Hello readers, my name is Emily Goretski and I am honored to be writing to you as a member of the MA in Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership cohort! A bit about my background – as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point I studied Arts Administration, Spanish, and Communication. After graduating in 2015, I moved to Madison and became a Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator at Overture Center for the Arts. Overture is a nonprofit that supports 10 resident arts companies, 4 visual art galleries, and offers a broad range of programs and performances that entertain, educate, and engage. For the last five years, I have been responsible for executing artist contracts, coordinating artist services, and managing two community engagement programs. The first is a free concert series called Listen Local that showcases Madison artists; and the second is Overture’s Rising Stars, a statewide talent search aimed at developing and celebrating artists of all ages and talents.
I love that my days involve a unique combination of administrative office tasks and working closely with local artists, touring companies, agencies, and world-renowned performers. This variety has emphasized the importance of the arts in my life and affirmed my career path in programming and arts administration. I am so grateful for the artistic and career experiences that I’ve had through Overture. Sadly, because of the pandemic, my engagement programs are on hiatus for the foreseeable future. Over 8 months ago, Overture was forced to close its doors and suspend in-person performances and activities. We’ve reduced our workforce, suspended the search for a new CEO/President, and reduced overhead expenses greatly. Despite these obstacles, our committed staff are working toward a shared mission and finding innovative ways to promote and celebrate the arts through safe, virtual experiences.
While virtual interactions have become more prevalent, our need to connect with people and creativity has not disappeared with the absence of live performances/events. I think it’s important to draw from past arts experiences to develop a positive outlook for what the future might look like. I believe this shared global crisis can be a catalyst for positive change; and I am hopeful that the arts industry, along with many other systems of our society, will flourish into a revolutionary model that focuses on the needs of all people.