I am thankful for music and the experiences that are created when artists and the community come together. I am thankful for the willingness of people to collaborate and look past through the present challenges and strive to make something great.
This Thanksgiving season, I am thankful to wake up every day and love every minute. It is a pleasure not only to work to live, but actually live to work. Many do not view their jobs as such, but it is one of the perks of working in the arts. I hope that those who do not like their day-to-day routine, attempt to look for creative alternatives to live a fulfilling life.
I’m thankful for the audience—the local audience at my venue that’s willing to take a chance on something new, and the internet audience that’s embraced the Incomparable Radio Theater series and pushed us to do more and better.
I’m grateful for the little moments of awesome that come through at work. As a staff member on a four-person staff, there’s a lot of work to be done and its nose to the grindstone for much of the workday which can be really exhausting. My moments of insanity and “why in the world am I still here” are so often followed by magical “oh, duh. This is why” moments that stop me in my tracks and make me grateful for the role I have in making something so special happen.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to live during a period of meaningful change and opportunity where the tools to reach so many have never been so readily available. It’s a joy to work alongside such a diverse and dedicated group of colleagues, especially my fellow ArtsHacker contributors; it’s a constant reminder as to why working in such a evocative field is such a treat. Lastly, I’m grateful to the ArtsHacker readers who codify the site’s value each and every day with their visits and participation.
As the only Canadian contributor (Canada observes Thanksgiving in October), now living in Australia (which doesn’t observe Thanksgiving), I’m a little conflicted about perpetuating Americentric holiday celebrations… oh, what the heck, here’s what I’m thankful for this year: flexibility. I moved to Australia just over a year ago, but despite a 16 – 18 hour time difference (depending on the time of year), I’m still able to perform contract work for a Canadian arts organization. Kudos to them for being open to non-traditional working arrangements!
I am thankful that Drew McManus started ArtsHacker. It may sound like pandering, but the thing is, when I first started writing the Butts In The Seats blog nearly 12 years ago, one of my goals was to start a resource similar to ArtsHacker. In a sense Drew has taken on the burden of making one of my dreams a reality.
I can see now that it I may not have met with much success had I tried something similar a decade ago. Even with so many more people in the arts community engaged in discussion about the challenges we all face than there were a decade ago and even with all the new technology tools at our disposal, Drew expends a lot of effort behind the scenes to make ArtsHacker work.
Related to this, I have been thankful and pleased to see the arts community having wide and varied discussions about its practices. Over the past year there have been conversations about labor issues like union contracts, pay equity, internships, working for the exposure and embracing entrepreneurial practices. Intellectual and cultural “rights” regarding casting and presentation have also been a big issue. Most of these are not new issues, nor are they comfortable to discuss, but I feel like the arts community has been conducting them with far more reason and restraint than one experiences in general online conversations.
Working in the arts field means that the ‘product’ that I sell and promote can heal, empower, inspire, and engage. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of touching someone’s life. I am also thankful for a supportive board of directors, a strong core of volunteers, and fabulous co-workers.
I am grateful for the part the arts have played in my life and the part that I have played in the arts. It is perhaps no coincidence that this year was the tenth anniversary of two major events in my life. Ten years ago, I started working for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was my first big foray into the world of arts marketing. What a time that was. And ten years ago, I got married. Art has always been and continues to be a huge part of our lives. From our first dates at the Kunsthistorisches Museum–where I taught her about Rubens–and the Staatsoper in Vienna–where she taught me about Wagner.
But what I am most grateful for is the many different ways we’ve helped to bring art and music alive. That surely has been one of the most fulfilling things in my life. Don’t underestimate the feeling of seeing your name in a program book, no matter how small the print, or how many pages in. It means you were part of it.