Oscillate wildly: the under-acknowledged prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of multi-disciplinary arts practice

Alexandre Frenette, Nathan Martin, Steven Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article draws on data from a survey of U.S. arts and design graduates (N = 26,672) to analyse the prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of multi-disciplinary artistic careers. We propose that the practice of multiple artforms is a common, albeit under-acknowledged, component of nimbly navigating artistic labour markets, alongside other strategies such as multiple jobholding and self-employment. While there are undoubtedly benefits to specialization, overall, we find that generalist arts alumni are more likely to continue working in the arts well after graduation. Being a multi-disciplinary artist is significantly associated with a range of entrepreneurial career activities, such as self-employment or freelancing, teaching in the arts, or managing an arts-related organization. Working across multiple artforms is connected to feeling satisfied with one’s education and career pathways, however multi-disciplinary artists are significantly less satisfied with the levels of job security and income that their current work provides. We conclude with implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalCultural Trends
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2018

Keywords

  • Artists
  • career
  • cultural and creative industries
  • multidisciplinary artists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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