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News . Feature Stories . 5 Years Out: Brittany Dobish


June 27, 2019

5 Years Out: Brittany Dobish

What kinds of things can happen to an artist in five years? New jobs and earned wisdom, to name two. One-time fibers major Brittany Dobish is among five grads we checked in with to see what they’ve learned since 2014.

Portrait of Brittany Dobish

Photo by Robert Muller/CIA

What do you do for a living and where do you live?
I am living on the west side of Akron, Ohio. Coming up on two years now, I have been the Nightlight Cinema’s Artistic Director. I feel honored to be a leader in providing the community a diverse selection of cinema that otherwise would not show in this area.

What has been your most satisfying professional accomplishment since college?
Since college, this position in my life, I would say, is my most satisfying accomplishment.

What’s been the most satisfying personally?
My most satisfying personal achievement has been learning to incorporate self-care daily. That means trusting myself in decision-making, knowing that I can change my circumstances, and I am doing the best I can.

Biggest surprise?
I had a revelation this past year on what my work in college was trying to accomplish. I see it now in every interaction I have with my art and those around me. I have a deep fear of loss, and I didn’t have the words for that until now. In my position, you engage with so many different people, and you exhibit stories that you hope audience members can relate to. I want to create moments like my revelation for people; these dire moments can institute change.

Can you describe what kind of student you were in college?
I was a workaholic; I think a lot of students were. I worked as a student ambassador for the entirety of my college years, an orientation leader, and a box office assistant for the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. I felt that if I was going to college for my work, I might as well give myself the fullest experience possible.

Was the transition to the so-called “real world” difficult, easy, or something in between
After college, I was already amidst a network of artistic individuals who helped me understand that I am in control of where I want to see myself. That “real world” transition was not drastic because I prepared my last year in building my networking relationships. It was a constant effort on my behalf. I knew the world is an everchanging place; I took jobs that I knew would be temporary. They taught me the patience and leadership I needed to feel confident in where I am today.

Is there anything that sticks with you from your college days that has been especially helpful or useful?
What I have taken from my college years is an ability to observe the world in a more meaningful way. I am open to criticism and questioning; I encourage my staff to be free as well. I see cinema as one of the most important art forms that ever existed, and through my curation, I hope to continue to raise awareness of the importance of arts and culture in the community of Akron.

If you could travel back in time, what would you want to tell your younger self?
If I could travel back in time, I would be so much more sensitive to myself. I would say, “Brittany, life is fleeting, you are doing the best you can.” In a world in which we exalt the busy lifestyle, lack of sleep, and stress, it is so NOT the path we should be taking. Self-care is the most important thing we can incorporate into our daily routines.

What’s your next goal?
My next goal is a complicated answer. There are so many that I feel are surrounding me at all times, and another thing I have learned is that tomorrow is not promised to us. We must live in the present moment as much as possible. My daily goals start with that persistent knowledge.

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