Training for would-be arts leaders

This fall marks the fourth year of Queens Council on the Arts’ Artist Peer Circles (APC)- formerly known as Peer Leadership Circles- which have already offered more than 60 artists in Queens the tools and resources they need to become artist leaders in their own lives, communities and beyond.

Taking part in [APC] has instilled the importance of developing an arts community wherever you are. The support of every individual is integral to the health and success of the community,” says Katherine Richardson, 2011/12 APC Artist.

Through small group meetings held over a period of nine months, artists talk about professional challenges, create career strategies, set goals and implement action plans all within a supportive environment. Artists use reflective questioning and active listening techniques to learn how to strengthen their skills as leaders and make a difference in their artistic, geographic, and cultural communities.

This year, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, QCA announces a new APC group for Socially Engaged Artists, to produce artists whose work extends beyond the traditional arts forum to engage with the public in an open dialogue on culture, identity, politics and art. These artists include: Juanita Lara, Alex White Mazzarella, Priscilla Stadler, Roshani Thakore, Erin Treacy, alongside literary artists Anna Kim, Tim Frederick, Regine Lambert, Vikas Menon, Lloyd Robson, KC Trommer, performing artists Gierre Godley, Karim Muasher, Yukari Osaka, Ella Rosewood, Janet Werther and visual artists Cui Fei, Jack Feldstein, Jesse Lambert, Sandra Mack-Valencia, and Sean Naftel.

“‘[APC] is such an incredible program and very unique in its ability to forge new relationships and give artists of all disciplines the tools they need to approach career challenges,” says Alexandra Taylor, a 2012/13 APC artist.

The mission of the Queens Council on Arts is to foster, and develop the arts in Queens County and to support individual artists and arts organizations in presenting their cultural diversity for the benefit of the community.

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