At Texas Performing Arts, we are able to professionally involve students in every aspect of our organization. Having the opportunity to show, connect, and inspire our students to be the next generation of arts leaders is one of the most important things we do.
We met with Vivian Gonzalez '21 to chat about the performing arts and her time as a valued student employee.
Major (s): B.A. Theatre and Dance and B.S. Corporate Communications
Role at TPA: Campus and Community Engagement Student Assistant
Q: Double-majoring in Theatre and Corporate Communication is an interesting course of study. Tell us a little about that.
I chose these two majors with an arts management minor so I can develop the necessary skills to begin a career in arts administration. As a Rio Grande Valley native, I hope to continue working with organizations like Texas Performing Arts after graduating to help close the cultural-equity gap in Texas.
Q: That’s a great career path! How has your role as a student assistant with Campus & Community Engagement (CCE) helped you work towards this?
I developed a passion for arts accessibility and equity when I began my undergraduate studies at UT Austin. As part of the CCE team, I help bring the arts into Texas classrooms and communities. Last semester, I was involved in preparing and assisting the youth performance of Nobuntu, a Zimbabwean a capella group, for over 1,800 Central Texas students. I also document and archive past community engagement events.
Q: As an advocate for education and the arts, how do you feel the performing arts impacts students in the audience?
When students are part of a theater audience, they engage with their community, learn about other cultures, challenge their beliefs, and become better global citizens.
Additionally, students are inspired to become involved in the arts themselves. Whether they choose to express themselves as performers, designers, technicians, arts managers, or arts leaders, there’s something for everyone in the arts!
Q: What is your favorite thing about the performing arts?
I love that the performing arts bring people together. Although there are many inequities in the American theatre industry, when the show begins it’s almost as if the audience, technicians, and performers become one. Despite their differences, they work together to tell a story on stage.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working at TPA?
My favorite thing about working at TPA is being part of a team that sparks dialogue with the community through events with visiting artists outside of their performance. These events allow our community to engage with a multitude of artists through dance workshops, lectures, Q&A sessions, and more. Through these events, I see the impact TPA has on our campus and community.