Is your network expansive enough? Are your circles broad and overlapping?
As we know, Southern California is all about who you know. But it’s not only the top people in the field who can make the difference for your career longevity and personal fulfillment. It could be the people you share your love of the arts with.
One of the byproducts of being a classical performer or creator in SoCal is that with so much literal ground to cover between gigs, our schedules are packed with travel back and forth, and many musicians and artists tend to find themselves socializing, if at all, with the people they already know. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but in terms of growing a following, opening up new doors and finding connections you might not have considered, remaining in the same circles all the time has its limitations.
That’s why arts-related groups on sites like Meetup.com can make a difference, if you find a group that’s a great fit for you. These groups go to concerts, make music of their own, write, dance, craft, and discuss just about anything you can think of. If you’re looking for a new outlet, try on a few, work some events into your schedule, and see what happens. You’ll find your ideas challenged about how others view what we do. You’ll make friends who might offer new insight, encouragement, or might even show up at your next concert and help spread the word. You may even rediscover the excitement about the arts that brought you to your career in the first place. While this should never be a one-sided endeavor that’s all about you, chances are that the benefits will be enormous.
If you’re looking to build a broader engagement with the local community, check out Meetup and similar sites to see who’s gathering around the things you’re interested in. Don’t forget to check out some of the entrepreneurial groups, as well as any others that you may have an interest in. To get you started, here are just a few examples of the active arts-related groups in town:
Greater Los Angeles Classical Music Meetup Group (2,513 members)
Orange County Art and Culture (1,878 members)
Pasadena Classical Music Meetup Group (843 members)
Artistic Women Inspiring Artist Women (1,605 members)
Los Angeles Innovative Entrepreneurs and Creative Members (1,758 members)
There are even community choirs and other performing orgs who keep their group organized through Meetup. Do a few searches and see what’s in your neighborhood. You never know what you’ll find!
We’ll be keeping a closer eye on this site, and will occasionally post announcements of new groups on the Open Calls board. Keep an eye out, and let us know if you’ve found a gem!