CultureWork ; Vol. 11, No. 03

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Title: CultureWork ; Vol. 11, No. 03
Author: Saunders, Victoria J.
Abstract: In June 2007, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) ( asked me to convene two exploratory peer groups at their annual conference in Las Vegas for those conferees who identified themselves as being at “mid-career” in arts management. AFTA had already had success in previous years developing a peer group for young arts professionals called the Emerging Leaders Network ( emerging_leaders/default.asp) which has provided important networking and support for those entering the arts management career field. This was an opportunity for AFTA to hear from another sector of the arts management field. Without providing chronological signifiers, AFTA allowed people to self-identify with the term mid-career. Not knowing what to expect, AFTA’s staff and I were pleased when over 30 people showed up on each Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. for an hour’s discussion about what being at mid-career meant to them. They described feeling understimulated, stretched between work and home life, lacking advancement opportunities within their organization, and needing more challenge. They also talked of their commitment to the field and their desire to find solutions to these concerns. It was apparent that the peer group participants were expressing something that was likely not isolated to the total 50+ people who attended these sessions, but probably reflective of a larger trend in the field.
Description: 10 p.
Date: 2007-12

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