This past winter I signed up for Marie Forleo's B-School in part to help me take my mystery writing life to the next level, in part to help me do my job running a non-profit arts service organization, and in part because I love learning. I was also teaching an arts administration class, and one of my students told me he was grateful for the practical knowledge because it made graduation less daunting. He also told me he worried about his friends who hadn't taken an arts administration class and were going to try and build a career.
All of this came together and birthed a new idea. What would happen if I took my thirty years of experience in arts administration coupled with my love of teaching, and created a platform where both could live, and be accessible to more people? What would I call this online school?
When I do presentations about making a life in the arts, I show a picture of a long ladder, and explain that many careers look like that ladder. Expected rungs and a fairly predictable path. A life/career in the arts looks more like a roller coaster. You need to buckle up, and get ready to expect the unexpected.
While that roller coaster metaphor is true, I know that understanding of business concepts like using spreadsheets, figuring out money (earning and spending it), getting folks to see your work, and building your brand can help an artist/creative get over obstacles so they can do their work. I can't promise a ladder to "success" (what does that look like in the arts?), but I can help folks build ladders of understanding while they figure out their career path, or produce their own work, or start a company. These ladders are your ladders, not mine. They are practical skills, geared primarily toward folks in the performing arts.
These ladders/classes are business skills, but filtered through a lens that makes them more useful to folks in the arts. Also, these classes, and this blog, are filtered by me.
Here's what you should know about me, and about Your Ladders. I believe that the arts are the answer, and that artists are gifts. I am a fierce arts advocate. I see the issues in the arts (around funding, organizational structures, audience development, etc.) and hit them head on, with the passion and clarity of a long career and strong opinions informed by experience. I want you to succeed in whatever you do, and I pass no judgement on your work.
One other thing--I love teaching, and am really looking forward to building classes, and Your Ladders.
Thanks for being here. I'll be posting at least once a week, and keeping you abreast as I build my virtual school and getting ready for the first day of school. In the meantime, please download the worksheet about Resumes and Cover Letters, and sign up for updates on Your Ladders.