The success of Italian Studies major Briana Salatino in the art event industry

After graduating from Chapman in 2018 with a B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising, a B.A. in Italian Studies, and a minor in Sociology, Briana Salatino started her professional career with The Other Art Fair, a global artist fair offering visitors an opportunity to meet and buy directly from the best emerging artistic talent.

During her time with the company, Briana was instrumental in launching editions in Los Angeles and Dallas. She has worked with over 600 domestic and international artists for onsite special features, brand partnerships, and sponsorship deals. Her day-to-day involves communication with upcoming exhibitors, guiding them from the acceptance stage to onsite exhibition, all while navigating different timezones and language barriers (sometimes Italian).

Briana’s self-designed major in Italian Studies, and trips to Italy — including a semester abroad at The Umbra Institute in Perugia — have provided her with skills applicable to her current role.  “Learning a new language and immersing yourself into a culture different from your own challenges you to think on your toes, and differently from how you normally would,” says Briana. “In the events industry, contingency planning and creative problem solving are essential. I find that because of my experiences navigating a foreign country, practicing a foreign language and immersing myself in new ways of thinking, I’m able to pivot and adjust easily in a professional context. In the days of COVID-19, this skill has proven itself essential and allowed The Other Art Fair to expand into new territory when most are calling it quits.”

Not only did Briana’s experience with the Chapman’s Italian Studies program help boost her resume, but it also allowed her a deeper connection with her Italian heritage. In Briana’s words: “Taking the opportunity to really delve into Italian language through my self-designed major had great impact. It led to building relationships with members of my extended family living in Naples; reading books in the Italian language (L’amica geniale by Elena Ferrante, anyone?); translating my Nonna’s recipes as I transferred them from analog to digital for safekeeping; and feeling comfortable enough to spend three days traveling solo in Venice earlier this year. I wouldn’t have had any of those experiences if I wasn’t as comfortable as I am with reading, writing, and speaking Italian. I’m really grateful I took the plunge and took the extra step with my Italian education. A minor or major in Italian can be beneficial in your professional and personal development —it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

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