Introducing YPA NYC
By: Gabrielle Mizrahi
New York City is known as one of the cultural capitals of the world. However, for those working to facilitate art and culture (such as fundraisers, curators, and gallerists, to name a few) it can often feel as though there is little or no support, especially when first starting out. That is where Mara and Jacque, founders of Young Professionals for the Arts NYC, come in. According to Mara, “We feel there are a lot of networking opportunities out there for artists already, so we wanted to create a safe space for arts professionals to network, collaborate, and share experiences”.
Mara and Jacque met while working at the non-profit New York Foundation for the Arts. Mara had recently returned from London, where she was involved with the Young Professionals for the Arts London chapter, while Jacque had recently moved back to New York after spending a few years working as an arts professional in Dallas, Texas. Jacque describes her arrival back to New York as a bit overwhelming, “I didn’t really have a direction. I was looking for a networking group, but there was nothing for people who were looking to get generally involved in the arts and culture field. I decided I wanted to be involved and help create that kind of community”. Through their combination of experiences YPA NYC was born.
While there is no fee to join, Young Professionals for the Arts NYC is a membership organization, with prospective participants applying with a general resume and a brief letter of interest directly to Mara and Jacque. The requirements to becoming involved are very general: applicants must be involved or looking to become involved in the arts and culture field, and can not be artists or students. The decision to open the group up to all disciplines came from the understanding that people working in arts and culture tend to move across different mediums and disciplines. Beyond those basic requirements, members are simply expected to be, “Sociable, collaborative, and open to sharing resources and experiences,” according to Mara.
Young Professionals for the Arts has already held two events: a private gallery tour and talk at the FLAG Art Foundation and a violin concert in Brooklyn featuring musician Michelle Ross. Mara and Jacque promise that members can expect many more events in the coming months. Jacque emphasizes, “Expect a wide range of events. We don’t want to pigeonhole YPA. We want to introduce members to experiences they would not normally have. We are also very interested in entrepreneurs and start-ups, so we are in the process of planning events centered on those themes and how they relate to the arts as well”.
Finally when asked what they love the most about the arts in NYC, both Mara and Jacque mentioned the tireless energy and the constant creativity that comes out of the 5 boroughs.
Mara: “You can feed off of the energy. It’s inspiring”.
Jacque: “There is always something new to explore. It pushes you to go out and see what you can find”.
To apply for membership with YPA NYC email YPANYC@gmail.com with your name, email address, and profession.
Photo of the founders courtesy of Mara Vlatkovic and Jacque Donaldson