Where We Fit


Ethnoarts personnel increase hope and productivity in field contexts because 1) they can help energize progress in all other domains, and 2) they uncover and affirm the communication forms that communities love and are most proud of.   

Ethnoarts Roles
Arts personnel normally fill one of three roles in SIL (explore Insite for fuller descriptions): 
  • Arts WorkerDesigned primarily for people already on the field, who have some skills and interest in the arts. Fewer training requirements.
  • Arts SpecialistEntry level position, after about one to one and 1/2 year’s training 
  • Arts ConsultantWider responsibilities and skills than Arts Specialist, the natural progression with time and experience

Overview of an Arts Specialist's Preparation and Service

The first few years of an Arts Specialist’s work normally consist of university training, an anchoring internship, then entry into his or her first assignment. 

 Recruiting Assignment Training    
The Arts Specialist's job provides lots of great stories and videos to grab peoples' attention. One of the biggest misconceptions we have to clear up is this: God calls lots of artists to do their art for the kingdom. We need people who are intent on helping other people create.
Click here for more on recruiting for Arts people
Arts Specialists are assigned to field locations based on a prayer-filled process of evaluating their gifts and interests, needs that fields have publicized on Insite, and consultation with the International Arts Leaders Team. Because ethnoarts is new in its current form, some assignments require personal interaction with entities where there is not an opening on Insite.Arts Specialists need about 1 to 1 1/2 years of training before allocating and beginning an internship. For official requirements: www.sil.org/training/arts-and-ethnomusicology


 Internship Integration into Entity and Area Professional Development
An ethnoarts internship consists of 1-3 years in a language program, which will become the Arts Specialist's anchor community. SIL's broader ethnoarts community provides technical supervision, usually from a distance.
Click here for more on internships
After the internship, the Arts Specialist gradually widens her contributions to her organizational context. Their primary tools are 1) Initial Community Arts List; 2) Ethnoarts Assistance for Program Planning; and 3) Arts for a Better Future workshops. Directors, program managers, and others meet with the Arts Specialist to determine her next roles. These could include:
  • The Arts Specialist may continue serving with her anchor community, join another language program or cluster, or consult with more programs in a shorter time format.
  • The Arts Specialist can join program planning sessions to suggests arts activities that may speed and improve reaching goals in many domains.
  • The Arts Specialist can join strategic planning and budgeting meetings to offer ethnoarts input, strategic understanding, and multi-domain perspectives.
  • The Arts Specialist can serve as an Area consultant.
  • The Arts Specialist can help teach courses at places like Payap University (Thailand) and the Center for Excellence in World Arts (Dallas, CEWA).
There are many avenues for arts personnel to grow in knowledge and skills. Two common growth categories are artistic skills (e.g., learning about textiles) and application knowledge (e.g., learning more about literacy and education to better consult). 
        We value scholarship and encourage people to study materials both for the knowledge they gain and in working toward undergraduate and graduate degrees. The ethnoarts community is forging new concepts, skills, and theories that are applicable in many domains, including community development, ethnomusicology, ethnodramatology, trauma healing, and many more.
        Consult the International Arts Leaders Team for growth plans in your region. 


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