A lot has happened this quarter. The Arts Administration & Museums Leadership program sent two groups of students to Washington, D.C. for Museums Advocacy Day and the National Arts Action Summit, to advocate to our representatives for NEA funding, tax reform, and more. It snowed, a few times. I learned how to make risotto. I visited different coffee shops, new art galleries, and new museums in order to thoroughly explore and give thought to the busy city I’ve come to reside in. And as I traveled to New York City for my second consecutive year at the Chamber Music America conference, I realized two themes I'd like to highlight this quarter: Vulnerability and Inspiration.
It was at that conference in the beginning of 2018 where I formally submitted my application to Drexel after a particularly inspirational career coaching session from a woman I’ve come to admire greatly. This was also my first year coming as an independent young professional (albeit one who forgot her business cards at home!), thankful for my manager the previous year who saw the potential in me as an arts manager and recommended the conference in the first place.
Allowing myself to feel vulnerable this quarter was a challenge. Winters can be inherently a time for thought, as we use cozy time spent indoors under heated blankets to think about our past, present, and future. This winter I felt particularly motivated to do more- in addition to Chamber Music America, I also attended the National Arts Action Summit (formerly Arts Advocacy Day) for the second time. I’ve learned that second times can bring more room for introspection than the first. How have I grown since I was last standing here? What have I overcome in the year in between? Going somewhere for the first time is thrilling, activating personal motivation and growth, but having a comparison point from where you are and where you used to be is incomparable. I feel on track in my journey to full-fledged arts administrator.
We all have the choice to break out of our comfort zones to try new things, go to new places, and meet new people. Find what inspires you and pursue it. Allow yourself to feel scared, eager, a little bit wacky for wearing a skirt to the art gallery when it’s snowing outside. It’s all part of the process of growth, and the arts will be there for you along the way if you choose to include them. Especially if you’ve spoken to your Congressperson about them!
In short, never give up an opportunity to do something you’re passionate about. Your future self will be glad you took the chance to experience more.
My winter favorites:
Vegan meatball hoagie from Green Line Café Powelton Village. How did I go an entire quarter without knowing this café was right around the corner on 37th? They also have Dottie’s Donuts, because we know I can’t say no to a vegan donut.
First Friday- I braved the cold twice, in February and March, to experience the night of free galleries. I took part in the "Taste of Shabbos" traditional meal at the Old City Jewish Art Center, saw a friend’s art displayed at Colorspace Labs to kick off National Women’s Month, and enjoyed some craft beer and seitan tacos at Evil Genius Brewing right around the corner.
Joe Coffee- The theme of this issue is vulnerability, but the theme of my life is Vegan Baked Goods. I found out that Joe Coffee sells cookies from Crust Vegan Bakery and I was sold.
A Career Guide for Misfits- My mom gifted me the book “Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits” by Jennifer Romolini, and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I picked it up a few weeks later and read halfway through in one sitting. It’s the reason I chose to emphasize vulnerability here- sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, and it’s okay. It’s okay to make mistakes, to be weird, to be anxious about the future, especially as a young adult in the big bad job market. Jennifer is frank, honest, and helpful; she writes smoothly and personably as if you were talking directly to her. I highly recommend picking this one up if, like me, your fears of the future and your ambition are stuck in gridlock and you need something that will whack you into action.
ArtsLine editor 2018-2019