“Don't pursue a career in the Arts unless you love the Arts truly, madly, deeply. And do not have any delusions about what awaits you both in educational settings, and in the job market. …If you think you're gonna get a break because you have a disability, think again. …You better be the best you can be at what you do, and do not allow yourself to use your disability as an excuse NOT to work continually and consistently towards total professionalism and high standards of quality.”
-- Jaehn Clare, professional theatre artist, from "A Career as an Artist Ain't an Easy Row to Hoe," keynote address for The Art of Employment: Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities on March 25 & 26, 2002 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN.
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The Outlook: Arts occupations will increase on average by 11% through the year 2018. So say the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, as synthesized in a recent National Endowment for the Arts report.
“Companies’ need to reach an increasingly technology-savvy consumer is growing.” Multimedia artists, animators, and illustrators will be in demand due to widespread adoption of digital advertising formats. Skilled writers are required for the online publications, websites, and newsletters businesses will use to attract customers.
Vigorous job growth is also projected for museum technicians and conservators, curators, landscape architects, interior designers, and architects.
Jobs in creative fields cover the full range of performing, literary, and visual arts. These careers include work "behind-the-scenes" such as sound technician, proofreader, gallery assistant, music therapist, dance teacher, or box office manager.• 60% of artists and related workers are self-employed.
People with disabilities contribute their talents to many fields in the arts. Some choose to have a visible identity as an artist with a disability, others prefer not to. No one says making a living in the arts is easy. The obstacles are doubled for those facing physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges. But this hasn't stopped determined individuals with significant and diverse types of impairments. They are pursuing an income from doing what they're passionate about. Read about People with Disabilities in the Arts.
Putting Creativity to Work
Arts Mentoring and You
Developmental Obstacles to Careers in the Arts for Young Persons with Disabilities
National Arts and Disability Center at UCLA
VSA: The International Organization on Arts and Disability
NEA Office for AccessAbility
Indiana Arts Commission: Accessibility Resources