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Be Bold, Trust Yourself

Words of wisdom from women in the arts

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Jennifer Barlament 
Executive Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

For me, it comes down to three P’s: purpose, passion and path.

First, be clear about your purpose. You will be spending literally your life—or at least most of your waking hours over many years—working, and your life is priceless, so make your career something that will be fulfilling, joyful and meaningful. 

Second, follow your passion. While I was in college, I was headed for a career that made logical sense, but my heart was in music. Once I gave myself permission to pursue my passion, I’ve never looked back. When you’re passionate about your work, you will work hard, have fun and be successful. 

Third, be open to where the path may lead. It’s only in retrospect that my path has become clear—how decisions and opportunities have added up to where and who I am now. 

One last thing: BE BOLD and shoot for the top! 

Natalie DeLancey
Managing Director, City Springs Theatre Company

Dear Future Women Arts Leaders,

While all of our paths to a career in the arts may look different, our reasoning and purpose is usually similar: Passion. Creativity. Talent. Connection. I believe any career in the arts demands strength, hard work, and vision. In my experience, I would offer you this advice: 1) Know your purpose and what you hope to achieve. 2) Think big and never underestimate your capabilities. 3) Enjoy every moment. There will be challenges. Success may not come easily but, it will be worth it when it does! In my role as Managing Director at City Springs Theatre Company, I have the pleasure of overseeing the fundraising, operations, and finances of a 3-year-old organization that is bold, professional, and focused on serving the greater Atlanta community through Broadway mainstage musicals and high-quality arts education training. Keep dreaming, working hard, and connecting with like-minded people. Break a leg!

Debra Gold

Director, Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show, art educator, studio artist and galleries.

Recipe for success in the arts:

Hone your own unique, creative vision and keep it clearly in sight as you plot your career. Know that you have something special to say with your art. Others will gravitate to your positivity. Compare yourself only to your previous self, not to others!

Own your failures AND, more importantly, own your successes. Experience is always the best teacher.

Break down bigger jobs into workable tasks — even little baby steps add up. Trust yourself to solve problems, but bring others along if you need help. Find balance between what you do and who you are.

Save time for family and friends. They’re the ones who always have your back. It’s crucial to find your creative community. Being a working artist can be so isolating. Give your time and expertise to those communities and you’ll find reward many times over.

Stir well and bake for years…

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