The Art of Managing Your Career for Nunavut Artists
It was over a decade ago that a group of accomplished self-employed artists from across the sector met with a DACUM facilitator to create The Art of Managing Your Career (TAMYC) – a CHRC classic. Would those committed and wise artists have ever imagined how far reaching the ripple effect of their work would be? Since that time, TAMYC has been widely distributed in hard copy and in PDF format to self-employed artists and cultural workers across the sector, enhanced by 8 discipline-specific "chapters", transformed to digital format through 5 e-learning courses, adapted to a grade 11 high school business curriculum, been taught to high school classes with the help of a Teacher’s Guide, and appeared on university and college offerings through with the aid of post-secondary teaching modules.
And it continues…
TAMYC has adapted yet again: this time as a workshop specifically designed for Nunavut artists. The Government of Nunavut with funding from CANNOR engaged CHRC to create a version of the guide that would “speak” to the geographic and cultural realities of Nunavut artists. The content doesn’t change but the presentation needed to.
CHRC began its work by engaging a small team of Inuit advisors to guide us – filmmaker Qajaaq Ellsworth, performing artist Celina Kalluk, and visual artist Lavinia Van Heuvelen; and consultant Sibyl Frei (who authored and piloted the TAMYC Post-Secondary Teacher's Guide) to prepare and deliver the workshop.
In close consultation with the advisors and other contacts in the Nunavut arts community, Sibyl created a 3-day workshop with a slide presentation based on TAMYC. It has 3 adaptations: for visual artists, for performing artists and for filmmakers.
The first workshop was offered to Inuit visual artists in Rankin Inlet in August. Others will follow for performing artists and filmmakers in the coming months.
One of the first slides is about Inuit values:
From there the slides cover the key points of TAMYC: for example, promotion (how to tell your story as an artist - the ‘elevator speech’ – yes, in Rankin Inlet!), portfolio development, websites, selling online, grant writing tips, a marketing plan, tax and copyright - with a special take on intellectual property:
As the authors of a recent study by Nordicity noted: “Nunavut has a unique story”
The workshop includes a Participant’s Guide with Handouts for visual artists,for performing artists and for filmmakers; and a detailed Trainer’s Guide for Inuit trainers who are being prepared to continue to deliver the workshops going forward.
TAMYC ripples on!
[Look for the next e-newsletter which will report on upcoming TAMYC workshops for Aboriginal artists – a sister project extending the reach of TAMYC yet again.]
We have learned that TAMYC is required reading for Ryerson's university course – Business of Creative Media.
It just makes sense!
Ontario's Specialist High Skills Major Program in the Arts
Some 9 years ago, CHRC was invited with several other sector councils to work with the Ontario Ministry of Education to develop a new Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program aimed at improving the retention rate of students in high school. “to let students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.” CHRC’s involvement in those early years ensured that a business component was built into the curriculum offerings (“Artist as entrepreneur” based on TAMYC), and helped to establish links to arts organizations to provide students with experiential learning opportunities such as job shadowing.
The SHSM program has proven to be highly successful, with the number of SHSM schools multiplying rapidly over the last few years. Perhaps not surprisingly arts SHSM schools are among the most numerous.
At the start of the school year, the Ontario Ministry invited several Toronto arts organizations (Young People’s Theatre, COC, ROM etc) to attend a gathering at the Sony Centre to talk about the SHSM program. Their objective was to encourage the arts organizations to become more engaged with the SHSM schools. CHRC was invited to present its perspective on the evolution of the program from its early years. We were pleased to acknowledge the wide interest in arts programs (though recruitment has never been a problem in our sector!). But more importantly we were impressed with how the Ministry is now attempting to refine its partnerships with the sector, including “certifications” for the students who participate, which help shape the engagement.
We could also see the advantage that a target like a SHSM school would be to education/outreach efforts in arts organizations. Reaching eager arts-oriented students is a way to prepare audiences of the future – and to grow present audiences through their parents. There is definitely the possibility of a win/win.in these partnerships.
YIP Monitoring at The Photographer's Workshop
One of the best parts of administering DCH’s Building Careers in Heritage Youth Employment Program (YIP) is getting out to meet the organizations, the mentors and the interns who have received a YIP grant. A recent monitoring visit to The Photographer’s Workshop (Gallery TPW) was no exception.
Gallery TPW has benefited from YIP in the past – they are a model employer, giving a young intern in their first job in the cultural sector an opportunity to learn and grow and “earn their spurs” – all the while in a safe mentoring environment. This year’s intern is being mentored by a Gallery TPW employee who herself had been an intern. A perfect circle.
Overseeing the internship at a high level is veteran arts leader Gary Hall – it doesn’t get better. As founding Director of Gallery TWP, over the past 30 years Gary has trained and mentored dozens of arts professionals. He has most recently guided Gallery TPW into its wonderful new warehouse converted space on St. Helens Ave in Toronto.
Gary understands mentorship and its importance to his staff. Throughout the summer, Gallery TPW scheduled a series of training and networking Career Launch workshops, hosted by board members, staff and gallery colleagues, for staff professional development – a great opportunity for the intern!
TPW bears witness to the value of these YIP internships to the sector.
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