Are you an accomplished artist who wants to operate from a strong sense of internal direction rather than constantly trying to prove you are good enough? Step into more leadership? Take more risk? This course is for you.
What is the format?
• Curriculum is delivered in six modules; each module lasts two weeks, with an extra week break in the middle. There will be a 30-40 minute pre-recorded prep lecture introducing each topic (listen in your own time), then a live 90 minute session for Q&A, practicing tools and participant interaction. Live sessions are on Mondays or Thursdays at 20:30-22:00 Central European Time (11:30pm Pacific/2:30pm Eastern – find your timezone). Exercises, homework and optional readings takes place between class sessions.
• All sessions are recorded so you may listen back anytime from anywhere in the world to work through the materials at your own pace.
• Lessons are via secure webinar, using the platform Zoom, including HD video and high quality audio. You can choose to participate in audio only, or also video so we can see each other as well as talk. Group interaction has proven to be a highlight of the course.
• Group calls are live, with opportunity to interact. We work with participants' actual struggles, doubts and desires, and learn from each other.
• An optional online discussion group and buddy system offer the possibility to connect with artistic peers all over the world.
• Content is part internal focused and part external/practical focused. For example, coaching exercises that include both self reflection (journal writing and group dialogue) and creative practice (sensing, breathing, drawing and writing exercises) to get you out of your head and into an open, creative mindset. For example, coaching exercises that include self reflection, journal writing and group dialogue and part creative practice like sensing, breathing, drawing and writing exercises to get you out of your head and into an open, creative mindset. Tools like negotiation and networking are more external, though we approach them from an internal framework. All exercises are concrete, repeatable and able to be practiced by an artist in any field. They are tested and effective.
• Be supported in effective, positive ways including being accountable for your plans and using an optional buddy system. Transform "discipline" into a gift.
More questions? See FAQs
What is the approach?
The course uses a facilitation model, which means it is process oriented, looks for the "right questions" more than the "right answers" and draws on the wisdom and experience of the group. You'll investigate where your insight might lead in an outward sense, by applying prototyping models (a set of short doable experiments that give you useful feedback to zoom ahead). You will also kickstart making new work by embracing the power of play, and share wisdom and camaraderie with other participants.
Coaching methods and creative mindset tools are integrated. But the course is not just theory and self-reflection. It's also practical. We also do do do. During the course you will start something new and/or find the inspiration to finish something old, either artistically and/or "business wise" and test applying the tools to that project.
You are invited to turn inward and move toward work you may have been avoiding (for years). Learn to skillfully deal with criticism and take actionable steps to move forward. We apply Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process, not only to give and receive meaningful feedback, but to uncover your unique values as an artist and where you want to take it. We also take a look at topics such as leadership models, self-promotion, finding direction after physical injury or aging (especially topical for performing dancers and musicians), parenting/caregiving and the creative life, and women as allies – and the dislike, resistance or avoidance of such. This course is also useful for teachers and mentors to add encouraging and empowering models to your teaching repertoire, for both female and male students.
Lastly, the course is a platform to build a larger network of like-minded, supportive international colleagues. After the course, you may continue interacting in the Facebook forum indefinitely, where you can continue to discuss the tools and topics from the course, share your work, ask for input. You are also welcome to follow along and repeat any future course offerings at no additional cost.
For a taste of the workshop
View this YouTube video with an excerpt from a recent webinar "Beyond Should." It’s about new ways to work with fear and perfectionism. It touches on some of the themes in the course, and gives an idea of how the online course looks and feels.
See The Curriculum section for more details on content in each module.
You are welcome to join the open Facebook Page for Step into the Bigger Space anytime! Follow and share work by women artists, relevant content about courageous women artists and the circumstances that affect us around the world, inspirations, and insights.
What do previous participants say?
"A great course for all women, no matter what point she is in her career....there is something for everyone. A good way to shake up your process and how your mind has formed thought patterns. We were offered ways of seeing and how to break up the ways in which we limit ourselves. I am refreshed and excited to continue using these new tools for negotiation, self-promotion and connecting with other women artists across the globe."
