Creative career progression in the arts

Why leave an organisation you love if a new role (and a new challenge) can be created for you internally?
Man playing a viola (head and shoulders shot)

Career progression in the arts doesn’t have to be linear. Indeed, the vagaries of life in the cultural sector mean that traditional models of career advancement are often inapplicable – which is not to say they’re entirely out of reach.   

But for every student theatre-maker who cuts their teeth as a director and eventually ends up running a mainstage company, or creative producer whose career culminates in running a major festival, there are hundreds of artists whose careers necessitated side-steps, dramatic changes and other creative responses to climbing the career ladder. 

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts

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