Emerging Artists and Social Impact

What is an emerging artist? Who does this term apply to?

An emerging artist refers to someone in the first 10 years of their career. It’s usually associated with young people, but what about career changes, and people who are thinking about doing writing when they’ve been acting for 40 years? Does the term of emerging cover too much? At what point on your journey are you classed as emerging or emerged? We often put people in boxes without looking at the journey of how far they’ve come or how far they still have to go. And what about the social impact they’re making at whatever stage they’re at?

I love having coaching. I love having outside eyes give me their feedback. It’s all good and I love it, but now that I’m halfway along my emerging journey, and making a decent social impact, I’m getting bored of the stigma. ‘You’re an emerging artist, you must be in year one of your career, good boy for getting this far’. Pat on the head. No wonder creative people are frustrated. The journey of becoming an artist and the impact you make seems to go unseen.

I’m classed as an emerging artist now, but it can take a long time to get to this point. My journey to get here, technically, started 15 years ago but I got my first job 5 years ago. When did I start emerging, and when do I stop emerging? I’ve worked in the arts professionally for 5 years and I love the opportunities I get to progress and learn from, the impact I make, and the encouragement I give other artists to do what they love too, but occasionally I don’t know if a producer realises how long I’ve been doing this, the knowledge and experience I already have, or if they think I’m brand new to it.

That’s what pisses me off about being an emerging artist. Producers don’t seem to think about the past of an emerging artist, or the people you’ve already been affecting with your work. They assume to know where you are on this path. They assume to know you’re at the beginning or midway along the path, when you might already be further along, making a bigger social impact than they expect you to make.

Do you work in the arts and cultural sector? Do you want to strengthen your leadership skills? Are you driven by social impact in your work?

Wherever you are in your career this opportunity might be for you. The School for Social Entrepreneurs are inviting applications to their Creative Leadership programme, a free part-time programme for people in the arts and culture sector, who want to have social impact. Take a look at the website >>> https://www.the-sse.org/courses/creative-leadership/

EB National Theatre © Dom Moore-7.jpg

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