The world is in the middle of a revolution in how it produces things, and those who are young today will need creative minds to fill the new economy's jobs, the Toledo Museum of Art’s director told a careers conference Saturday in Perrysburg.
Creativity isn’t just about being artistic, museum director Brian Kennedy said during his keynote speech at the Prizm Creative Community’s “Careers in Creativity” event at Perrysburg High School. Not everyone can be a painter, sculptor, or museum director, he said, adding, however, that there is a museum-director shortage.
He said he couldn’t tell anyone in his audience of about 100 what careers they should pursue, only that they should go after whatever they felt passionate about. “I’m just incredibly fortunate in my life that my hobby is my work,” he said.
Event participants, most of them young, soaked in lessons from professionals about what it takes to work in creativity-centered careers. Presenters from broadcasting, art therapy, radio, journalism, and poetry, among others, held break-out sessions from which participants could choose three to attend.
This is the second consecutive year the event was put on by Prizm, a nonprofit group that promotes educational and artistic growth in the Toledo area. Prizm President Annette Jensen said the group put together the program because as the economy changes, growing numbers of jobs require a creative mind and ability to think critically.
Among the best ways for students to learn about those careers, she said, is to hear professionals’ experience.
“It’s just exciting for the youth to see different career paths and sit back and think, 'What do I really like?’ ” she said.
Libbey Jones, a 15-year-old sophomore at Fremont Ross High School, said she is interested in writing and art therapy and wished her high school held a similar event so that she could see and hear about those jobs.
“I just wanted to get the feel of what the experience would be like,” she said.
Libbey was accompanied by her grandmother Lauri Peters, who had planned to drop the teenager off. Instead, she stayed because she said she thought the event was exciting.
The two popped into a session by Carol Coder, an art therapist, after listening to broadcasting lessons from Tom Cole and Greg Franke of Buckeye Cable Sports Network.
Both men stressed the need for persistence in breaking into a line of work that requires prospective employees to pay their dues. Good grades in school are important, Mr. Cole said, but employers are going to want to see work examples; that’s what makes internships and working at school broadcasting and newspapers important.
“They are going to ask you one key question,” he said. “Where have you produced, directed, shot, or been on air?”
Although many of the participants were high school students, some came with work experience in the hopes of finding new career paths or advice.
Tianna Anderson, 30, has done freelance production and voice-overs and dreams of creating her own line of greeting cards, but she said she’s keeping her options open.
“I just wanted to see what other career paths are in the creative industry,” Ms. Anderson said.
In another session, Leonard Marty, master instructor in glass at the Toledo Museum of Art, told students how he got into glass art and how he ended up being a teacher. He said he stumbled into the field after meeting a professor in a bar in Bowling Green and fell in love with the work quickly. Every day that he gets to blow glass, he said, is a good day.
Mr. Marty said that while he struggles to sketch his ideas on paper, he can mold into glass what’s in his mind. The important thing is to find what you love and go after it. “Stick to your guns,” he said. “Be happy first.”
The event was sponsored by The Blade, Meijer, Buckeye Telesystem, Buckeye CableSystem, and BCSN.
Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6086.