Make Your Interdisciplinary Practice Work for You
Are you an artist who also goes by different titles like educator, curator, librarian, community organizer, or programmer, depending on which professional circles you interact with? As definitions for artistic practices become more fluid, and the need to hire artists outside of their studio practice becomes more common, many artists find their interdisciplinary practices are a unique asset for building sustainable careers. However, as artists juggle a number of areas of expertise, it can be difficult for external parties to understand where their skills lie. Sheetal Prajapati is an artist who has many years of experience balancing her artistic practice and skills with her professional career, and even strategically positioning her interdisciplinary range to propel her into new roles. She has learned to think strategically about how to position herself in different environments, and in this workshop she will share resources to harness multiple skills to serve arts institutions.
Whether you have trouble understanding what to call yourself, or want to figure out what the next steps are for your own progress and interests, this workshop will explore how artists and arts administrators with inter- and cross-disciplinary practices can develop their own definition of their work and paths to career development. Participants will reflect on their current practices, build language to identify their practices as a set of skills that can support any number of roles they may take on, identify their larger career objectives (beyond any one identity or role), and consider how to strategically build new skills and gain necessary experience towards meeting them. This workshop will include participatory components including reflection writing and group discussion.
Sheetal Prajapati is the Interim Managing Director at Common Field and works as an arts advisor through her agency Lohar Projects, focusing on public engagement, special projects, and organizational planning. She serves on faculty at the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Fine Arts program and is the Board Chair of Art and Feminism. Previously, Sheetal spent fifteen years developing public programming, outreach, and artist-centered initiatives at organizations including Pioneer Works (Brooklyn), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Sheetal received an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Northwestern University in History and Gender Studies. For more, visit sheetalprajapati.com.