The Business of the Arts

Graduate Center alumnus Barrett Hipes (D.M.A. '17)Barrett Hipes (D.M.A. ’17) is a performing artist who understands the realities of a life in the arts. As the first person named to the new position of associate dean for student development at The Juilliard School, he helps young artists get the most out of their school experience and prepare for work after graduation. Hipes oversees the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Residence Life, Office of International Advisement and Diversity Initiatives, and the Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship, which he previously directed.

A native of Arkansas, Hipes graduated from the University of Arkansas and received his master’s from Rutgers University before coming to the Graduate Center for a doctorate in music. He has performed as a percussionist and saxophonist at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and has taught at Juilliard and elsewhere.

He says that his experience at the Graduate Center broadened his knowledge of the arts beyond performing. He worked full-time at Julliard while at the GC and said that the faculty “really helped me to navigate the rigors of the program while concurrently encouraging my professional growth.” 

He especially credits Professor Emeritus Morris (Arnie) Lang (GC/Brooklyn, Music), whom he calls “a legendary percussionist and entrepreneur who really helped inform my approach to incorporating entrepreneurial thinking into a conservatory curriculum.”

He passes that knowledge on to his Juilliard students. He currently teaches three sections of a course for first-year students called Essentials of Entrepreneurship in the Arts — a section each for dance, drama, and music.

“We have begun to emphasize entrepreneurship over the last few years, largely in response to the need for performers to think bigger when it comes to their careers,” Hipes said in a 2015 interview for the digital magazine, I Care if You Listen. “Performers, as you know, are not always guaranteed a clearly defined path when they leave school. Some acquire orchestral positions or contracts with dance companies, but we’re seeing more and more performers venture out to create their own opportunities and enterprises that are not only creatively satisfying but also financially sustainable.”

With his new responsibilities, Hipes wishes he had more time to perform, but says that his new position keeps him “completely immersed in the performing arts.”

Submitted on: FEB 5, 2018

Category: Alumni News | General GC News | Music Ph.D. - D.M.A