/Lifelong Arts Enthusiast at the Helm of ARTSwego, Oswego’s Arts Funding Program

Lifelong Arts Enthusiast at the Helm of ARTSwego, Oswego’s Arts Funding Program

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Miranda Traudt, director of arts programming for SUNY Oswego, has always loved the arts and has always envisioned herself involved in art somehow. The school’s ARTSwego fulfills her need to connect to the arts and helps the students and community experience top-tier culture as well.

ARTSwego brings world-class performing artists for extended stays on campus to share their art and relate to students and campus visitors through workshops and seminars. The program is a dream come true for Traudt. A native of Red Hook, near Kingston, she studied art history at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She completed two master’s degrees at Syracuse University: art history and museum studies. Initially, she worked at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn as an administrative coordinator in 2011 and eventually became the programming director.

“They have a ton of programming,” Traudt said.

By 2013, she returned to SU to direct programming at Point of Contact, a contemporary art gallery focused on Latin America. Four years later, she transitioned to SUNY Oswego as the director of arts programming.

Traudt likes that ARTSwego brings to campus performers that would likely otherwise be inaccessible to many in the community.

“Students who come to ARTSwego because it’s a fantastic opportunity,” she said. “They can work with guest performers and students can work with artists from all over the world. We try to keep them on campus for as long as they can stay. Some are world-renowned and at their highest professional level. It’s fantastic for the community as we are bringing artists to put on extremely high production shows at ridiculously low-cost ticket prices.”

For students of any age and of any college, tickets are $5 to attend these events.

Since the pandemic began, Traudt has felt challenged to continue bringing this fine arts opportunity to Oswego. Like others in her field, she has juggled rescheduling, cancelling, going to a virtual format and re-negotiation of contracts.

This past fall, live shows returned to campus with the expected policies to protect the artists and attendees.

“It’s wonderful and a great opportunity,” Traudt said. “With a virtual event, you miss something compared with a live performance.”

In addition to ARTSwego, Traudt is part of a committee that votes on campus art projects funded by student art fees. She also teaches courses in an arts management and music business: essential for students who want to make a living with their art.

Traudt promotes on-campus arts events and tries to boost engagement in the community, too.

“What really drew me to the position is the chance to work in all capacities of the arts,” she said. “One of the things I’m most directly involved in is hiring artists and I get to help in the exhibitions like sculptures or one-off arts events. I have a breadth and ability to make connections across campus and use different people’s ideas for bigger projects that are harder to achieve when you’re a full-time faculty member. I always thought I’d work in a gallery or museum, but I love working in higher education, teaching and nurturing our future leaders. Doing that within a college setting is appealing to me.”

She hopes to continue to build back the school’s in-person programming this spring and make the arts programming more impactful for students and area residents.

Traudt enjoys visiting museums and attending live arts performances. An outdoors enthusiast, she also likes gardening and hiking. Before the pandemic began, she traveled extensively— including Central Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

“It motivates and inspires me,” she said. “We visit museums, galleries and performances, and eat the local foods. We want to be as global as possible at ARTSwego.

She hopes to dust off her passport soon. Traudt lives in Weedsport with her partner and daughter.

Featured image: A native of Red Hook, near Kingston, Miranda Traudt studied art history at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She completed two master’s degrees at Syracuse University: art history and museum studies.

Check Out New Events

View upcoming ARTSwego events at ww1.oswego.edu/artswego as information becomes available. Past performers have included artists as diverse as vocalists Nick Ziobro and Julia Goodwin; internationally acclaimed artist Craig Walsh; Red Sky; and Latin jazz ensemble Mambo Kings.

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