Croatian cellist Dorotea Racz returns to Montgomery County and joins AHCMC as our new Grants Coordinator! We sat down with her to explore her experience in the arts, her interest in working for AHCMC, and her unique perspective on our industry.
AHCMC: So, tell the readers a little about yourself and your journey to Montgomery County.
Dorotea: I am a Croatian cellist, educator, and arts organizer who has worked and lived in the DMV for most of my adult life. I came to the United States when I was seventeen to pursue my higher education at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. I hold a BM, MM, and DMA in cello performance from Johns Hopkins University and Catholic University of America. Currently, I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Arts Management at George Mason University, where I’ve taught cello performance and chamber music since 2018. I am deeply passionate about the arts, education, and community engagement and am thrilled to join the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County as the Grants Coordinator.
AHCMC: What led you to the arts field?
Dorotea: I have loved the arts my whole life. As a child, I enjoyed drawing and creating stories with my sister Tara. I started playing the cello when I was seven years old, and in two months, I became set on being a professional cellist. I guess I have always been quite persistent and loved the cello from the start. My journey towards art management began in graduate school when my husband Dmitry–a professional pianist and my chamber music partner–and I dreamt of starting a chamber music festival in my hometown, Zagreb, Croatia. From there, Audeamus Music Festival was born, and the arts management bug bit us!
AHCMC: What interested you in working for AHCMC?
Dorotea: I started taking classes in arts management at George Mason in 2020, right when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live our lives. For a classically trained musician, this pandemic dramatically altered how I approached my work, my role as an artist and the way I thought about my career. I became more aware of the importance of public funding for the arts and its impact on the healthy, diverse, and vibrant lives of culturally expressive individuals and communities. This inspired me to learn more and contribute to the field of public grantmaking and cultural policy. As a long-time resident of Montgomery County, I knew of AHCMC’s work and want to be a part of an arts council that is deeply committed to serving their community both progressively and equitably.
AHCMC: Tell us a fun fact!
Dorotea: I love tango music and serve as a principal cellist of the Pan-American Symphony Orchestra, a local string ensemble specializing in Latin American music. I also love to draw, go to museums, swim, and read books, especially magic realism novels.
AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the Grants Coordinator?
Dorotea: I look forward to learning about grantmaking and public funding. Additionally, I am thrilled to get to know our grantees and become part of AHCMC and the Montgomery County arts community!