PICnet Volunteer Series: Katie is starting Creative Conversations

This is the second post in our series about the PICnet Team’s volunteer efforts.

Jamie Ozimek contributed to this post.

Who: Project Manager Katie Guernsey How she serves: Various positions at Americans for the Arts

header_logoPICnetter Katie keeps busy day to day as a  Project Manager in our San Francisco office, helping clients build and manage their websites. But on the side, Katie is heavily involved in Americans for the Arts, the largest national advocacy and service organization for the arts in the US.

At AFTA, Katie serves as a member on the Emerging Leaders Council, and the chair of  the Technology and Communications Committee. As a Councilmember, she helps inform the direction that AFTA takes in supporting arts administrators who identify themselves to be “emerging” in their career on a national level. What exactly does that mean? According to Katie, AFTA’s definition of an “Emerging Leader” is someone under 35 years old, or in the field less than five years, but depending on the person, these guidelines can change a little. The Emerging Leaders Council devises programming, networking, and professional development opportunities for their peers under the guise of AFTA’s infrastructure. On a local level, Katie helps to coordinate professional networking opportunities such as the “Creative Conversations.”

Some of Katie’s specific duties include maintaining AFTA’s Google Group and overseeing the strategy of how to best serve their constituency through online technologies. This year, she facilitated one of the Emerging Leader Networking Sessions at the Annual Convention.

Katie got her first leg in the door to the arts at the City of Ventura’s Cultural Affairs Division. Since CAD was an organizational member of AFTA, a colleague recommended that she sign up for the Emerging Leaders listserv to become familiar with the field and seek support. She was amazed at how much she learned about a career in the arts, and she engaged in heartfelt and insightful discussions regarding her level of employment in the field, and found for herself a community of peers on a national level. Katie says, “I’ll never forget the first time I attended an Annual Convention where I sat amongst all the Emerging Leaders with whom I’d been emailing over the last three years. Faces finally became associated with emails! My participation on the listserv helped me to decide to attend grad school where I honed my technology background to help arts organization and other nonprofits.”

When the call for nominations to the Council came around again, Katie jumped at the opportunity to serve those who may need similar guidance. Katie says the most tangible example of her work is the coordination of the Creative Conversations in San Francisco. This has been her third year helping coordinate a Creative Conversation, a setting where emerging arts professionals come to reflect on a range of topics with their peers. Says Katie of the experience: “It’s both cathartic and inspiring and professionally beneficial! In 2007, I was new to the Bay Area and the conversation was an intimate setting of 6-10 arts administrators who had recently moved into town as well. We focused on topics such as how to build a network, finding a job and the funding climate in SF for the arts.”

This year, with a bigger network on her side and new SF colleagues on the Council, Katie can happily say that SF has finally established a formidable network of arts administrators! The San Francisco Bay Area Emerging Arts Professionals has been created, thanks in part to fellow Councilmember, Ebony McKinney, of the SF Arts Commission.

Read more about Katie. *Read our introductory post on PICnetters giving back through service, and the first in the series.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 at 8:30 am and is filed under npsf, picnetters, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “PICnet Volunteer Series: Katie is starting Creative Conversations”

  1. [...] Bridges. *Read our introductory post on PICnetters giving back through service, and the first and second in the series. This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 at 11:45 am and is filed [...]

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