We sat down with our new Executive Director Bridget Mundy on her first day - and peppered her with questions! We learned that she is "not prepared to not join Red Sox Nation" and that she owns a copy of "The Departed" - among other things. Enjoy!
What excites / intimidates you the most about moving from a traditional institution, The Cleveland Orchestra, to a group like A Far Cry?
I am most excited about all of the energy and passion A Far Cry has. It comes from everyone involved with the group: musicians, board members, concertgoers. It’s truly incredible and really empowering to be a part of something with so much positive momentum. What most intimidates me is that a permanent Executive Director role isn’t just new to me; it’s new to all of the musicians and board members as well. We’re all on the same learning curve together, and working through the growing pains is something that will require time, patience and hard work.
What are some of the guiding ideas in your work?
If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well, and attention to detail is critical to success. I believe strongly in collaborative efforts; a coordinated group effort usually results in something more than the sum of its parts. I strive to be patient, honest and kind in my interactions with others. I think it’s important to know what you don’t know and to ask for advice and assistance early and often. At the end of the day, there is no substitute for plain old hard work. Sometimes, you just need to put your head down, dig in, and get stuff done!
A Far Cry is a group of leaders, guided by collaborative principles. How do you see the role of the Executive Director unfolding in a group like this?
A Far Cry is a very tightly-knit organization whose members have put in years of work to build the group into what it is today. It’s going to take time to earn the trust of the musicians and board members who have so carefully cultivated this collaborative and democratic model. This isn’t about the Executive Director coming in and taking things over; it’s about the Executive Director partnering with A Far Cry to advance its long-term strategies while helping to professionalize the group’s administrative efforts.
How does it feel to be joining the Boston arts scene?
I am so excited to experience all that the Boston arts scene has to offer! I’ve only seen a small part of it so far, but I’ve been supremely impressed. The music alone - there is so much to choose from! I’m really looking forward to seeing Boston Baroque and Handel & Haydn, the Symphony of course, and I can’t wait to experience the Boston Ballet in performance. And I am thrilled to be a Boston resident! This city has such a storied past, and it’s inspiring to be so close to so much history. I’m living in Jamaica Plain and love how diverse and accessible the neighborhood is.
What's your go-to ear candy? What one "track" would you add to Mix Tape?
I listen to all kinds of music - truly a little bit of everything. Lately, I’ve been partial to John Prine, Tom Waits and Otis Redding, and I’ve also been listening to a variety of Spanish guitar and flamenco music. If I had to pick one “track” to add to Mix Tape, it would have to be something by The Black Keys; they hail from Akron, OH like me! Of all their albums, I like their 2011 album “El Camino” the best, especially the song “Little Black Submarines.”
You have a background in dance. What are your favorite dance forms?
I adore ballet. I myself studied ballet very seriously from a young age through high school, and I still like to take classes whenever I have the time. Although my personal dance education was very ballet-focused, I enjoy attending dance performances of all kind. In the past year, I’ve seen Momix, Pilobolus and Alonzo King LINES Ballet in performance, and they were all absolutely phenomenal. The athleticism of their dancers, the physicality of the movement, the production value of the performances; it’s captivating and breathtaking and inspiring.
I like to exercise. Running is my go-to (I ran two half-marathons last year), and I take ballet and yoga classes whenever I can find the time. I really enjoy good food, and although I’m much better at eating the food than at preparing it, I can whip up a pretty mean batch of rosemary butter cookies for dessert. I also like to travel, and I hope to visit both Glacier National Park and Nova Scotia in the next year.
What's your favorite hard-boiled Boston film drama (The Departed, Black Mass, Spotlight, Good Will Hunting, etc)?
I bought The Departed on DVD when I was in college and have watched it more times than I can count. What a cast! For better or for worse, everything I know about speaking with a Boston accent I learned from this movie.
Are you prepared to join Red Sox Nation?
This year, the Indians home opener in Cleveland is against the Red Sox… on my birthday. The irony! Let’s just say that I’m not prepared to not join Red Sox nation. Maybe let’s just agree that neither of us like the Yankees. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right?