September in Valencia

September 18, 2008 at 9:34 am 1 comment

September in Valencia.  I spent the afternoon up here at CalArts, participating in a discussion with colleagues from both CalArts and Dartington, which is in the southwest of the UK.  The topic of the afternoon was sustainability, not of resources or artistic ideals, but of careers.  Specifically, how do we train young people to prepare for a career in the arts, in ways beyond giving them the art specific skills they need?  What’s more, what IS a successful career in the arts these days?

In my first blog entry I mentioned the fascinating careers that our students make for themselves.   Today, while sitting and listening to my colleagues talk about the ways they are teaching career and profession-building and incorporating that into their curriculum, I started to wonder about the ways that that happens organically at our school.  I mean, at a regular school I would imagine that a dancer might spend 6-8 hours a day in the dance studio in addition to normal school.  Probably he has some friends at school but interacts mostly with the dancers at the studio.  In the normal world he goes home at night to his parents and then starts again the next day.  But at our school he goes back to the dorm to his reed-making oboe-playing roommate, and learns first hand of the stress of sitting in one of those principal wind seats in the orchestra.  Or a visual artist comes home to hear the 15th recitation of a monologue that was assigned to an actor, desperate to get it right.  How does that affect the growth of our students?

I’m convinced that these collisions, mostly accidental, have informed the lives and careers of our grads in ways we don’t realize.  It would be fascinating for me to hear from alums for whom this resonates.  Do you have a story of an intersection with another art form at our school that has changed you?  I’d love to hear from you at!

Entry filed under: daily happenings, theories. Tags: , , , , , .

What a weekend. What is preprofessional?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. A-M  |  September 18, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Doug, you might want to consider talking to your graduates-to-be about seeking colleges that offer thriving entrepreneurship in the arts programs as well as excellent music programs. Believe it or not, Millikin’s Art and Entrepreneurship program is cutting-edge, with curricular components (including upcoming Art Business and Theatre Management majors), a student-run retail record label, a beautiful student-run retail art gallery downtown, a student-run private performance company, a student-run music publishing company. Our program’s goal is helping fine artists learn how to make a life-long living at what they do.


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September 2008


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