A shared love of the arts can bring many couples together.Working together for almost eight years in the arts had advantages for husband-and-wife team Joslyn Elliott and Max Meyer.
Meyer serves as the director of children’s education for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
The couple, who began dating in 2008, also worked jointly bringing the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program to fruition for several years.“We used to say if we could manage that program together and still like each other we could be married, said Elliott, currently a project manager at Group Delphi, managing trade shows for corporations.
“In our relationship, especially when we worked together in the arts, the element of a true partner is what made it so beneficial in a lot of ways and enticing as a relationship,” Elliott said.
You had a partner who understood where your brain was going on a project, she said. They understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Meyer said, “We’re philosophically aligned. We grew up with the same values … we’re both kind of adventurous … and we both feel if you’re not going to do a project well why do it at all.”
Conversely, couples finding a balance between their personal and professional lives can be challenging.
“We have personal projects and endeavors that we undertake collectively at home,” Elliott said.
For example, Meyer is working on film projects, while Elliott said she helps with editing and reviewing and work on proposals.
Even when the couple was dating they found common ground in personal projects away from work through photography and then comparing their efforts, Meyer said.
Elliott, who has a degree in fine arts, formerly worked at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
This year she served as moral support for Meyer, who continues to oversee the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program.
Besides the art museum, the iconic Fort Wayne Philharmonic has several couples who share a love of the arts and domestic bliss.
Johanna “Yana” Bourkova-Morunov, a violinist who joined the philharmonic in 2011, and Pavel Morunov, an oboist, work together while maintaining a marriage and raising two toddler daughters.
“It helps our relationship," Johanna Bourkova-Morunov said. "We understand each other very well. We support each other and our goals.”
Bourkova-Morunov has served as the acting associate concertmaster since 2012. She has also been a featured soloist with the philharmonic for the Masterworks and Summer series. Meanwhile, Pavel Morunov joined the philharmonic in September 2012.
Both were born in Russia, where they began their musical education before coming to the United States to continue their studies.
“We met at Northwestern University School of Music and started following each other in 2003,” she said.
The best part of being in the same field is encouraging each other and challenging each other, Bourkova-Morunov said.
Besides the challenge of learning a piece of music and playing it well another challenge can be quietly relaxing on a night off.
“Between playing music and raising a family there is sound, sound, sound all the time,” Morunov said.
He enjoys peace and quiet, being alone for a little while and reading books.
“That is true; sometimes we just enjoy silence or quiet nature walks,” Bourkova-Morunov said.
Another couple in the philharmonic are violinists Tim and Colleen Tan.
“We met playing in an orchestra together in 1997," Tim Tan said.
"I think working together helps our relationship because we have a common interest and passion. We enjoy creating art," Colleen Tan said.
Conversely, working together presents a challenge for raising two elementary school-age children.
“Raising our family is quite challenging because of the evening hours. We’re not with the children as much on certain nights or weekends,” Colleen Tan said.
Tim Tan said, "It’s nice we can share the work hours, but scheduling childcare can be difficult."
Besides working for the philharmonic the couple belong to a string quartet that performs in Yellowstone National Park during the summer.