Stephanie Bursese is an artist and a self-described nomad. She has moved from place to place throughout her childhood and most of her life, but she seems to be settling down in Philadelphia. In 2012, she moved to the city and shows no signs of leaving. In fact, she may have found a home here at Haverford: “It’s like a sanctuary. It’s like a safe haven where all the people that are on campus, all the students, faculty, staff, are incredibly bright, very generous, very supportive. It’s very much a yes place. To come into that every day is a gift.”
Stephanie’s role here at Haverford is as Program Manager of the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives (PACC), a new program supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. PACC encourages increased dialogue between Haverford and the greater Philadelphia area through collaboration and cooperation between Haverford faculty and their classes, outside artists, and nonprofit organizations. It does this by supporting new artistic civic engagement projects within the academic curriculum. The program grew out of what was previously Haverford’s Mellon Creative Residencies Program.
With three components of collaboration, Stephanie’s job becomes, in her own words, one of balance and communication: “For me, I think that a lot of this job is conversation, about what a lot of people are interested in, and that’s just my whole life. These multiple projects as they start to roll out, we’ll be trying to navigate those three different partners and how they work together for a common goal. I’m very comfortable in that space.” She describes herself as the nexus point of the projects, fostering those conversations and communication between all three entities. These projects could be in the form of Seed Exploratories, which are smaller grants which may lead to the larger program, the actual Collaboratives. In both cases, Stephanie works with faulty, artists, and nonprofits as both a communicative and administrative guide.