Helping Tucson to hear the music


Carol Carder is Pima College’s Marketing and PR Coordinator for the Center for the Arts and Pima Arts. Carder moved here, from the Midwest where she worked in the marketing department for another college, to be close to her daughter. She has been with Pima for 14 years now.

Q: What do you do at Pima?

A: What I do is promote the Pima Arts. I work very closely with the Pima Art’s faculty and performance directors and promote their events that are held at the Center for the Arts. I also work with the Center for the Arts to promote what they do for the college. So, I work for two aspects; I work for the Pima Arts and the Center for the Arts.

Q: Why Center for the Arts?

A: I am an Arts major myself, both digital arts and visual arts. I’m very passionate about the arts I love the arts, everything about them and it seemed to be a perfect fit for me.

Q: Which Pima production has been your favorite throughout your time at Pima?

A: Well I personally love all the musicals, I love musicals, always have, and I think Pima theater puts on fantastic musicals. They are always top notch, and the persium theater at the center for the arts, there is not a bad seat in the house and so anytime there is a musical, which is really nice because the musicals incorporate dance, plus the pit orchestra, plus theater, so it’s kind of a blend of everything, so that’s what I love about musical theater.

Q: How are students transform through the Center of the Arts programs?

A: I would say being able to perform at the Center for the Arts and having that stage experience, whether it is in the music concerts or the dance concerts or the theater performance or even showing their work at the Bernal Gallery which is part of the Center for the Arts. That all builds confidence for them and gives them the feeling of actually being professional. Then just having classes down here. The student congregate in the hallways; they become their own little group, sio I think we’re very beneficial. If you had a performance arts or a visual arts program that didn’t offer a gallery to exhibit your work or a space to perform in, it wouldn’t really be a complete program.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?

A: My favorite part of my job is interacting with the students because you guys are awesome. I work with the digital arts students, especially the students who are in the digital filmmaking and video editing they are awesome, I work closely work with all the students who are performing and trying to convince them to market their own show. I get to know a lot of them and they’re great. This is why I came to work at a college, I have always work in colleges because I love the students, they’re awesome, they’re the best part. After that the faculty, but first the students.

Q: What is the most difficult task do you think comes with the job?

A: The difficult task coming with the job is getting the public to know about us. It seems like no matter how we are out there, we want them to know about it. Our budget is small for marketing, so it’s not that we can continuously take out ads in papers, but we do have social media sites: facebook, twitter, instagram and youtube. We have an email newsletter that comes out regularly. We have a season brochure that we mail out every summer, so we constantly try to get more and more people to come here because once they’re here, once they see a performance, they’re convinced, they’ll come back.

Q: Where do you think you would be if you weren’t at Pima?

A: I would be at another college working for their arts program.

Q: Do you have any crazy PR stories?

A: Not off the cuff, I think everyday could be crazy. It’s a challenging job because I have to juggle some many aspects. When you think about the dance, theater, the music and the visual arts and promoting also the digital arts whenever they have events. They have one big event every year, but they use to have two. Just generally, the arts at Pima, they are an active program and I want everyone to know about it, so I stay very busy.

Q: Do have anything else you would like to let Pima know?

A: I would say two things. First off, the Pima Arts are probably the best deal in town. If you like to perform come to Pima first and then transfer. You’ll get excellent training, the faculty here are so passionate and they have so much experience. Two, the Center for the Arts. If you are a community member and you want a stage for your event to perform on. Call the Center for the Arts because they’re performance spaces are the best in town, so I think those are my two words; two parts of my job, Pima Arts and the Center for the Arts and they both are equally excellent.

Q: What would you recommend to students or people who are interested in Marketing and Public Relations?

A: There are a couple of avenues. Definitely take classes in journalism, especially if you like to write; if interested in being a reporter. Get a degree in communications or media productions or digital arts. I started off with a degree in graphic design and what they called advertising design at the time, so I had a lot of experience with that, but then I moved right into marketing, PR and it helped that I was able to know all aspects of it, so I did take classes in journalism and marketing…then social media came out. Stay with your passion. If you love to write go into that aspect, if you know that you are good at being creative, go into digital arts and think about photography; photojournalism, oh my gosh, you could travel the world with that, same with videography. Pima has so much to offer. You could do web design, you could do animation, lots of things that you can do to get jobs, and you can always transfer if you want the degree because i do think in a competitive market, a degree is necessary. A four year degree, especially if you are going into communications and journalism, just to make yourself competitive.