Brian Craft ’12 attended Shenandoah because of the eagerness the professors had to engage their students and cater to their students’ different learning styles and capabilities. “When I visited the campus and shadowed for the day, each professor who I met embodied that same passion,” said Craft. “The passion that they had for their craft truly radiated through their teaching and was infectious to the students.”
Some of Craft’s fondest memories at Shenandoah were his practice room collaborations and the stories former Vocal Professor Robert J. Shafer, Jr. would tell in Chamber and Conservatory Choir. “When he would tell a story about working with Sondheim, it just reminded me that I was working with a Grammy Award-winning, brilliant man and to absorb everything that I could and take in every moment,” said Craft.
Craft is now the director of marketing and communications at Realize Bradenton in Bradenton, Florida. As director of marketing and communications, he coordinates the presence of Realize Bradenton through traditional and digital marketing, in order to promote downtown Bradenton as a preferred destination to live, work and play. He works closely with the press and promotes all of the organization’s programming, which includes Music in the Park, Bradenton Blues Festival, ArtSlam, The Farmers Market and more.
The most rewarding part of Craft’s career is making an impact in the community by bringing people and local businesses together through music, art, heritage.
Shenandoah prepared Craft for his career because he was encouraged to delve into his different facets and fields to cross train with his acting major. This gave him an immense advantage when joining the workforce, because potential employers were able to see his wide range of skill sets, which made him stick out among the rest of the candidates.
Craft’s advice to students is: “To always be open and connect with everyone. It’s important to be active in the community and build relationships; those relationships over time develop into a network of support and will never fail to bring raise you up.”