This spring, as long-time Managing Director Linda Brown prepares to retire, we welcome Correne Spero to the Accademia staff. Correne brings a background in the performing arts and education as well as years of management experience with her to the role. She brings a combination of business know-how and creative flair and we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit!
Correne will take on many of the tasks that Linda Brown -our long-time Managing Director- has overseen in the past. If you are a student applying to the program, a faculty member at a university, a supporter, parent, or friend of the Accademia you will no doubt have the pleasure of working with Correne in the weeks, months, and years to come. We are very excited to have her joining us as part of the Accademia dell’Arte family.
Continue reading to learn more about Correne, her background and some impressions from her recent trip to the Accademia in Arezzo, Italy!
A bit more about Correne Spero…
Correne was born and raised on Long Island (NY). She went to Oberlin College and graduated with a B.A., but not before she had her own study abroad experience in her junior year in Granada, Spain. She speaks Spanish and took one semester of Italian in college, which she is currently putting to good use!
After graduating from Oberlin, Correne spent 10 years working in the music business in NYC. She actually toured extensively with her own band for several years throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. She also has a certificate in Audio Engineering.
While in NY, Correne was certified to teach English as a second language. She has worked in curriculum development for ESL programs and volunteered with low-income immigrant families with a focus on ESL. Working with immigrant populations is an interest of hers.
Correne recently visited the Accademia in Italy where she met with her new Italian co-workers and had a chance to experience the Villa Godiola and all the beauty of life in Arezzo. We had a chance to ask her about her trip and some of her suggestions for “must do’s” while studying at the Accademia.
Impressions of Arezzo…
You’re Italian American, do you feel a special connection to Italy? What is it like to visit?
YES! I have been to Italy twice before and had been dying to go back for years! I studied a little Italian in college and it has been a lifelong dream of mine to get to spend more time in Italy, brush up on my Italian, and get to know better the country of my family’s origin. Getting to spend time at the Accademia and getting to know the faculty and even be invited into their homes to eat, etc. was a real joy to me. I love getting to have that “insider” view of Tuscan life, rather than the tourist view!
What were your first impressions of the Accademia’s campus at the Villa Godiola?
I was so impressed when visiting ADA with the caliber of students and Faculty, and the beautiful collaborative relationship that exists between everyone at the Villa. I noticed immediately that everyone was working very hard and taking this opportunity to study together very seriously – and yet, the hills of Tuscany provided such a beautiful counterbalance to all of this amazing work. I was also very struck my the warmth of the staff and students, and by how welcoming they were to me (including serenading me with “Happy Birthday” beneath my window, and presenting me with the largest, most beautiful birthday cake I have ever seen!)”
What was your favorite meal while in Italy?
Probably the meals I enjoyed in the homes of ADA faculty. It was such a treat to get to spend time with them outside of the Villa and learn more about their life and work both within and outside of ADA. Also the aforementioned birthday cake and the artichoke Lasagna cooked by Charita and the kitchen staff on my birthday.
What were some of the unexpected things you discovered while in Arezzo?
The bottles of wine with no labels were an unexpected treat! The surprise birthday cake and serenade and overall warmth and kindness of students and staff alike was unexpected. Even though I know Tuscany is beautiful and have traveled there before, I was taken aback all over again by the natural beauty and even the quality of the light. I couldn’t stop snapping pictures, even though not one really did it justice!
I was surprised and thrilled to see how eager the students were to talk to me about their experiences at ADA and the wonderful, positive feedback they had about the program. Also, I was really impressed by the Dance program – the diversity of course offerings and quality work being done by the students -as well as how beautifully this focus on movement meshes with the work of the Theater students.