Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finding Work in the Arts in China

One of the most e-mailed stories on The New York Times website right now is about young people from the United States going to find jobs in China.

I thought it was particularly cool that some of them are going to find job in arts administration -- and even more so that one is from Barnard:
Sarabeth Berman, a 2006 graduate of Barnard College with a major in urban studies, initially arrived in Beijing at the age of 23 to take a job that would have been difficult for a person her age to land in the United States: program director at BeijingDance/LDTX, the first modern dance company in China to be founded independently of the government.

Ms. Berman said she was hired for her familiarity with Western modern dance rather than a knowledge of China. “Despite my lack of language skills and the fact that I had no experience working in China, I was given the opportunity to manage the touring, international projects, and produce and program our annual Beijing Dance Festival.”

After two years of living and working in China, Ms. Berman is proficient in Mandarin. She travels throughout China, Europe and the United States with the dance company.

Willy Tsao, the artistic director of BeijingDance/LDTX, said he had hired Ms. Berman because of her ability to make connections beyond China. “I needed someone who was capable of communicating with the Western world.”
Well, if the Chinese Bluegrass Association is looking for a president, I hope that someone gives me a ring.

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