An A&S alumnus on working in the capital

October 23, 2015

Arvind Manocha '94, leads the Wolf Trap Foundation, a D.C. hub of music, theater and education, and lives in Virginia.

Why D.C? The opportunity to run one our country's most unique arts organizations. Wolf Trap Foundation is many things – a partner in America's only National Park devoted to the performing arts, a provider of early childhood arts education across the country and a fabulous training ground for young artists. I'd like to think that whatever background or specific interest in music you have, you'll find a place at Wolf Trap. 

Can lovers of culture find happiness in D.C.? Of course. While D.C. might be a town dominated by the affairs of the day – and the people who impact them – that doesn't mean to the exclusion of all else. The availability of art and culture here is breathtaking really, particularly if haven't looked beyond history and government when visiting as a tourist. I enjoy the mix. You've got the big, establishment players in the museum and arts worlds, but also an unbelievable array of stages, big and small, to explore any type of music or theater you can imagine.

What would Ezra enjoy most about D.C.? I think of Ezra Cornell's motto for the university. Every year the best and the brightest from around the country and around the globe come to D.C. to play their part in governance and society building. We may get cynical sometimes about the process, but the ideals are pure – and I think Ezra would remind us of that.

How Arvind brings Cornell to D.C.? At Cornell I worked hard, learned how to think, furthered my interest in the arts and enjoyed the spectacular natural beauty of campus. Given that now my job is to spend my energies stewarding the arts at a national park, it's a bit like coming full circle.

This piece also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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