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The Your Ladders Blog

There are a lot of things to think about when you're navigating a performing arts path. These blog topics will help.

ARTS ADVOCACY--TELLING YOUR STORY

October 26 is #ArtsMatterDay in Massachusetts. Of course, it could be #ArtsMatterDay no matter where you live, but this effort is being lifted by MASSCreative, an arts advocacy agency for Massachusetts. I’ve worked with them for a number of years, and have learned a great deal about being an arts advocate from their team. As we are in an election cycle, it is a good time to talk about arts advocacy and what it means.

As an artist you understand the value of the arts. The arts are transformational, they build community, they offer new perspectives, they inspire, they teach creative and critical thinking skills, they foster collaboration. The list goes on. Take some time and make your own list.

The arts aren’t superfluous. They are vital to our overall well being. I know that in my heart and soul. But how do I help folks who don’t understand the value know that? Especially folks who are in the position to make policy decisions that affect the sector? Decisions around...

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THE ARTIST AS ENTREPRENEUR

I’ve been working in the arts for over thirty years and I’m really excited about a new trend I’m noticing around the way folks are producing their own work, Now, in some disciplines that’s always been the case. But in the performing arts, particularly theater, folks have felt the need to create a  company then create a season then produce their work. There have been exceptions, of course. Commercial theater has a lot of solo producers. But in the non-profit and community realm, starting a company has been the first step for most folks by rote. Or folks aspire to start a company. That’s changing.

I’m seeing two trends in this. First, a lot of the folks diving into this are working in the small/fringe scale. For these artists, starting a company and planning a season can be a resource drain. These groups are usually under-funded, and most folks participating are working several jobs to make it all work. Trying to produce two or three shows a...

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RESUMES AND COVER LETTERS DOWNLOAD

Writing a resume or cover letter is your opportunity to tell your story to a potential employer. While the documents don't get you the job--you do that in an interview--they do get you in the door.

I'm offering a free resume and cover letter worksheet for folks. I've distilled a workshop into this five page document I know you will find useful. Please go over and download it. The world needs artists. Let me help you help them.

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WHY DID I NAME MY SCHOOL YOUR LADDERS?

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...

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