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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

College & Careers in the Arts

Vanderbilt: "What you do in college has a surprising impact on your ability to sustain a career in the arts long-term, according to a new report coauthored by Alexandre Frenette, assistant professor of sociology and associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy ... He comments: “While many arts majors said they wished they’d gotten more training in business and entrepreneurship in school, those with a second major outside the arts were much less likely to remain in an arts career later on overall. On the other hand, participating in arts-related clubs, paid internships and other related co-curricular activities makes you much more likely to stay in the arts, thanks to the networks they help you develop when you’re just starting out.” "The report noted that choice of field also mattered: Architecture and design students were most likely to have durable careers in the arts, while theater, dance and arts management majors had the lowest odds. There is also no escaping the social inequality that pervades the broader economy, either." Frenette explains: “The odds of women staying in the arts after starting a career in a creative field were about 15 percent lower than they are for men. The odds of a person of color staying in the arts after starting such a career is 24 percent lower than they are for whites." "Many artists have 'day' jobs as well. Frenette found that having a second job outside the arts reduces an artist’s odds of remaining in the arts in the long run ... Overall, Frenette said, the report’s findings highlight the importance of cultivating artistic networks while still in school and reinforcing artistic goals with complementary artistic work."

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