After retiring from a 13-year career as a professional ballet dancer, Misha knew she wanted to support the next generation of artists from the other side of the stage. After her undergraduate degree, she began her career in arts administration at Charlotte Ballet as an Executive Support Specialist in 2015. Knowing her path would remain rooted in nonprofit and government supported cultural initiatives, Misha then pursued a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. During her time in the MPA program, she was honored to be a two-time Susan M. Burgess Scholarship recipient, a member of both Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Alpha Alpha honor societies, and a recipient of the ICMA’s Local Government Early Career Service Certificate.
Since earning her Masters, Misha is now Director of Company Management & Touring at Ballet West out of Salt Lake City and serves as the Chair to Dance/USA’s Company Manager Affinity Group, a national service organization for professional dance. In her career, Misha sees herself as an advocate for artists, both as individuals, and as a community. She notes that artists inspire her to be a better cultural champion, and she enjoys sharing her passion for the performing arts with prospective creatives, patrons, donors, students, and volunteers. Even with the standard nonprofit challenges of limited resources and time, Misha finds reward in being a part of Charlotte Ballet’s success in creating the best possible environment and programming for their constituents.
Misha credits the MPA program for building on her arts management foundation, mainly by providing her the tools to better understand enduring symbiotic relationships between governmental budgeting, local regranting agencies, and nonprofits. The network of diverse professors teaching topics such as organizational management, research methods, and human resources prepared her for the unexpected challenges of the nonprofit sector. Misha’s advice to current and prospective MPA students is to build relationships with your peers and your professors: they can provide you vastly different perpsectives while also pursuing similar leadership goals.