Artwork for podcast Not Real Art
Columbia College Chicago Alumni Director Sarah Schroder
Episode 13527th July 2021 • Not Real Art • Crewest Studio
00:00:00 01:13:19

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In today’s episode of the Not Real Art Podcast, we discuss higher education in the creative arts, specifically when it comes to Sourdough’s alma mater, Columbia College Chicago, where he graduated in 1994 with a double major in graphic design and arts management. Joining us is Sarah Schroeder, Director of Alumni Relations for Columbia College here on the West Coast. We discuss our shared love for Columbia College and how the institution can benefit anyone who is serious about a career in the creative arts, whether they are looking to pursue work in visual art, graphic design, fashion design, performance art, dance, theatre, comedy, digital design, gaming, AR, VR, creative writing, storytelling, filmmaking, production, or radio; you name it! If you are a creative or aspiring to be one, Columbia College Chicago is a great place to learn and master your craft. Just ask any one of the internationally acclaimed people who have attended classes at Columbia College, including countless Emmy Award winners and nominees, SNL cast member, Aidy Bryant, and hip hop legends, Kanye West and Common, not to mention the accomplished professionals behind the scenes in production, editing, and design. We have no doubt you will learn, grow, and be inspired by today’s show, so make sure not to miss it!


Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to Sarah, her qualification from Columbia College, and her career trajectory.
  • How she ended up becoming the Director of Alumni Relations for Columbia College.
  • What Sarah finds so meaningful and rewarding about her role; seeing how alumni grow.
  • What Columbia imparts to graduates as they embark on careers in creative industries.
  • The value of being taught by working professionals in the field.
  • Why it is important to prepare students for real world challenges in the creative arts.
  • Sarah weighs in on whether or not an MFA is worth the money, given the rising costs of tertiary education in the creative arts.
  • The valuable networking opportunities that Columbia offers its students and alumni.
  • Who, in Sarah’s opinion, are the most famous people to have attended Columbia College.
  • Why you should choose Columbia over other colleges; the expansive creative curriculum. 
  • Some of the other benefits of choosing Columbia, including the city of Chicago itself.
  • How the programming has evolved at Columbia since Sourdough graduated in the 90s.
  • How Columbia has embraced technology and digital, including video games.
  • The benefits of “jumping right into your major” and starting to create right away.
  • Learn about some of the resources that Columbia offers its students, such as the student-led urban arts festival, Manifest.
  • With Manifest going virtual thanks to COVID-19, visitors can enjoy it in their own time.
  • Find out how Columbia adapted and managed to pivot quickly during COVID.
  • Sarah reflects on how the creative output of students will be influenced by the pandemic.
  • Sarah and Sourdough discuss the role that artists play in creating the culture of the future.
  • Being a creative versus an artist; why the term ‘creative’ is more inclusive.
  • The importance of training students to solve problems in creative ways, not just the technical aspects of being an artist in the traditional sense.
  • Sourdough emphasizes the importance of nurturing and encouraging creativity.
  • Sarah shares what she is working on, including a new alumni orientation for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

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