– Laura DeLuca, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
"Laura has developed a well tuned & articulate program for looking into how we develop as women and artists in the world. She is thoughtful & clear, offering a humane perspective on how we can develop ourselves in community. It was a refreshing & rejuvenating experience."
– Patricia Bardi, dance/voice artist, choreographer, somatic movement therapist, Amsterdam
“I learned so much from Laura’s excellent lectures, the very well chosen reading list and my own inner work based on Laura’s work. Laura’s coaching skills are amazing. She knows just how to encourage the participants to move past their individual obstacles into the following step. Although I am well established in my field, the course gave me the tools, insight and inspiration to move forward on several of my own projects. The overall effect of the course for me has been very freeing! I recommend it to women artists at every stage in their careers.”
— Nancy Braithwaite, professor of clarinet and chamber music at Codarts, Rotterdam Conservatory
"I found this short online workshop more helpful than one-on-one professional advice I received previously on how to promote my artistic work. Recognizing what holds us back from unfolding our full capacity is an essential first step for a sustainable and fulfilling practice. "
— Margret Wibmer, Visual Artist, Austria/The Netherlands
“A fresh and surprising training; connecting your mental with your emotional layers. Putting questions and giving space for reflection, it gave me not only interesting tools that I can use in my own professional practice, but also it raised questions to look at further for my personal awareness.”
— Aspasia Nasopoulou, Composer, Amsterdam
“Laura Carmichael is a very clear minded, driven, sincere and enthusiastic workshop leader/coach. ”
— Helen Vreedeveld, Visual Artist, Amsterdam
“What an adventure! This work is for anyone in a high-powered position who wants to step it up a notch.”
— A.W., Economist and Weaver/textile designer, Ann Arbor MI
How do I sign up?
Current courses are closed. next course will begin may 2017.
Sign up for the mailing list for notifications and early bird specials.
What is your version of success?
Women have come a long way in terms of presence as practicing artists. Multiple inspiring success stories shine the light forward; brilliant, dedicated women have received recognition across the globe in every field. The next generation is forging ahead.
Yet women are still vastly underrepresented as creative leaders, role models and influential decision makers. Current political waves can be discouraging. But how else might we look at the current landscape? Is it possible that we are reaching the limits of "success" in the pre-existing power structure? How might we redefine the power structures themselves, navigate them better, or expand the vision of success? Regardless of our achievements, why do we feel it's never enough, lose heart, get worn out or hold back? How can we be loyal to ourselves? How do we get along with other people and keep our focus on doing the work? What version of this is particularly common to women, and what can we do about it?
Do you have some examples?
What kinds of women join?
Most participants are highly experienced, at an advanced place in their career, though young and emerging artists have found the course very impactful, especially on confidence. The experienced artists are looking for things like: the next move, getting more personal with creative work, resetting after a big personal transition, investigating what leadership can mean, going toward consolidation and making previous work visible. All participants have expressed the longing to connect with colleagues in more meaningful ways, and build a network of likeminded women around the globe.
What kind of impact might the course have for me?
- You decide to apply to speak or present at a conference, not only attend it
- As a leader, you want to investigate alternatives to competition, machismo and top-down hierarchy
- By identifying your inner compass, your technique melds with your personal voice
- You benefit from a network of like-minded colleagues that help you take more risk and get meaningful feedback
- In a group you have more input with decisions, and can negotiate and advocate for your point of view more convincingly
- You start your own series in a place that has a personal significance
- As a creator, you investigate your own curiosity to make things that are not necessarily for approval, then figure out your audience and how to influence
- You apply to higher profile venues for your art; or you stop working at a high-profile institution because it's not inspiring anymore
- You negotiate for changes in an institution that seems very established
- You enter into dialogue with decision makers as an equal partner
- You make your own work alongside or instead of continuing to do the work of others
- You speak up to challenge gender imbalance or invisibility, while finding your humor, strategy and connection
- You challenge the codes of what is considered acceptable criteria to judge value
- You consider "audience" and "prestige" from a broader lens