The arts are often appreciated solely for their aesthetic properties, but they’re also a business. To keep this business sector humming, however, future arts workers need to be cultivated and encouraged. ArtsPartners is addressing this need with Spotlights on Arts Career Day, October 9, at Illinois Central College.

According to ArtsPartners Executive Director Terri Smith, “Career Day is an initiative of ArtsPartners in support and development of arts education opportunities. It’s an opportunity for students to understand all of these career options are critical not only for the knowledge the student will gain, but for our community’s future growth in the arts.”

The event is a cooperative venture between ArtsPartners, ICC, Bradley University, Peoria County Regional Office of Education, and District 150. Smith said all of the partners—who eagerly agreed to participate—are critical to hooking the event’s target audience. “Middle and high school students are invited specifically because they’re at the age when this type of event is relevant. Kids have absolutely no idea of the many career choices in the arts. Many adults have no idea. Their thought process is set on being an artist, performer, dancer, etc.”

To introduce new possibilities, Spotlight on Arts Career Day will include presenters and information from many different aspects of the arts world, including:

“We’ll focus on the diverse opportunities for careers in the arts, and possibly spark interest in the variety of fields available in the fine and applied arts in Peoria and other locales,” Smith said. “We’ll also answer specific questions such as how they can earn a living in Peoria with their skills and talent, the salary and potential for these careers, what level of education they need to compete in the fields, the skills they need to develop to qualify for scholarships, and the usual steps for building a career in these fields.”

Smith said students are asked to pre-register and choose two sessions they’re interested in ahead of time; their choice for a third session will be made after they hear introductory remarks from the presenters. “They also have a chance to talk with any of the presenters during the lunch hour.”

She said if all goes well, area kids can reap the benefits of this event for years to come. “This is intended to be an annual event, which will hopefully grow to where Peoria could host a regional Arts Career Day involving many regional schools.” AA!