I have been an Arts Administrator since 1993, when I “retired” from a career as dancer. The funniest thing about this is that shortly before I took an administrative job in the arts, I had declared in all seriousness that I could never be an Arts Administrator because it was “way too stressful.” This was my first lesson in “never say never.” In truth, I have been “hanging around” theatres in one way or another (mostly as a dancer) since I was 11 years old, and I can’t seem to let that go.
I’ve done several things in this career. I’ve planned tours, done some “general management” (which as many of you know, includes everything from finance, to human resources, to negotiations of all sorts and with all types of people, unions and agents, and many other things in between), written a lot of grants, done a bit of marketing, a bit of fundraising, and along the way have had the very great privilege of working with some incredible artists and being involved in getting some wonderful, transformational art on the stage. I’ve worked with large and small theatre companies, independant artists, a large festival, and a large dance organization. Each organization has taught me much, and I have had the benefit of many generous and patient mentors along the way.
I have never had a plan or set career goals – something I have only recently learned is true of many, many Arts Administrators – which has often proved to open more doors than it has closed. While not completely a “neo-Luddite”, I tend not to be the first person to try out new technologies (blogging is now more than a decade old, for example, and I am just beginning), but here I am testing the waters because I have a desire to stimulate ideas and discussion and to share my thoughts with others.