As part of Center Theatre Group’s (CTG) work with emerging artists and arts professionals, we administer the Richard E. Sherwood Awards Programs. The Programs include the Sherwood Internship, a six-month, paid position offered to emerging and early careers arts professionals. The Sherwood Intern works to ensure successful administration of the Sherwood Award application and selection process. Last year, as we searched for the 2010 Sherwood Intern, we struggled with finding the right fit. We came across lots of candidates who had the right academic know-how, and artistic interests; but most had no real arts management experience. Through much searching, we ultimately found a great Sherwood Intern (so great, in fact, that last week we added her to our Education team in a permanent, full-time position), but the dilemma really stuck in the craw of our Education and Community Partnerships Department Manager, Patricia Garza.
Patricia is a 20-something arts manager with MFA/MBA in Theatre Management from California State University, Long Beach. And, as her degree implies, Patricia possesses that ideal 21st century combination of a right and left brain that function at equally high levels and in tandem. Patricia lamented, “Why don’t more arts management programs include work away from academia and campus? How are people supposed to make the transition from school to work?” And, as is her style, she offered, “Wouldn’t it be cool if CTG could connect emerging theatre managers with job experience.”
I don’t know…would it be?
So to give credit where credit is due: the notion for this investigation started with Patricia. But she really got me thinking. So much of our work in education focuses on building the audiences of tomorrow, and to a lesser extent the artists of tomorrow.
But what are we as theatre professionals doing to support the arts administrators of tomorrow? And is that our job?
Through TCG and MetLife, we now have the time and opportunity to investigate this idea with our Think It! Grant. Over the course of this year, we will embark on a research project, working with colleagues from the Los Angeles theatre and arts administration community. We will gather the opinions of academic chairs and graduate students. And we hope to collect lots of perspectives and voices, including yours:
If you are an arts administrator/manager…
Where and when in your life did the critical school-to-work bridge happen?
If you are a graduate arts management student…
What kind of program would help you get where you want to be?
If you are an academic chair or professor in an arts management program…
What kinds of real world experiences would complement the training you are providing?
If you are a theatre professional…
What role do/could arts management graduate students play in your work?
We are just starting our journey and would love to hear from you.
Next Steps: Broadening Our Perspective: Meeting with Our Project Advisors:
Terrance McFarland, Executive Director, LA Stage Alliance; Angela Milanovic, Technical Assistance Programs Manager, Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and Terry Wolverton, Consultant.
Leslie K. Johnson
Director of Education and Community Partnerships
Center Theatre Group
ljohnson@CenterTheatreGroup.orgCenter Theatre Group’s education and community partnership programs are organized under three broad strategic initiatives:AUDIENCES – helping audiences of all ages discover theatre and its connection to their livesARTISTS – investing in the training, support and development of emerging and early career artists and arts professionals who are the future of our fieldARTS EDUCATION LEADERSHIP – working to improve the quality and scope of arts education in Los Angeles CountyOur exploration of how and whether CTG could/should develop a graduate level intern program supports the second strand of this work. To review our entire Strategic Design for Education and Engagement, please visit Center Theatre Group's website here.