Arts workers are essential, and more than ever, it's important that the world understand what it's like to work in the performing arts. Hear the bold, untold personal stories on workplace and work culture from arts workers themselves. Produced by APAP and made possible with support from the Wallace Foundation.


June 28, 2022 26 mins

The word inclusion is heard a lot in the arts industry, but are we truly inclusive? Episode 1 explores who is and isn't in the room, disability and access, the toll of leading DEI efforts, and choosing which community to serve and why.

Introduction: “Language Barriers” with Claudia Norman, an independent producer, artistic director and cultural worker based in Queens, New York.

Act One: “The First Step” with Lynne Jordan, a Chicago-b...

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Let’s leave the “starving artist” trope firmly in the past -- The stories in Episode 2 are all about money: staying in the green while promoting pay equity, doing the hustle, healthcare scares, and making money by making change.

Introduction: “In The Green” with Lynn Neuman, who lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan and is the artistic director of Artichoke Dance Company, which is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Act One: “Running The Numbers...

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Arts workers often walk a tightrope between healthy boundaries and total burnout. But can we achieve balance? Episode 3 tells the stories of professionals assessing risks to physical and mental health, promoting work/life balance in the workplace, and finding harmony in arts, work and life.

Content warning: This episode mentions depression from 20:38 to 21:28 and suicide from 23:22 to 23:37.

You can find mental health resources on AP...

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July 19, 2022 28 mins

“Community” is a popular buzzword in the performing arts, but how do we truly deliver on its promise? It takes intentional effort to build a supportive work community, secure community gathering spaces, find a place to belong, and truly serve our audiences. The storytellers in Episode 4 share their unique experiences with space, place and community.

Intro: “Make Some Noise” with Rick Whitaker, the concerts and theater manager for Th...

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July 26, 2022 27 mins

An organization is the sum of its people, so decisions about who to recruit, who to hire, and who to fire radically shape an organization's work culture. This is especially true in the human-centered work of the arts, where culture matters. The storytellers in Episode 5 put the human back in human resources as they share personal experiences about barriers to hiring, tokenism, layoffs, and what we can learn from other industries be...

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Even a simple setback can derail a career, so knowing when it’s time to change direction – or step away entirely – is invaluable. The storytellers in Episode 6 share their experiences navigating health crises, job transitions, and personal loss and the unexpected and welcomed relief, joy, confidence, and grace that can follow.

Content warning: This episode mentions eating disorders from 2:15 to 3:23 and from 5:05 to 8:24. You can fi...

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This special bonus episode is a live recording from the APAP|NYC+ 2023 conference in New York City. Arts workers from across the country came together for a panel titled “Stop Talking. Start Listening: Finding Common Ground with Young Arts Workers and the Future of Our Field.”

Young arts workers Javier Stell-Fresquez, Lexis Hamilton, Bobby Cento and Tariq Darrell O'Meally discuss pay equity, job-hopping, performative activism, socia...

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In this special bonus episode, the panel from the “Stop Talking, Start Listening: Finding Common Ground with Young Arts Workers” session featured in the last episode reconvene to debrief and unpack audience feedback.

Javier Stell-Fresquez, Lexis Hamilton, and Tariq Darrell O'Meally respond to audience questions about authenticity, “paying your dues,” and connecting with colleagues from different generations and backgrounds.

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April 20, 2023 2 mins

Season 2 of ARTS. WORK. LIFE. arrives this summer! Performing arts workers: Share your story with the world, go to by the final deadline of May 8th. In this post-pandemic world, we face new realities daily. What’s happening in your work life? Has it changed or evolved? Have you had an experience that transformed you? You don't need to submit a fully-written story. Bullet points will do. You can even send in an audi...

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