While preparing courses for the upcoming semester, I found a survey from a few years ago that was part of a presentation I gave to an arts organization. The survey was given to a few dozen arts entrepreneurs working in various fields in the music industry. Most of the respondents owned ventures with more than 1 employee, and only a few of the respondents were performers with no full-time employees. The questions focused on a variety of topics, from the industry landscape over the years, to changes in the field, requisite skills, and so on
One goal was to share the information gleaned from the survey with the college students in the audience so they have a better understanding of what those in the field value in practice. Another goal was to start a dialogue with the teachers in the audience about how we are preparing students.
Because there seems to be a bias in academia towards developing hard skills, I thought I would share responses to 2 questions as the respondents overwhelmingly cited soft skills.
What traits and skills do you look for in new associates/partners?
What wisdom would you impart to young people desiring to create their own opportunities as an entrepreneur in your field?
Given that soft skills are so highly valued among the active arts entrepreneurs surveyed, if you are currently working in the arts ecosystem, do you or have you worked on your soft skills? If you are teaching in the arts, how much time do you spend teaching soft skills and what activities do you use?
Thanks for reading,
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