Excellence. With only 800 students in the entire school and tens of thousands of eager applicants, gaining acceptance to Juilliard is harder than getting into any of the Ivy League colleges. The faculty is formed by a select group of active professionals in the fields of dance, drama and music. That is the basis of a unique atmosphere that is conceived not only to form exceptional artists – Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Kevin Spacey and Robin Williams are all graduates- but also to create a community where everyone supports one another.
“The key to why people enjoy working at Juilliard has to do with excellence at all levels,” says school president Joseph Polisi.“Excellence in terms of artistic interaction and artistic presentation, but also excellence about human values, about respect for each other and for the hopes that you can bring that artistic activity together with human interaction in a way that is actually quite fulfilling.”
Respect. During its long history, the school has built a special community, where kindness and respect are the norm and where students, faculty and administrators care about each other.“It’s sort of an applause culture. People applaud one another. They cheer one another. They hug each other in the hallways. I have taught at many academic institutions in my life and I have never seen anything like this,” says Mitchell Aboulafia, Juilliard’s Director of Interdivisional Liberal Arts.
Flexibility. Juilliard’s managers are flexible and allow professional growth among its employees. “I don’t think there is any faculty member that has been stifled in their attempt to grow on a personal level,” says Artistic Director Yoheved Kaplinsky. “Whether they travel playing concerts, whether they want some time off in order to pursue a particular performing project, whether they want to attend conferences, the administration goes way out of its way in order to enable you to be absent and have people fill in for you.”
Commitment. Juilliards’ employees say the administration always listens to their pledges for new equipment, teaching projects, etc. “I don’t think there’s ever been an initiative that I thought of in the 15 years that I’ve been here that has not been realized to a certain extent by this administration and that’s extremely gratifying,” says Kaplinsky.