Displaying items by tag: Networking Event

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), a national arts data and research organization, has collected and analyzed data from over 200,000 arts graduates from across North America since 2008. SNAAP data have helped change the national conversation on the value of an arts degree. The U College of Fine Arts regularly partners in SNAAP's efforts in surveying our own graduates and we are grateful to our alumni who have participated. Each survey gives us deeper insight into how best to serve our students. 

Recently, SNAAP released a special report examining what factors lead arts graduates to stay in the arts throughout their professional careers. The report clearly revealed that students are more likely to work professionally in the arts if they have created a network and completed an arts-based internship during their time in school. 

This is not news to us. We have long known the value of internships and professional networks and this data just further confirms our understanding of what students need to successfully transition in the arts! The College of Fine Arts continually invests in developing a strong internship program and providing opportunities and information to maximize professional success of our students, from experiential learning opportunities to building professional networks. Since 2012, the CFA has hired student interns to learn about various aspects of arts administration and strengthen their professional networks. And in 2013, interns assisted in the creation of our award-winning ArtsForce program. 

We encourage you to get to know your many professional resources.


Here are just a few of the ways CFA invests in student success and professional development:


Full-time CFA Internship Coordinator

In partnership with the CFA Undergraduate Student Affairs team and the University’s Internship Council, our full-time Internship Coordinator, Kate Wolsey, facilitates the development and expansion of internships, acts as the college’s primary contact for internship coordination, and assists in the coordination of the award-winning ArtsForce program. 


Career Treks to local and regional arts organizations

During the academic year, ArtsForce leads regular Career Treks to prominent local and regional arts organizations so students can meet arts professionals in their work environments, and experience firsthand the day-to-day operations and innerworkings of fine arts companies. 


Employment and internship opportunities  

Our Internship Coordinator regularly meets with employers to create opportunities and promote internships in the community. Open opportunities are shared with students through a weekly post on the ArtsForce Canvas community. All internships are vetted using the National Association of College and Employers (NACE) standards.


Helping students articulate the value of their degree

In the ArtsForce Canvas community, we regularly post relevant information that helps students articulate the value of their arts degree, become internship ready and learn how to network. Such topics include, how to conduct an informational interview, resources for improving your resumé and cover letter, ways to get involved in the art community on and off campus, and connecting students with mentors in their field. Check out all the past programs and events here! 

Informational Interviews with community professionals

“ArtsForce Asks” is a Finer Points blog series that highlights informational interviews conducted by ArtsForce interns with arts professionals. This series aims to provide CFA students with internship and career advice from the employer’s perspective, and illuminate the varied paths to success artists take.   

Annual Networking Event 

ArtsForce hosts an Annual Networking event that brings arts employers to campus, giving students a chance to network, receive professional guidance, ask questions, and connect with fellow CFA students across disciplines.


Student interns reflect and share their experiences  

Once students complete internships, we are eager to share their advice with their peers. Starting this fall, “Insights from an Intern,” a new Finer Points blog series, will highlight exceptional internship experiences of CFA students, as well as their advice for students seeking similar opportunities. Check out the first student profile here!


Published in Finer Points Blog

By Merinda Christensen 

The 7th Annual ArtsForce Networking Event that took place on March 7th displayed the strength and dynamic of the arts from both students and professionals. 

ArtsForce is a student-led organization under the supervision of CFA Internship Coordinator, Kate Wolsey, that strives to create opportunities that help students develop skills needed for professional growth during and after college. During this event, local artists from film, music, theatre, art, and dance came to speak to students across the College of Fine Arts about how to prepare for a successful and fulfilling career in the arts. 

“The biggest lesson I learned from this event is that community is important…Collaborating with people from other fields in your community might spark ideas that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. I was inspired to find ways that my art could enrich or help others.”
– Kira Sincock, Entertainment Arts and Engineering Major, Drawing Minor

This event started out with a panel of local art professionals (and College of Fine Arts alumni!) David HabbenKylie Howard, and Camille Washington. They discussed times when collaborating with another professional changed their work process, what they do every day that contributes to their success, and how the community has been important to them as they continue their career, including where students can look to build their own community. Their experiences and advice were insightful as they emphasized the importance of doing your best and recognizing where your art and skills can and will take you. The focus of the panelists was to address how to succeed and being true to your work even through the tough times you will experience as an artist. 

