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Awesome arts administrator Barbara Garber, the City Studio Assistant Director at the San Francisco Art Institute, shared her “Resources for Teaching Artists” with me recently and it’s information worth passing along as I know many artists teach or will think about teaching at some point in their creative careers.

I’ve linked directly to some of the sites noted in her guide.

On Career Development:

College Art Association

The National Art Education Association

The Artist Help Network

Arts Resource Network

Artist’s Professional Toolbox

For Job Listings:

Chronicle for Higher Education

Job Bank

National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

Related Organizations:

Teaching Artist Source

The Association of Teaching Artists

State/Regional Arts Agencies:

Alameda County Office of Education

San Francisco Arts Commission

California Arts Council

California Alliance for Arts Education

Check these out if you are a fan of arts in education as they lead to a wealth of information.  Do you have a resource to add to this list?


After attending several workshops and listening to webinars about developing a social media strategy and just scratching my head, I finally began to understand. Initially, like any small business owner, I was reluctant to add things to my to-do list, unless I had some way to measure the returns. Especially something like social media which involves spending time on the Internet, which I like to do and might find distracting. Once I could understand that networking online was really very similar to networking at events, then I knew what to do.

My notes are so simple, that I smile every time I see them.  But they remind me of what to do and put me in a good mood which helps:

  • It’s a party.
  • You go to the party daily.
  • You stay for at least 1/2 an hour.

Here’s what you like to do at the party:

  1. Update your status bars on LinkedIn and Facebook (personal network and business fan page).
  2. Talk to the people you find most interesting. This could mean commenting on favorite blogs from a list of 10 to check at least once a week.  On twitter, it means responding to and/or retweeting posts that attract your attention.
  3. Browse around other blogs, just looking and commenting as you see fit.  Twitter is a great place to find links to interesting blog posts, especially since you are already following people with similar interests.
  4. Ask and answer questions.  You might belong to a LinkedIn group with an interesting discussion thread. Or it could be a yahoogroup where members are posing questions and sharing referrals. Or a social site like Citymommy where members are posting links and sharing information.  Like most relationships, the more love you give, the more love you get.
  5. Research deeper as needed.  Take a little extra time now and then to really delve into a topic or check out the people you are meeting online.  What does their online presence reveal about them? Do you want to bookmark them for future reference or subscribe to their e-newsletter for more information on an on-going basis?  It’s all good networking and you will find some great resources, both people and information, that you can share.
  6. Post to your own blog and share a link to it on twitter, Linkedin, and your facebook fan page.  All three sites can do this automatically from your blog.
  7. Finally, track and measure the results.  What do you want to measure? Google analytics will track traffic to your web-site which is a good place to start.  Your blog can track the number of visits (besides your own!) or you might use the number of comments as another measure of engagement.

What do you like to do at the online party?

Online workers need to take breaks too. And it’s not just the coffee that is needed to refresh and refuel you for the tasks ahead. Home office workers especially need to reach out and connect with others to reduce a sense of isolation that can be a drain on productivity. Chatting with co-workers off-topic (not about work) provides a pleasant connection with others and can keep you going. The popularity of social media such as Facebook will attest to this. It’s just fun to check in with your friends and colleagues now and then.

A colleague who works with a virtual team introduced me to the idea of “virtual coffee breaks.” She insists that members of her team check in personally with one another just to make that connection that will build a stronger working relationship. After all, even though we are working virtually we are still real and complex beyond our online presence. A virtual coffee break can also be a convenient alternative to getting together over coffee when schedules collide. Taking breaks from work is so important to maintaining a healthy level of productivity yet so many of us power on through until we run out of steam. Checking in with another on a regular basis can help us integrate regular breaks into our workflow, bringing a better balance into our work and life.

1. Ask

2. Receive

3. Give

A wise friend gave me the above advice.  I posted it by my computer and still I resisted because it just felt so uncomfortable and unnatural.  Didn’t I have to give first to receive?  And being self-sufficient, I wasn’t sure about asking for help at all.  Of course, I am strong because of being connected to other people: family, neighbors, colleagues, friends.   All of whom can and do help me.  How powerful it could be if I could harness this resource so that it’s available when I need it most.  All I would have to do is ask.

The first person I asked was a friend in business for herself.  How did she do it and why?  Then I asked a mentor, why couldn’t I do it too?  She referred me to an excellent resource located in my neighborhood, the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.  They offer workshops and classes for small businesses or those who were thinking about starting one.  Under their guidance, I started asking for more help.  I asked friends for their business and referrals.  I asked my family for a loan.  I asked colleagues for advice and feedback as I developed my website.  The help I have received has been incredible!    I am so grateful.  Maybe the third item on the list could be interpreted as give thanks as well as give of yourself.  Thank you everyone.

Last week I had the pleasure of accompanying my son’s kindergarten class on a field trip to the aquarium.   We had a great time and it got me thinking about how important it is to get out and about every now and then.  Especially true for those of us working from home offices.  Even just working at a local cafe can freshen things up and lend a new perspective to the task at hand.  Epicenter on Folsom (just around the corner from my local Whole Foods market) offers coffee and a couch with a wireless connection for those with laptops.  A latte and a notepad works for me.

It helps me to think of networking events as field trips too.  It’s better to think of them as little treats that supplement the work week rather than as pills that you have to take because they are good for you.  What’s really going on with the reframing is an adjustment of my expectations of the event.  If I view the events strictly as work, I set myself up for frustration because I can think of more productive ways to use the time.  I can’t quite see them as all play either, because I am attending in order to connect with other business people.  Instead, I’ve started thinking of them as more like field trips, outings that I can enjoy for the most part and that enhance my business.  And really, it is fun to go out and talk shop with peers on a “school” night!