Emily Beck, Alumni Leading Our Community
Executive Director, Fargo Theatre | Film Studies
"One of the most important roles for a leader is creating a positive culture where people are motivated, feel valued, are driven by passion, and feel that what they contribute matters."
How well did MSUM prepare you to be a leader?
My experience at MSUM has been integral to my career. Not only did it give me a wonderful background in film history and production, but it also prepared me for so many other things. My experiences on Eurospring gave me confidence and a sense of adventure, and it really opened me up to a whole new world. The mentors I found at MSUM continue to guide me today.
What is the most important role of a leader?
One of my top responsibilities as a leader is creating a culture of dedication and passion and positive attitudes so that when people come to work at the Fargo Theatre, they are not only motivated by a paycheck, but they are motivated by this collective family environment that we have here.
What are some of the most difficult decisions you have to make?
Some of the more difficult decisions I make as a leader are in regards to motivating staff members who may not be reaching the standards we have at the organization. I need to find out what motivates them, what personally makes them tick and how we can help them reach their full potential.
What are the challenges of being a young person in a visible leadership role?
There are specific challenges when you are a younger leader in any community. You always feel like you might have more to prove and you definitely want people to take you as seriously as they might take someone who is 20 years your senior. You do that with a lot of patience and a lot of perseverance. If I’m in a meeting and someone calls me kiddo or sweetie, I just keep smiling and let him or her know that I am just as serious as the person sitting across the table.
What you see for the future of the Fargo Theatre?
I am so excited for the future of the Fargo Theatre. We will be celebrating our 89th birthday this spring and I am looking forward to another 90 years of incredible arts programming for the Fargo-Moorhead community. It is exciting to be a part of a community that has really come to life. We are continuing to grow the Fargo Theatre’s programming and the annual Fargo Film Festival, and I can’t wait to be a part of that ride.