Friday, February 29, 2008

Why is Emerging U^P Important?

Hi Emerging Arts Professionals!

I believe I speak for all of us here when I say The Saratoga County Arts Council is excited to spearhead the upstate New York chapter of the Emerging Leaders Network! Why we decided to take on the project was two-fold. First, SCAC is unique in that three of our five staff members are under thirty years old. That being said, the three of us have a combined total of nearly 20 years experience in museums, universities, and other arts organization and not-for-profits, ranging from special events and marketing to exhibitions and education. As a group we represent what is often considered the "new generation" of arts professionals in a field where 90% of the professionals are from the generation before us. Second, according to Victoria Saunders, in her article Boomers, XY's and the Making of a Generational Shift in Arts Management, between 50% - 80% of non-profit executives plan to retire in the next five years. In our region, this statistic is particularly frightening. With very few oportunities for professional development, and even fewer opportunities to network with our peers, arts organizations in the area risk losing staff who are knowlegeable and already dedicated to their organization. Unfortunately, the lack of professional development opportunities also means that when advancement opportunities do arrise, nobody within the organization is qualified to take the reigns. Changing this is imperative. How we change this is the big question...

The Saratoga County Arts Council will be hosting the first official meeting of the Emerging Upstate Arts Professionals on April 3, 2008 from 6:00pm - 7:00pm. I have posted the invitation above...Please spread the word!

Over the next few months, we will also be developing a steering committee comprised of emerging arts professionals in the region. Each term will last one year, and committee members will be responsible for developing a schedule of bi-monthly meetings and workshops with our mission in mind. If you are interested in being a part of the committee, e-mail and let us know.