All posts tagged: state of the arts


I read about #39 in history books. Though I have distinct memories from the 80’s, #40 came and went in the fog of my preteen years. #41 taught me the power of patriotism, yellow ribbons, and pride in my country.  #42 arrived during my coming of age years and helped me grow my progressive roots. I found my political voice when #43 was in office and it marked the first time I remember bonding over politics with my father.  Both of my children came into this world during #44, thank you for making the world a better place for my children. 40 years of Presidential power.  40 years of life. Every single moment fleeting.

5 Things Artists Can Do, Post-Election

  The arts live continuously, and they live literally by faith; their nature and their shapes and their uses survive unchanged in all that matters through times of interruption, diminishment, neglect; they outlive governments and creeds and societies, even the very civilizations that produced them.  They cannot be destroyed altogether because they represent the substance of faith and the only reality.  They are what we find again when the ruins are cleared away. —Katherine Anne Porter

Taylor Swift and Equity for Artists

Taylor Swift recently pulled her entire catalog of songs off Spotify, arguing that there “should be an inherent value placed on art.”  It appears that Taylor made about $500,000 last year in domestic streaming through Spotify.  Before her departure, she had millions of people playing her songs every day. Spotify argues that artists will reap the benefits of allowing their work to be streamed when a critical mass signs up for the service.  For people like Taylor Swift who already have a huge following, this potentially works out well.  For most musicians, Spotify is hardly an option.  This article in the Atlantic is a dose of reality, stating that it takes over 4 million plays per month on Spotify for an artist to make a paltry $1,160. Historically, record label agents were the gate keepers who “picked” the artists they would represent.  Due to time and staff size, only a few artists were chosen to fill out a roster each year, leaving most artists behind.  Then, ten to fifteen years ago, many believed that the …

3 Career Fears To Tackle In 5 Years

Before declaring my major in college I remember losing what felt like weeks of sleep trying to decide if the path to become a music educator was right for me.  Choosing the wrong path or worse, choosing the right path and ultimately not finding success in said path was all consuming.  What I didn’t know then was that the pursuit of a music degree was preparing me incredibly well for work in the 21st century.  Like you, I was passionate, intellectually curious, and incredibly interested in becoming an expert in my discipline; all characteristics for a successful career.  Fear be damned. My career fear has led to a deep exploration of careers in the arts, an exploration that continues to this day. Most recently, I’ve been podcasting a course out of Stanford called “How to Start a Startup.”  Paul Graham, Co-Founder of Y Combinator, argues that genuine intellectual curiosity in pursuit of domain expertise in the traditional sense will enable you to thrive in the 21st century economy.  For example, if your intellectual curiosity involves becoming a scholar on the compositions for Dulcian by Giovanni Antoli Bertoli, great.  Your job …

4 things to consider as you find a place to call home

This blog post is beautiful.  Stripped down and vulnerable, Amy effectively places her personal values in front of where she lives.   What role does “place” play in launching your career?  This post looks at the notion of “place” as it relates to career planning and attempts to help you think about your own values while deciding where you should call home. Cool Cities In 2002, Richard Florida wrote about the creative class and presented a new way for city leaders to think about urban renewal. Florida’s hypothesis for the movement was rooted in three interlinked factors that distinguish a cool city: Talent—Manufacturing jobs are gone.  That means cool cities must have a highly educated workforce to thrive.    Technology—Cool cities need tech companies, research and development facilities, and other creative economy businesses to provide a place for the highly educated workforce to be employed.   Tolerance—Cool cities need a large gay and lesbian population, combined with a bohemian under culture often associated with artists to keep the highly educated workforce excited about living and working in the city.   In short, artists make noticeably uncool cities, cool.  Rust belt cities invested in …