The Hewlett Foundation has released its phase two report in its series on ”Involving Youth in the Arts,” specifically as staff and leadership (described by author Barry Hessenius here, or available for PDF download in executive summary or full report versions through Hewlett). The first phase (which I blogged about back in 2007) underscored the impending challenge of recruiting and engaging young workers in the arts, given the demographic shifts and competition from other sectors. This report adds more reflection and insight from focus groups and conversation.
Since the first report, the emphasis has changed. The panicked prospect of heavy competition for young staff has calmed, as the economy has contracted and the relative attraction of arts employment has remained strong. Rather, says the report:
The real challenge for both public and private, nonprofit and for profit organizations will be to effectively manage different generations working side by side in the same workplace, and doing so in a way which optimizes retention of employees already trained and experienced.
Let the negotiations between generations begin.