Important takeaways: 

  • Kylie Howard communicated to the students that it’s important to pick yourself up, even when it gets hard because you are valuable to your community and workforce. She also mentioned that you don’t have to figure it all out right now, discover your strengths and make it work for you! 
  • David Habben emphasized that there will be times where you are in a rut – times will be hard. But, to find a way to take a risk, even when things are hard, that is the best time to take those risks. 
  • Finally, Camille Washington wanted to present the importance of how valuable your skills are – stay engaged in what you’re interested in and always know you will be able to find a path to apply your knowledge and skills as you reach out and build the community you want to see.  

During the Networking Luncheon, which followed our panel, students had the opportunity to communicate and connect with local artist of different arts disciplines. Students gained support and guidance as they were able to articulate the value of their arts degree in a professional setting. Positive feedback highlighted the importance of this event and how it was beneficial to each student that came. 

“The Networking Event helped me build my networking skills…I have new contacts to help me start to build my career before I graduate. Something that used to be so  intimidating is more doable.” 
– Katie McLaughlin, Instrumental Music Education; Oboe Performance Major 

The 7th Annual Networking Event created opportunities and ideas for students preparing for a career in the arts. We want to thank the panel, local art professionals, University of Utah faculty, staff, and students for joining us this year. CFA Students, don’t forget to join ArtsForce for up-to-date information about internships and career related opportunities, ways to get more involved with the arts on and off campus, and more!

*Author Merinda Chrinstensen is an Instrumental Performance major in the School of Music, with an emphasis in harp. She is an Emerging Leaders Intern with ArtsForce. 

Published in Finer Points Blog

By Rachel Luebbert

The 6th Annual ArtsForce Networking Event on March 10 reminded us of the strength and vibrancy of the Salt Lake arts community. During this all-day event, nearly 50 local artists joined students for three panels and a networking luncheon. ArtsForce is a student run organization with the support of Associate Dean Liz Leckie that is dedicated to creating programs to prepare students to be successful in their professional careers.

Beginning with a faculty panel, we were joined with Sonia Albert-Sobrino (DepaFilm), Stephanie Doktor (Music), Cynthia Flemming (Theatre), Michael Wall (Dance) and Zi Zhang (Art & Art History). These professors shared their experiences as both educators and professional artists. They reminded us of the incredible value of education in the arts as a career path and as a way to support the upcoming generation of artists. Wall encouraged students to “have faith in their process.” The act of creating and developing art takes time, be patient with yourself and listen to where your process is taking you.

During the alumni panel we were joined with Alyssa Bertelsen (Rise Up), Cindy Chen (Spy Hop), Samantha Matsukawa (College of Fine Arts), Daniel Mont-Eton (Ririe Woodbury), Karem Orrego (Sundance Institute), Paul Hill and Alex Coltrin. These individuals are working as freelance artists, entrepreneurs, performers, and as administrators in development and marketing. They shared their exciting and varied experiences upon graduation and how they have found purpose and passion in their current arts sector. Bertelsen shared her experience starting the ballet school Rise Up and how she connected with many unexpected community members from flooring experts to financial advisors to help develop this school. She reminded students that your connections with individuals of different backgrounds can deeply support your artistic endeavors in surprising ways. Do not underestimate the power of networking with people of different experiences.

During the Networking Luncheon, students had the opportunity to interact with over 30 arts organizations. Throughout this event, connections were made between students of different disciplines, students and organizations, and even within professionals. Real opportunities and collaborations were sparked in this structured and supportive forum.  

The last panel opened a conversation about Women in the Arts. We were joined by Miriam Albert-Sobrino (Department of Film and Media Studies), Jaimee Christensen (WildWorks), Elizabeth Craft (School of Music), Brooke Horejsi (Utah Presents), and Whitney Tassie (UMFA). These women discussed the struggles of representation, pay gaps, and gaining opportunities in the arts. They encouraged students to figure out their sphere of influence and make conscious choices to advocate for artists of all identities including people of color, women, immigrants, and those identifying as LGBTQIA.

The 6th Annual Networking Event sparked rich conversations and interactions. This event was supported by the Salt Lake arts community, Dean Schelb, faculty, arts professionals, and staff. Students can continue interacting with ArtsForce by visiting the Canvas Community. Applications are now open to be an Emerging Leaders Intern and plan the ArtsForce events during the 2018-19 school year.








Published in Finer Points Blog