RESEARCH PROJECT TITLE: Developing an Arts Ecosystem in the UAE
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: As a place that both presents and develops work, The Arts Center acts as a vibrant laboratory for performance that fosters a dynamic relationship between the arts, scholarship, and community. It serves NYU Abu Dhabi with compelling programming that connects to the curriculum, using the arts to illuminate and enliven the scholarly pursuits of students and faculty. It hosts a range of public programs that draw residents of Abu Dhabi to the campus, animating and enriching the cultural life of both the city, the country and the University.
Through electric programming and inventive opportunities for collaboration, The Arts Center fosters creativity and creates platforms to cultivate emerging artistic voices. Our deepening relationship with the local and global arts communities speaks to the role of NYU Abu Dhabi as a place that supports and develops innovative work by artists from the UAE and from around the world.
As an emerging field in the UAE, the performing arts sector is itself a site for constant testing, prototyping, inventing and reinventing. Indeed, The Arts Center looks at its own role as a University performing arts presenter, as well as the role of its artists, as research practices, creating ongoing opportunities to examine the multiple roles it can play within the educational and scholarly mandate of the NYUAD, and in the country at large.
Over its 5-year existence, The Arts Center, in conversation with government partners and peers in the field has realized that there is a lack of appropriately trained arts administrators based in the UAE who have the appropriate combination of local cultural knowledge and professional training to contribute to the growth of the performing arts sector to the degree needed to allow the field to flourish to its full potential. What are the skill sets needed to create a professional arts management sector which can most effectively thrive in the unique conditions of the UAE?
In response to the UAE's commitment to developing the Arts and Culture sector in the country, The Arts Center's Arts Management Fellow will be set on the path to become a leader in the arts community of the UAE.
Structured as five rotating immersive research apprenticeships, the Fellow will work directly with each department head of The Arts Center (Artistic, Marketing, Operations, Producing/Administration, and External Relations) to learn from and contribute to each department. As an emerging sector, it's important that the first step of the Fellow is to immerse themselves with the specific roles and practices within The Arts Center as a means to deepen their understanding and direct subsequent research.
Working directly with The Arts Center team, the Arts Management Fellow will have the opportunity to be directly involved in the programming, marketing, external relations, operations and community engagement activities of The Arts Center. The Fellow will also be vital to observing and participating in the execution of three entire arts seasons. Within the performing arts, the delivery of a season, and the producing of individual performances, is tantamount to professional publication. Through their integration into the various teams, the Fellow will develop a track record of collaborative publications.
In their final year, the Fellow will have the opportunity to develop a platform for their research findings through curating their own event. They will see the event through from vision to execution with the support and collaboration of The Arts Center team, preparing them for continued role as an Arts Management professional in the UAE.
In addition to the season planning and execution, this fellow will also take on the research project of engagement of The Art Center within the UAE more broadly. They will research and propose strategies forworking with government and private schools, and collaborating with other cultural institutions, sponsors, and relevant governmental ministries, which will provide a platform for the Fellow to be on the forefront of arts leadership within the UAE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE RESEARCH POSITION: ● Observe weekly production, marketing, and outreach meetings ● Conduct targeted research as designed in consultation with The Arts Center leadership ● Design engagement events that connect The Arts Center to local communities throughout the UAE ● Work directly with Directors of each department to support and develop programs and assist in executing them ● Present findings in local and international symposia or conferences
LEARNING OUTCOMES: ● Develop research to help The Arts Center and UAE gain a greater understanding of the arts ecosystem in the UAE and ways to foster its growth. Areas include arts strategy within an economy, cultural policy and its context in the UAE, arts management and leadership approaches, and developing an understanding of local and international arts organizations and their governance ● Create a portfolio of public presentations that involves international, local and community artists ● Develop an understanding of the act of curation, programming, and advance planning for artistic seasons at an arts center as a research practice. ● Obtain an understanding of how performing arts organizations create strategy to broaden, deepen and diversify audiences, while developing arts marketing skills in strategic planning, use of marketing tools, audience development, branding, market segmentation, promotions, and maximization of social media platforms. ● Observe and respond to a marketing plan from vision to execution in collaboration with internal marketing director, press agency, public affairs team, and contracted designers. ● Understand producing plans, schedules and administrative procesess for The Arts Center season. ● Gain an understanding of the delivery of a cultural event using a range of management processes including project management, operations, risk management, financial management, human resource management, and event management. ● Develop an understanding of the business operations of The Arts Center, with 'hands on' application. Obtain business context of operational functions and financial process. Learn about management, operational process across all areas of the business and its provision of services, as it applies to the arts and cultural sector. ● Curate and program an event from initial idea through booking and contracting process through delivery of the event as part of a participatory and collaborative process. ● Once a comprehensive understanding of Arts Center processes and procedures is developed, develop research study for, about and involving elements of the performing arts in the UAE and create a platform to share this work either within the UAE or internationally. Results to be published in various possible vehicles, including academic journals, consumer periodicals, or presented at professional conferences, as well as used to inform future Arts Center practice.
● BA/BFA in the arts or related fields (some exceptions may apply)
● Experience and demonstrated interest the performing arts
● Experience with the performing arts in the UAE (or relevant experience)
● Desire to make an impact in the ecosystem of the arts in the UAE
● Organizational skills and strong work ethic
● Strong oral and written communication skills in English. Bilingual Arabic skills are highly preferred.
● Cultural competency in UAE context.
● Willingness and ability to work on evenings and weekends as required.
APPLICANTS TO PROVIDE:
1. Cover letter explaining interest in the position
3. Two letters of recommendation and contact details of recommenders
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