Artist / Admin 6: Doing Both


General information

Moderated by David Borgonjon and Natalia Nakazawa and Sheetal Prajapati

February 11, 2017, 7-9PM

CUE Art Foundation


Artist/Admin is a monthly meeting of artists and administrators to discuss + create new forms of the cultural institution. Readings and/or viewings will be circulated beforehand.

Meeting Description

During this meeting, we will work towards imagining a double practice as both institution-builders and art practitioners. Activities will span mind-mapping, mantra-writing, and small group discussions.


This session of Artist/Admin is intended primarily for administrators in arts organizations who also are pursuing an independent artistic practice, but is also suited for people who are simply interested in both administrative work as well as artistic creativity. We will discuss the many ways these two practices can be fused or separated, both from a practical and philosophical perspective.


Meeting Structure

Planning Notes (Internal)




  • Take ten minutes to observe how you allocate your time, space and resources.

    • How much time do you spend on art and how much on administration?

    • How much energy do you spend on art and how much on administration?

    • How much money do you spend on art and how much on administration?



  • Ground rules and confidentiality

  • Show of hands:

    • Who is an arts administrator?

    • Who is an artist?

  • Show of hands:

    • Who feels that the relationship between art and adminstration in their life is in balance?

    • Who feels that the relationship between art and administration is in synergy?

    • Who feels that the relationship between art and administration is destructive?

  • Discussion:

    • What is the balance between art and administration for each of us?

    • Why do we administrate?


Including some starter questions.

  • How do I make art?

    • How do I do residencies while an arts administrator?

    • How do I find time to make art? Or space? Or materials?

    • How do I manage two different organizations.

  • How do I administrate?

    • Self-actualization as arts administrators?

    • How do I maximize every interaction with others to be generous?

    • How do I figure out what others need?

    • How do I structure my organization?

  • How do I eat?

    • Time management: how do you organize your time and resources?

    • Not just financial sustenance, but also intellectual growth and community.

    • Understanding different starting points.


  • Report back

  • Draft an artist/administrator manifesto

Meeting Notes


From the participant introduction: Which institutions are people coming from? And what types of positions / programs are they working with?



DOE (dept of ed)

Queens Museum

Studio Program

Adult education

The Met


Artist assistant

Photo studio

Invisible Dog

Ad agency

Stationary store


Why don’t we credit people like they do in cinema?

Art Is Org

A Blade of Grass

Wingspan Arts

Theater Arts

Communications / Marketing


Dance artist / performer

Parsons Scholar Program

Fashion Arts / Transmedia

NYU Journalism

Copy editor / translator



House husband / healer / community person

Scandinavian House

Parsons School of Design, The New School


Slippage moments: When do our practices cross pollinate or interfere with one another?


“Love my job” - but sometimes that makes it a priority over my art practice

Inspired by colleagues

Energy spent

Skills that work across fields

Life administration (laundry / taxes)

Pushback / how can you expand what you’re already doing?

Non compartmentalization - be where you are


Breakout session: How do we make art?


Where are you right now?

In the middle of it

Inside this circle of art practice and admin - making them spin together

“I want to be…”

Managing time / energy shared between full time job and art practice across multiple states

Multiple hats

Need time

Sleeping when i should be doing research

Killing the artist dead

Dialog with the artists

Looking for structure

Trying to push myself out of the comfort zone

Looking for resources

Need a deadline

Its complicated

Giving great advice to others and not taking it myself

Im exhausted

Trying to find a way to separate

I am a creative person, that’s who i am

I’m overwhelmed

Take all of me and put it into something creative

Battling narratives and burn out

Adultive vs. authentic self

Accepting the everyday

Family obligations taking precedence


I want to extract the best parts from obligations

When i was working a job i hated it strangely gave me mental space to work

Clarifying what I care about

Unsure where to go

Is having conversations enough?

Art feels like a luxury

Finding community / dialog / inspiration / conversation

Feeling disoriented

Art is a vanity project - pushing against it

You can do it!

Gateway activities - parallel activities that get you in the “mood”

Doing shit when you don’t want to do it - actualize it

Structuring yoga movement

The way I get seen controls my identity

Being more intentional about the relationship of our jobs to our art practice

Blackout time

Responsibility to impact change

Love / intangible

Satisfying basic human needs

Advocate for yourself rather than accepting it


A Mantra for Arts Administrators

Be kind to yourself.

Rely on your allies.

Find a peer group.

It’s OK to want everything.

Save yourself, save your identity. Your art practice is important.

Remember that you have powerful skills.

Honor your time.

People online are real. Be real.

Be creative in your administration and organized in your art.