New fellowship to support emerging arts admin talent

Boutique classical and contemporary music marketing agency WildKat PR has announced the launch of The Noted Innovation Fellowship, a scheme that will introduce industry newcomers to leading arts mangers in order to progress their careers.

The Fellowship initiative will create a pathway for young innovators displaying a passion for forging positive change in the classical music industry and reflects long-term observations by WildKat PR founder and CEO, Kathleen Alder [pictured above]. It aims to address the marked disparity between the levels of financial backing, training and encouragement extended to emerging artists, and the relative lack of similar support available for developing behind-the-scenes talent in administration roles.

‘Our industry is always looking for the next hot young thing to put on stage,’ she said. ‘But not much emphasis is put on getting new fresh thinking off stage. When I started my PR company in 2008, I approached the Arts Council for guidance and they wrote back, “we do not work with PR companies”.

‘Luckily I was able to benefit from my dad’s connections in the industry to get started [her father, music producer and former Deutsche Grammophon executive producer Christopher Alder, nurtured the likes of Anna Netrebko, Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini, Lang Lang and Yundi Lee]. I don’t necessarily work with his high profile clients, though I grew up with them, but he has always been very supportive of my adventures. Most young people don’t have that opportunity. I wanted to offer a fellowship that is for anyone with a great idea, not only people with contacts in the industry.’

Alder believes that the traditional pairing of newly discovered artistic prodigies, with longer-serving industry figures, is ready to be updated: ‘I have tremendous respect for the experienced generation in the top positions in our industry, but the missing piece is what we should be doing to trust young talent to take the top jobs and innovate – not based on experience, but on ideas.

‘I would  like to create a more open playing field. That is why the mentors we invited to be a part of the fellowship are a mixture of ages and experiences. There is always talk about our industry no longer being relevant, but how can we be current if we don’t trust the new generation to take its place alongside the traditional mindset?’

As well as seeking to educate and inspire a new generation of diverse and creative cultural leaders, Alder hopes this fellowship will lead to opportunities for ‘young fresh talent onstage, to work with young fresh talent offstage’, invigorating the industry and attracting new audiences as a result.

Noted Innovation Fellowships will be contoured to the recipient’s individual needs and strengths, but the package will broadly offer initial financial support of GBP3,500 (€4,500) along with expert mentorship, bespoke website and branding design, wide-ranging start-up consultation, and a series of placements (either paid or covering expenses) with WildKat PR’s numerous UK and international industry clients and partners.

The opportunity is open to applicants aged 22-35 already working in arts management or administration – but not directly related to performance – within the UK, USA or Germany (the three countries in which WildKat operates).

Applicants may have had some early career success in showing a unique approach to their roles, but a ‘fresh and energetic’ outlook from ‘an individual whose work makes the WildKat PR team excited’ is key in the early application stages.

Round one of the three-stage selection process opens today, closing at midnight (GMT) on 15 February.

See for information on how to apply.