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Crushing Classical

Crushing Classical is a series of interviews with classical musicians who are forging unique paths with their talent, creating their own artistic fulfillment and financial comfort, and finding ways to thrive. I celebrate these brave people who are taking routes outside of traditional orchestral or academic employment! As always, I invite you to listen for your own sparks and breadcrumbs, and use these interviews to find the possibilities that exist in your own life.
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The Happiest Musician: Creating A Career You Love With All The Things You Love Doing

Mar 2, 2023

Ashley Killam (she/her) has built a multifaceted career as a passionate entrepreneur, non-profit director, freelancer, trumpet player, advocate, and researcher. Killam is the founder of AK Artist Management and is on a lifelong mission to create a more inclusive artistic space.

A champion for creating change within musical programming, Killam launched the first-ever open-source resource for trumpet and brass music by marginalized composers. Since the fall of 2019, she has presented in-person and virtually over 130 times, on topics ranging from building a library of inclusive repertoire to starting a non-profit, commissioning music, and creating a non-traditional career path.

Having found a love in all things organization, Killam created AK Artist Management as a way to use these outreach and marketing skills to build and promote the professional careers of musicians. Killam has worked with powerhouse soloists like trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden, driven educators like hornist Amanda Collins, and groundbreaking chamber groups like Seraph Brass and Calypsus Brass, understanding the goals and needs of every individual and group. Her expertise ranges from booking performances and leading consortiums to website creation, building a brand, and PR work - Killam can do it all.

What inspired me so much about this conversation is Ashley’s can-do attitude, and her obvious love of the work she’s doing.  She’s found a way she likes to work, things she likes doing, and has created a way to get paid doing them!  This is the very essence of the portfolio career, right?   It’s not giving up on music and defeatedly crawling into an arts admin space, it’s ADDING something she loves to something else she loves and making a career out of it.  I really loved hearing her energy around both the DOING of her job and the LEARNING of her job. Being willing to not know but to try anyway, being able to trust yourself and your smart organized brain to figure it out - this is brilliant stuff and I know you will love this episode.

Find Ashley on her website, or follow her on facebook or instagram- @ashleykillam and @ak.artistmanagement.

Theme music and audio editing by DreamVance.

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I'm your host, Jennet Ingle. I love you all. Stay safe out there!

 

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