Victoria Lynford

Victoria Lynford

MA Arts Politics Class of 2010

BA Literature and Theater Arts, Hobart & William Smith Colleges 
Arts Administration Certification, New York University

With 16 years of experience in the cultural sector, Tory fundraises for and project manages art & community development initiatives in Europe and in the US through partnerships with arts organizations, artists, teachers, and community activists. She currently works for documenta based in Kassel, Germany where she writes the organization's international grants.

What drew you to the MA Arts Politics program?

I had worked in arts administration for a decade before applying for graduate school at NYU Tisch. I was looking for a program that posed bigger picture questions than just how to run an arts organization. I wanted to study ways to make the next generation of arts organizations meet the needs of global citizens looking to use art as a common language to promote inquiry, dialogue, and inclusivity. This program addresses these questions full on.

How did your experience in the program shape your work?

I was interested in studying alternative cultural production models since it had always been hard to raise money to create performing and visual arts programming. In addition to studying at Tisch School of the Arts, I enrolled in courses at NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service and Stern Business School. Taught in tandem, my coursework explored the roles and range between the 501(c)(3), the NGO, and venture philanthropy. Social enterprise opened a huge ideological door to me, and I am pleased to have been able to construct my own interdisciplinary curriculum to study the intersection between culture and commerce.

What are you doing now?

Exploring the fusion of the for-profit and not-for-profit paradigm is my life’s work. Helping to develop this hybrid model, I aim to respond to the demand for new ways of thinking about impact investing for systemic social change. Brokering private/public partnerships, I am able to utilize art as a tool for social cohesion, for job development, and as vehicle to engage stakeholders unaccustomed to the arts to get involved from the ground-up in community development initiatives and solutions.