Blog Posts for emerging leaders network

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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Following Young Leaders’ Lead

Posted by Chris Appleton, Apr 27, 2016 0 comments

Like many urban areas across the country, much is booming in Atlanta: real estate, food culture, and a hunger for public transit and public spaces. Along with the renewed investment in Atlanta’s urban core, there is a building momentum around the role arts & culture play in civic life. Of course there’s a downside to the “upswing” as Atlanta faces some of the country’s most pronounced income and wealth inequality gaps. The disparity is real in Atlanta – and the arts are not immune, falling right in line with housing and education disparities, lack of access to healthy foods, and economic immobility.

While some our most conventional cultural institutions are searching for ways to discuss and address the issue of cultural equity, I am inspired by emerging leaders in Atlanta whose core purpose is rooted in cultural equity values.

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Navigating Grey Space: The Personal, Professional, and Practice

Posted by Sharbreon Plummer, Apr 26, 2016 1 comment

How does one lead by an example that is still evolving, or in many instances simply doesn’t exist? As a young black woman in the arts, this has proven to be the ongoing topic of many conversations amongst my peers and myself. Decades have been spent sorting through lack of diversity in the arts sector, and people of color pursuing their passions as artists and administrators alike are still faced with a lack of representation and guidance around what the future of these roles look like within the field. Most recently I’ve found myself questioning how to explore my individual path in a way that feels productive and healthy, while also understanding how that impacts my future pursuits and leadership role(s).

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Leading through Listening

Posted by Jessica Rose, Apr 26, 2016 0 comments

Last week I met with local arts advocate Julie Madden to discuss some of her career experiences in the arts. I was lucky to have met her just a few weeks prior at Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. It just took one exchange to realize that we not only represent the same congressional district, but we actually live down the street from one another! I was so happy to meet with her and to hear the wealth of stories and advice to share. Since 1998, Julie has served with Maryland State Citizens for the Arts and in 2002 became a board member of the Maryland State Arts Council. Additionally, she has served on The Baltimore Museum of Art's Accessions Committee for Decorative Arts and as Maryland's Director of Arts and Community Outreach.

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How to Be (or be an asset to) an Emerging Arts Leader of Color

Posted by Brea Heidelberg, Apr 26, 2016 1 comment

You have to be resilient to be in arts management. Period. This required resilience goes double for emerging arts leaders of color and the people who want to see them do well. As an educator and consultant, I am sometimes asked to speak about diversity in our field. After these talks I hear from two types of people: arts administrators of color who are on the spectrum of “I know, right?” to “let’s laugh together about this ridiculous thing that happened to me–or else I’ll cry” (I buy the latter drinks, when possible) AND I hear from potential allies who want to know how to be helpful.

What follows are a smattering of things that I have said to both groups–as the discussion for one group is usually an inverse image of the discussion with the other. I offer these lessons I have learned (usually, the hard way) as fodder for further discussion, and a moment for us to strategize before we go back out into the fray.

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The Importance of Organizations Investing in their Emerging Leaders

Posted by Ms. Serena Johnson, Apr 25, 2016 3 comments

“You need to pay your dues.”

This statement has always hit a nerve with me. Not because I don’t believe there is some truth to it, but because I believe that it focuses on a problem and not a solution. This often means that the task of “paying one’s dues”, which can be defined as “you need more experience,” is forced upon the emerging leader with no assistance and no direction provided. Decision making is for those with experience, for valid reasons, but what I question is how organizations help provide that much-needed experience to their emerging leaders.

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