They Should’ve Asked a Folklorist: New Horizons for State Folk Arts Programs

Posted by Adrienne Decker, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

Following the 1974 launch of NEA support for state folklife programs, folklorists have led state arts agencies’ efforts to serve traditional artists of the nation’s rural, occupational, and immigrant communities. What are the challenges facing state-level folk arts coordinators in 2016?

To gain insight, I consulted three emerging leaders in the field: Lilli Tichinin, Program Coordinator of Folk Arts, Art Projects and Accessibility for New Mexico Arts; Jennifer Joy Jameson, Folk and Traditional Arts Director for the Mississippi Arts Commission; and Josh Ehlers, Assistant Folklorist for the Oregon Folklife Network.

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A Leader's Responsibility to Create Opportunities for Others

Posted by Susannah Darrow, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

In 2008, print publications were shedding staff writer positions. Arts criticism was on the cutting room floor at daily newspapers across the country.

Blogging was all the rage in the mid-aughts, so despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s unceremonious slaughter of their arts coverage, Atlanta was seeing a groundswell of local arts scene coverage. From this movement a cohort of critics emerged. This independent and often amateur motley crew consisted of emerging artists, recently graduated art history majors, retired editors and junior writers. What they penned was avant-garde reviews that disregarded traditional methods of criticism.

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Working With or For Everyone in an Organization

Posted by David Wicai, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

We have all heard or said the phrase: “I wear many hats within my organization”, as if we are justifying our importance (like my Great Dane tries to justify her importance by licking my face down to the bones). We all play important roles within our organizations. I have certainly used this phrase in some shape or form, but staying humble about our numerous roles can really pay dividends as we move forward in our careers.

Working with or for everyone does not always mean everyone is asking you to do something for them. More frequently, it means asking others how you can be involved in what they are doing. This approach not only expands knowledge in the short term, but it can lead to long term benefits including building new relationships or creating opportunities to take on more responsibility. Here are my keys to success when it comes to working with or for everyone in your organization.

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Resilient Leadership in the Arts: Realities about being in an Arts Couple

Posted by Mrs. Amy K. Ruggaber, Apr 27, 2016 0 comments

A few years ago, my husband got a new job several states away that completely changed our lives. At the time, I had a job I loved in theatre arts education from which I had to resign. Starting over in a new place where you know absolutely no one is a daunting task for anyone, but when you’re in the arts, it can seem like an impossible task. Jobs in the arts are harder to come by than in many other fields and it takes years to build up connections, develop working knowledge of local funding sources, and get another shot at a job with an organization when you aren’t the one hired away.

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Establishing a Career Path in the Arts

Posted by Ms. Princess Belton, Apr 27, 2016 0 comments

In 2011, while pursuing my graduate degree in Arts Administration at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), I came across Managers of the Arts, an NEA research study conducted in 1987 by Paul DiMaggio. In this report he examined the backgrounds, education, and career experiences of senior arts administrators of resident theaters, art museums, symphony orchestras, and community arts agencies. While this report is almost 30 years old, DiMaggio highlighted some key points that are important for attracting and retaining arts managers, which included:

  • Raising salaries in fields in which administrators are least well paid.
  • Establish somewhat more predictable career paths that offer the promise of further opportunities to administrators who reach the top of large or medium-sized organizations relatively early in life.
  • Offer more equal opportunities to women managers who pursue careers in these fields.
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