At the 2017 Arts Midwest Conference in Columbus, Ohio, I joined hundreds of my colleagues from across the country to learn about what this wonderful organization does for our community. I had the honor of attending as a recipient of the David J. Fraher Future Leaders’ Fund Award—a scholarship that gave me valuable new insights into the industry through professional development workshops, networking sessions, and artist performances.
The professional development workshops exposed me to new areas of operations that are essential to an institution. Until then, I had never really known how much work goes into planning a successful season—such as managing tour schedules, meeting with artists, and choosing production content. These workshops definitely helped strengthen my understanding of the different functions that contribute to a sustainable arts organization.
It was also such a great opportunity to create connections with administrators and artists on a statewide and regional platform. The scholarship facilitated many conversations and interactions with other attendees who offered unique perspectives into our field. I am so thankful for the mentoring I received and look forward to continuing these relationships throughout my career.
Last but not least, the Spotlight Showcases were certainly a highlight of the Conference! It was such a joy to attend the numerous performances offered across a variety of genres and art forms. I appreciated the chance to experience new and exciting types of entertainment alongside people with similar interests.
Attending the annual Arts Midwest Conference as a recipient of the David J. Fraher Future Leaders’ Fund was an important step in furthering my career. I am so grateful for this organization and the amazing opportunities it offers emerging leaders in our field. Thank you for the chance to gain hands-on industry experience while connecting with my arts colleagues!
Left to right: Jessica Albright, David Fraher, and Michelle VanHuss at the 2017 Arts Midwest Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Terry Gilliam.