Author: Nate Zeisler

How to set up a community engagement program that is diverse and inclusive.

In many ways, Los Angeles could be considered an arts education desert. Children are not afforded the opportunity to receive sequential learning in the arts. At Colburn, I was asked to develop a pipeline of learning that was sequential in nature and helped students in the program develop the skills necessary to thrive.The school altered its mission, ever so slightly, to reflect a new way of thinking about how we engage with our community. Instead of providing “Access and Excellence,” we now provide “Access TO Excellence.” It’s incredible how changing one word makes such a difference in our vision for programming.My guess is that some of you are thinking. “Wait, if we pursue excellence, isn’t that an elitist pursuit?”My answer is simple. Programming is not elite if it’s diverse and inclusive!If organizations are going to tip the scales towards excellence, they should be offering the same type of training that any family of means could provide for their children. At Colburn we have developed programming rooted in excellence for about 200 students. This is the …

The Best Tool for Discovering your Strengths.

One of the biggest challenges we face in the arts is that we tend to be conformist in nature. We look back at traditional approaches to learn our art in order to catapult us into the future. We need to separate the formal practice of learning our high art from our future career path. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do believe there is a standardized course of study that prepares us to be artists. The art of careful, diligent practice under the guidance of a mentor and a commitment to beauty and fluency are especially important for artists to be successful. However, beyond a specific scope and sequence for your applied art, there is no “one-size-fits-all” rubric for career success.  We are all different, with a diversity of hopes and dreams, wants and needs that define our career. On top of this, we all have different personalities that are ever-present during our pursuit. In my experience, I haven’t seen a particular personality have a better shot than others at forging a successful career. …

7 tips for artists considering work in a traditional, 9-5 job.

On my way into work this morning, I stumbled upon this article, which provides great insight into ways employers can retain a highly engaged team working on a common goal for their organization or business. This type of mindset is important for artists to think about for those who are considering more traditional, 9-5 work. This got me thinking about the following question: As an employee, what can artists do to help them love their work, stay engaged and play a role in building a highly effective business or organization. Here are some thoughts: Understand the potential differences between your values and the business where you choose to work — Ideally, your values will be the same as your employer, often times they are not. Figure out where to stretch your values and what values are not up for compromise. This is often the biggest reason I see individuals seek work elsewhere, and also the source of some of the greatest frustration for those stay on the job. Know before you go — Before you take …

Long Tail Sessions, Vol. 8—Wednesday, November 1, 2017 with Gina Luciani

Hi everyone! This week, I was thrilled to have flutist Gina Luciani join me for the latest edition of the Long Tail Sessions. We had a great discussion about building a social media presence, her career path, and ways you can develop your own following online. Here’s the interview: Gina also helped me pull together the latest Long Tail Sessions Spotify Mix. Included on the mix are some of Gina’s favorite artists, along with some of my own hand picked music. I hope you enjoy. Here’s where you can find Gina: https://www.ginaluciani.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/ginaluciani https://www.instagram.com/ginaluciani https://twitter.com/GinaFlute About The Long Tail Sessions: Last winter, I traveled from LA to NYC on a Virgin America flight and loved that the in-flight entertainment featured musicians in alphabetical order. At first, I found it jarring to see Beethoven next to the Beatles, but then I thought “Of course they’re featured side-by-side, that’s how we enjoy music these days.” With this in mind, I’m pleased to present a weekly series of playlists dedicated to those of us who are not genre specific …

8 steps artists can take to achieve their three year strategic plan.

Yesterday, I wrote about ways artists can create a three year strategic plan. Here are eight steps to take your ideas from planning to action. Set Incremental Goals—Take the strategy statement you created from the previous post and start to set some goals for how you will accomplish the work over the next three years. I like to think in quarters over three years because your goals become more attainable when you split them up. That means that you have 12 checkins with yourself to see if you’re accomplishing your established goals. Set Categories—I would suggest breaking down your goals into three buckets: Work/Life Balance Goals, Financial Stability Goals, and Artistically Fulfilling Work Goals. Within each category you might have 3-5 goals you’d like to accomplish. Write them beneath each category. Set Benchmarks—For example, instead of saying “I’d like to have more artistically fulfilling gigs in three years,” say “By July of 2018, I’d like to have a minimum of three more artistically satisfying performance opportunities.” This gives you a way to evaluate how you’ve done …