in order to create change in the world. Most importantly, they need time and space to experiment. Luckily, at The New School, management programs are as enlightened as the ethos. Briceño says, “I was shocked by the freedom given to me. I thought management education would be stagnant, but the university breathes life into it.”
Having started her New School journey as a trumpet player, she now co-directs, produces, and stars in a mini-series of videos following her alter-ego, Ella Bric. She says, “I come from a conservative family, so I found solace in becoming someone else who is fearless and doubles as me.” Each video expresses a different emotion that the fictional Ella experiences on her path to freedom. These experiences are translated into a collaboration between artists, including an all-female choir in Briceño's hometown and a director who is a New School alumnus. “Every piece of the process starts a conversation by using emotive storytelling as a way to locate similarities within people who are different than you. You may not be an artist, activist, immigrant, or woman, but you have felt the same emotions that I have.”
The Master of Arts in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship is also available to sophomores at the College of Performing Arts as a dual degree option to complete their undergraduate and graduate degree in five years.