Two distinct internships in arts management and several international experiences have helped Owen Hutchinson, ’13, shape his future career path.

Last summer, Hutchinson interned at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colo., focusing in the field of arts management — a perfect fit for a music major concentrating in arts management.

“The internship was one of the most educational experiences of my life,” Hutchinson says. “I worked very closely with the staff to produce the summer concert series, featuring artists like Sheryl Crow, Chris Isaak, Wilson Phillips, Keb' Mo', Travis Tritt, Chris Thile, and the Indigo Girls. I got the chance to meet a few of these stars and, in the case of Wilson Phillips, drive them around for the day.”

In the process, Hutchinson says that he learned about working in the areas of marketing, ticket sales, artist services, volunteer operations, and production. But he said the best lesson was learning the importance of volunteers and a community that believes in an organization's objectives.

Now a stage manager at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts, Hutchinson says he’s been able to explore his interests in the field of arts management even further.

“The Modlin Center commonly features performances with a high level of creativity and artistic innovation, whereas the Vilar Center primarily presents commercial acts,” he says. “Through working in both environments, I gained experience on both sides of this common divide in the performing arts industry.”

Hutchinson also signed on for several short-term study abroad trips, which he says gave him better insight and exploration of the arts in each locale. A guitar and baritone saxophone artist, Hutchinson performed in Costa Rica and Greece with the UR Jazz Combo, and Puerto Rico with the Salsa Meets Jazz living-learning community.

This spring, Hutchinson will get to experience yet another music culture as he travels again with the UR Jazz Combo — this time to Spain and Portugal.

“When you perform in another country, wherever you are, it really cuts to the heart of the culture,” he says. “Seeing an audience respond to a performance can tell a lot about how the people of that country interact with one another, and what they hold important in their societies.

“Playing with foreign musicians is an opportunity to speak a familiar language without ever opening our mouths,” he says. “Although music may sound different all over the world, during these trips, I found that musicians appreciate their music in a very similar way. Realizing this element has been extremely important to my education as a music major and, more importantly, to my understanding of the world around us.”