Shannon Musgrave

Shannon Musgrave

Washington, DC is full of young, ambitious, up and coming leaders—politicos, entrepreneurs, engineers, and of course, those of us in the arts. We live in an exciting time and as we prepare to dive into the working world, we are faced with some unique challenges. But we are young and energetic and up to the task.

One universal challenge emerging leaders face in every field is the evolution of the ever expanding “work day.” Gone are the days of a typical 9 to 5. (Though, did they ever really exist in the arts?)

In this iPhone, iPad, Blackberry world, we are continually and constantly connected. Emails are sent and expected to be read at any and all hours. Tweets and Facebook comments don’t take the night off. We are embarking on a career world that never stops and rarely sleeps.

And how does one break into this world?

Ah yes. The internship.

Internships have the potential to be great career launchers. They also have the potential to become traps. All work and no pay makes Jane a tired intern.

The New York Times recently published an article detailing the struggles of many 20-somethings—“a population historically exploitable as cheap labor”—as they learn that “long hours and low pay go hand in hand with the creative class.” 

But the good news is, it feeds us (although it may be just ramen noodles at first). We in the arts get the extra perk of our work feeding our souls. It’s why we do it. And it’s an exciting time to dive in.

The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium at American University on April 7 will feature a panel discussion on career beginnings and advancement. Come get in on the discussion!

Panelists include:

Jojo Ruf – National New Play Network: Jojo Ruf is the General Manager of the National New Play Network, an alliance of 47 nonprofit theaters across the U.S. that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays.  Jojo is also the Coordinating Producer for the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University, an Associate Producer for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, a freelance writer for theatreWashington, and works as a Teaching Artist for Ford’s Theatre.

Christopher K. Morgan – Christopher K. Morgan & Artists: Christopher K. Morgan is Artistic Director of Washington DC area contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, the Artist in Residence in the Dance Program at American University and the Director of the Dance Omi International Dance Collective, an annual residency for choreographers in New York.  All of his work stems from a belief in the urgency of live performance in an increasingly isolating, commercial, and digital world.

Allison Peck – Freer-Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution: Allison Peck is the Head of Public Affairs and Marketing for the Freer|Sackler, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art in Washington, D.C., where she oversees all strategic marketing, public communications, media relations and advertising for the museums’ exhibitions and programs.  She has a professional background in project management, and has worked in communications for a variety of non-profits, including museums, art dealers, and social service providers.

Moderator:

Anne L’Ecuyer – American University: Anne L’Ecuyer is a writer and a consultant who stays closely connected to an international network of city leaders, cultural professionals, and individual artists. She is an expert in creative industries and cultural tourism, as well as the contributions of the arts toward educational, social, and environmental goals in communities throughout the United States. Anne previously served as Associate Vice President for Field Services at Americans for the Arts and is the author of Public Funding for the Arts at the Local Level. She owns and operates the Washington Writer’s Retreat, a private writing and research residency in the nation’s capital.

Please join us at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, coming up on April 7 in Washington, DC (just before Arts Advocacy Day)! Spend a whole day with other amazing arts managers—hear from great speakers, share your knowledge, and learn something new. Also, be sure to like and follow EALS on Facebook and Twitter for new announcements and symposium news.

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Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.