Friday, 9 May 2008

Where are you and how did you get there?

Do you work in the arts and cultural sector, for an organisation or as a freelancer? If so, the Cultural Leadership Programme want to know how you got where you are, what helped and what didn’t, and what you think you need to help you get where you want to be in the future. They have on on-line survey you can fill in to provide a picture of the sector, its workers and their backgrounds. It only takes a few minutes and the more people complete it the better the picture. It’s here:

I usually describe my career plan as ‘checking the locks to see which doors are open and then seeing if the room looks interesting’. (Cue soundtrack: Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads.) After university I worked as a chef and head chef for 6 years, which I count as major part of my cultural leadership training. (I got probably my best ever review as a chef: ‘World class’: Yorkshire Post. My books have had some good reviews but none that good.) People are often surprised at that: they don’t expect Arts Council staff (or writers actually) to have had such practical professional experience. I’m not sure what that says about people’s images of the arts.

But as I often point out, catering is one of the very few sectors you can leave to take up a job in the arts and your salary goes up and your hours get better…

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