DJ Gramann, costume draper at the Guthrie Theater, talks about his experience juggling a full-time job and being a student and the skills he's learned in the ACL program.


My name is DJ Gramann and I am a draper in the costume department at the Guthrie Theater. I'm also a candidate for the class of 2018 in the Arts and Cultural Leadership program.

The great thing about the way the classes are set up is that there are guest speakers that come in. There are lots of organizations from performing arts to fine arts, etc., and to be exploring that and working with people directly in the community who are doing it really gives me a sense of where I might fit as I move forward.

There's a very diverse skill-building opportunity with the program, in terms of working on management and governance and how a board works, for example. But also, you're working on finance from all different angles, and so far that has been a really valuable piece for me, to be able to have that huge overview, drilling down in those specific areas.

In terms of advice, I would say start sooner rather than later. The exposure to all of the different aspects of the arts and cultural scene in the Twin Cities, which directly relates to the arts and cultural scene anywhere, opens up so many options and avenues, and I think that it's relatively straightforward and easy with the three-credit minimum load to work full-time and still take one class at a time, and at least get rolling. Then you can always add credits. There are lots of ways to pick up credits along the way and get through the program.