Americans for the Arts and I share a common vision: we both see arts as the solution. The value of art in our everyday lives is what brought me to my job as Marketing and PR Coordinator at Silk Road Rising, where I was a patron before I was an employee. As someone with artistic and arts education training who is new to arts marketing, I am especially grateful to Americans for the Arts for awarding me with a Field Diversity Scholarship Award to attend the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMPC) 2015 and further my professional development. The sessions provided me with a framework to accomplish my goals. They helped to light the path between where I am and where I want to be. NAMPC encouraged me to ask more questions, even when the questions are difficult ones. How can we reach new audiences? How can we feel less intimidated by Google Analytics? How do we, as a theatre company that counters negative representation, continue conversations about disparity that actually lead to action? The conference provided me with a springboard to begin meaningful conversations and rekindled my passion for the arts.
When you are part of a small non-profit arts organization, wrapped up daily in the particulars that bring performance art to the stage, sometimes you forget you’re also part of a much larger arts community where there are people who have been in your shoes and whom you can learn from. NAMPC allowed me to network and develop my arts leadership skills and reminded me the importance of nurturing relationships. Moreover, it gathered leaders and movers and shakers in the arts marketing community under one roof so we could all see that yes, our goals are attainable. So while we are in our offices and communities doing our parts, it’s good to know that Americans for the Arts is out there on a national level, advocating for the arts so that we continue to have a place in the bigger picture, so people know that our everyday work is valuable and contributes to the betterment of the health and the enrichment of the lives of many Americans.