Do you still want to work in a non-profit arts association? – ARTnews.com
Many years ago you landed an unpaid summer curatorial internship that turned into a low-paying job at a famous non-profit arts institution. Your beloved organization remains dangerously underfunded despite its solid reputation. You sit at your desk watching the new directors walk through the door while drinking leftover fundraising wine and being kicked out of promotions. Along with handling every detail of the exhibits and performances, you’re constantly struggling with budgets, fundraisers, broken doorbells, working toilets, and dozens of other backstage struggles. Friends, supporters and artists whose careers you’ve regularly boosted suggest that you should bring your vast experience to another place, but you’re hesitant to shake things up because it’s not just a job, it’s a job. community, not to mention an identity. Browsing through Instagram posts from the lavish holiday season your friends from other industries attend, you stare at the overloaded A / V closet and decide to make a resolution for 2022. Take this quiz to find out if you’re going to make one. break or stay the course.
1. The association director gives a short speech thanking everyone for their hard work on the gala, but forgets your name. You:
a. Clear your throat loudly and pretend you don’t care.
b. Add a selectively worded paragraph about this incident to your imaginary resignation letter.
vs. Discreetly change the password for the director’s computer to “1maB1gd1ck69”.
2. During the installation, you find members of the artist collective smoking weed in the bathroom instead of working on the show. You:
a. Ban them from the institution for violating smoking policies.
b. Ignore them and keep looking for the HDMI dongle you need to play their video.
vs. Sell them an ounce of OG Kush as part of your side business.
3. At the opening of a new show, the audience trips over unsecured power cords on the floor of the video art installation. You:
a. Take the fluorescent tape you keep in your purse, separate the crowds, and hit town on the floor all looking darn good in your best party outfit.
b. Pretend you don’t see the problem and be surprised when the projector falls off the pedestal.
vs. Summon a mental picture of your conservation studies degree and signal an installer to fix it.
4. The cleaning crew quit because of late payments, and until more can be hired, it looks like you need to clean the bathroom. You:
a. Hang a sign with a map at the Whole Foods bathroom around the corner.
b. Cry, use your own credit card to buy a new toilet plunger, and lose the receipt so you can’t be refunded.
vs. Install a dimmable bulb to hide the horror.
5. Desktop computers cannot open an artist uploaded video file because the software is totally out of date. You:
a. Get an Adobe Creative Suite torrent intern and quickly give your network a permanent virus.
b. Ask the guy you’re dating if you can borrow his laptop for the screening.
vs. Cancel the show.
6. You cannot afford to pay WAGE certified fees to the collective you invited to do a show because there are so many artists: You:
a. Complain to artists that you are not being paid fairly either.
b. Apologize profusely while offering the same fee to 10 people that you would normally give to three.
vs. Immediately call the Chairman of the Board of Directors to solicit a donation in order to fairly compensate artists.
7. The artist demands that you make a change to the spring calendar program that is already with the printers. You:
a. Stop the presses, pay the additional charges, and honor the legend credit correction.
b. Tell them that the error will be corrected online and that no one is reading the mailers anyway.
vs. Tell them you’re going to change it, then do nothing, inspired by your sound technician nodding and doing nothing when an artist asks for more volume on their monitor.
8. The alcohol mocker once again showed up when you opened and passed out in the only public washroom. You:
a. Tell everyone he is doing a site specific performance and clap when the medics take him away.
b. Steal his wallet.
vs. Revive him with fragrant salts and convince him to become a volunteer guide.
9. The holiday gift season has accelerated, but you are once again forced to work the front door on the weekends. You:
a. Give everyone on your list a coupon for a free screening before you panic and remind yourself that your aunt doesn’t even live in town.
b. Gift a book you’ve never read to a coworker for the staff’s “Secret Santa” party.
vs. Dive into the stash of forgotten antique exhibition posters and surprise your friends with stocking stuffer collectibles.
10. For whatever reason, you should decide whether to buy or lease a new Xerox machine for the office when the old one dies. You:
a. Research all of the options, read many different contracts, and make the most financially prudent decision.
b. Call your therapist’s private number to ask for his advice.
vs. We are still trying to decide which Brother P-Touch replacement ribbon model to buy.
11. A mistake with the year-end fundraising letter will require you and your staff to hand-stamp each envelope so that it arrives on time. You:
a. Swear never to do another year end letter again, like you did last year.
b. Buy pizza and beer to make it a party.
vs. Send everyone home to seal each letter with their tears.
11-17: You are the institution’s unsung hero, and the art world is probably a better place with you there as a staunch guardian. Leaving your job would mean giving up everything you have worked on for all these years just to keep the place from imploding. Of course, there are others who will gladly replace you, but will they be able to support the weight of so many keys hanging from their belts? You and your organization will continue to age. But remember that by holding onto your position longer, you guarantee that the status quo will remain in place for years to come.
18-25: You stay on the verge of leaving and decide to throw the box on the road. There is something oddly heartwarming about bringing your own heater and hand soap to work. Of course, the tasks make you feel underemployed, but there are also some beautiful moments that are worth it, like the times when you host your own show or when you hook up with a grateful artist who understands your monastic struggle. non-profit.
26-33: It’s time to hit eject and roam the earth as a free person. You have paid your dues and the institution will probably manage to survive without your sweat and tears. Your years of service will be congratulated in a message printed in next year’s gala program, and the staff will continue to remember you every time a Uline catalog appears in mail to you. Take the time to heal from your nonprofit PTSD, but don’t forget to upload your contact list and grab a few reams of printer paper. They will be useful for your next job!
A special note from Chen & Lampert for the holidays: Please consider making a year-end donation to your local art nonprofit. Your kind support will help create a positive working environment for nonprofit staff and help provide important resources for artists and education programs.