Meet the 2018-19 Contributors

Bria Blackshear

First Year MAM (’20)

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Bria Blackshear is first year Master of Arts Management candidate at Carnegie Mellon University (Class of 2020). As a musician, Bria began studying the viola at eight years old, and has developed an extensive background in classical music performance. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from Temple University, and has performed at a multitude of internationally recognized venues and music festivals over the past decade. Professionally, Bria has held job and internship positions at The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and ArCoNet (The Arts & Community Network). She hopes to integrate her passion and knowledge of classical music into her current academic studies and future career endeavors as an arts manager.

Carla Dobronauteanu

First Year MAM (’20)

Carla is an Arts Management exchange student from the University of Bologna. Born in Bucharest, Romania, she has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Cass Business School in London, and also studied History of Art part-time at the University of Oxford. She has worked in digital marketing for cabaret, burlesque and theatre companies, and has recently presented at the Arts Management Student Conference in Hamburg on the topic of integrating VR/AR and artificial intelligence in arts management practices.

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Francesca Forno

First Year MAM-GIOCA ('20)


Francesca Forno was born and raised in Genova, Italy. Ex member of the Italian National Fencing Team, after graduating top of her class in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Trieste, she decided to put aside her athletic career to focus on the academic one.She then moved to Bologna, where she completed a Second Level Master in Communication, Marketing and Made in Italy, and started a Master Degree in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts, focusing her attention on the enogastronomic culture. Over recent years, while living in various Italian and European cities, Francesca wrote for numerous online and paper edition newspapers, and worked for the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce(Genova), and for the Italian art gallery Guidi & Schoen (Genova). At present, she is a full-time student at Carnegie Mellon University –Heinz College, a fencing coach, and a referee and sportscaster of the Italian Fencing Federation; she also collaborates with Pianeta Scherma, an online magazine devoted to fencing. 

Jana Fredricks

Second Year MAM-GIOCA ('18)

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Jana is pursuing a joint Masters degree in the Arts Management program in Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, and Innovation and Organization in Culture and the Arts at the University of Bologna (December, 2018). She received her BFA in Drama from NYU in 2011 and worked for five years in theatre production and project management. Most recently, her paper “Digital Tools and How We Use Them: The Destruction and Reconstruction of Tangible Cultural Heritage in Syria” was presented and published at Museums and the Web conference in Vancouver in April of 2018.

Rebekah Geiselman

Second Year MAM ('19)


Rebekah Geiselman is second year Master of Arts Management student at Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College. Most recently Rebekah worked as an Orchestra Manager with the Aspen Conducting Academy at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Last year, she worked at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as an intern in the Learning & Community Engagement department where she assists with the organization, implementation, and evaluation portions of the onsite schooltime concerts, children’s concert series, and outreach community engagement performances.Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, Rebekah worked as an Associate Artist Manager with Uzan International Artists, a full-service boutique management company in Manhattan representing a range of talent including opera singers, conductors, directors, and film, television, and theater actors.Rebekah received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and Music Business from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. 

Sofiko Gvilava

First Year MAM-GIOCA ('20)


 Sofiko Gvilava is a graduate exchange student to the Master of Arts Management program from Bologna University, Italy. Her major areas of interest are innovation in the arts and creative industries, PR, cultural diplomacy and video game industry. Sofiko attained a BA degree in arts and culture studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her working experience includes, but is not limited to, artists liaison position at TDME (Tokyo Dance Music Event), PR intern at MMOMA (Moscow Museum of Modern Art), organizer and writer for WILDe theater and researcher for Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam).

Emily Halpern

Second Year MAM (‘19)

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Emily is a second year Master of Arts Management candidate at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. Her background is in graphic design and printmaking, and she received a BS in Mass Communication from Boston University. After graduation, she managed an Urban Outfitters store and worked as a marketing consultant. This past summer, she conducted a summative evaluation for the exhibit, “We Are Nature,” at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Her interests lie in programming and audience engagement, and how technology and design can advance these efforts of cultural institutions.

Elizabeth Long

First Year MAM ('20)


Elizabeth Long(B.A., M.A. Art History) is an art historian and arts advocate in the Pittsburgh area. Sheis a Master of Arts Management studentat Carnegie Mellon University and holds degrees in art history from the University of Evansville (B.A. 2016) and the University of Kansas (M.A. 2018). Elizabeth has held education and programming positions at several Midwestern organizations, including Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the Reitz Home Museum, and the Children’s Museum of Evansville. Additionally, she served as aGraduate Teaching Assistant and Instructor of Record at the University of Kansas. An active researcher, Elizabeth has studied a wide rangeof art historical topics, including: Edgar Degas’s Portrait de Mlle E[ugénie] F[iocre]...; à propos du ballet de“La Source,” Gutai’s The International Sky Festival, and a set of 14th-Century tapestries after Hieronymus Bosch. Stepping into arts management, Elizabeth is excited to explore development and policy within the arts and the intersection of technology and the arts.

Stephen Michaels


Stephen Michaels is a visual artist and writer studying at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art. Through a mixed-media artistic approach, writing has centered as a cornerstone of his practice. His work has investigated the power of mythological narratives in the creation of contemporary images, as well as the psychological constructs which allow artists to synthesize images out of archetypal narratives. He was born and raised in New York City.

Lauren Saunders

Second Year MAM ('19)


Lauren Saunders is an arts administrator currently pursuing her Master in Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to graduate school, Lauren worked as an Assistant Program Manager for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, where she focused on programming that addressed explicit and implicit bias in cultural organizations. Additionally, she has worked for Manhattan Theatre Club, Maryland Humanities, and Theatre Communications Group. A passionate theatre maker, Lauren was an Ensemble Member with Single Carrot Theatre for five years –devising, directing, and performing in new plays. Beyond her love for the arts, Lauren enjoys hiking, baking, eating pizza, and spending time with her dog, August. 



Christine Senavsky

Second Year MAM ('19)


Christine is a second-year Master of Arts Management student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. Originally from the Bay Area California, she grew up playing violin, French horn, and piano. Christine holds a BA in English and a BMus in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon. While working at summer festivals like Aspen Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra she was excited to be part of the team making artistic feats unfold in a matter of weeks. With an eye to audience engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, and accessibility, Christine is curious as to how technology can inform performing arts organizations. 


Michaela Kizershot White

First Year MAM ('19)


Michaela is a first-year Master of Arts Management student at Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College. She graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Violin Performance and Music Education. Michaela spent the past three years working in Cleveland teaching music to a variety of audiences. After her experiences teaching in the public and charter school systems, her interest for introducing the arts to new audiences became a fixation. Her intention is to connect new audiences with the arts, and she is particularly interested in how technology is used effectively to strengthen audience engagement.

Daniel Fonner

MAM Alumni (2016)


Daniel Fonner is currently the creator and lead developer of ReMasterpieces, a project that recreates art stolen during World War II using computer vision and machine learning with the goal of returning the pieces to the original owners. He started the project as a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar at the University of Warwick (UK) in 2017. He holds an MA in International Cultural Policy and Management ('18) from Warwick as well as a Master of Arts Management ('16) degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Daniel served as a research contributor and social media coordinator for AMTLab while a student at Carnegie Mellon. Beyond his interest in World War II art history and technology, Daniel loves to spend time with his amazing 6-month-old daughter Sydney, his wife Staci, and their sixteen-year-old cat, Kitty. Daniel can be contacted at