Engaging Millenials

Engaging Millenials
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By Tiara Jade
Photos Courtesy Yvano Antonio

Adapting the field of arts and management. The 2017 symposium was held at the Story Arts campus on February 28th. The day was filled with guest speakers, workshops, panels and a silent auction.  Networking opportunities were also part of the event. The symposium was an opportunity to learn from industry leaders about adapting to current time in the arts.

Guest speaker Zach Pearl (Top Right) particularly focused his presentation on technology. He explored topics such as engaging millennials in the arts, adapting to new technology and creating a collaborative experience. 

“I needed to interface with people who have interdisciplinary practices. I feel like this is something that’s really relevant to millennials. We are multi-taskers and we have multiple interests,” Pearl said.

Pearl has a background in graphic design and illustration. Originally from Minneapolis, he began to work for private galleries and a large public art museum. From those experiences, he realized he had a passion for curating and public programing. Used to doing work on his own, Pearl was then able to be a part of an organization where he could figure out what audiences really wanted. He joined Subtle Technologies in 2014 as a festival curator and later became permanent staff.

“My experience now is really in culling together programming that integrates technology in accessible ways that get people inspired and doesn’t contaminate,” Pearl said.

Pearl also described his idea of a paradigm shift post-internet age. Post-internet means that we now live with the internet and it has forever changed culture. The internet has changed the way we interact on a daily basis and the way we put projects together.        He says it creates a different kind of working culture and a more collaborative relationship.

Pearl explained that collaboration is the reality of the modern job market. Everyone is CC’d on everything and is expected to fill more than one specific role. There is less hierarchy and a more distributed sense of responsibility. There is a prominence of smaller businesses, and collaborating and sharing make up for the lack of staff. He said it’s key to be able to rely on one another in order to get the larger job done. With different perspectives it can often lead to a stronger project. 

“Rather than me being the gatekeeper, I’m going to say this is what I think …ultimately we’re going to come to a single decision, but we’re going to do it together,” Pearl said.

The session ended with a Q&A from the audience and everyone was released for refreshments.
Arts Management student Lawrence Tan (Middle Right) felt the event went well. He hoped millennials would be optimistic about the future.

“There’s opportunity in the arts. They do need to be more optimistic about whom we are and we do have a lot to offer the workforce and the arts field specifically,” Tan said.

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