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Career and Artistic Development Committee

The Career and Artistic Development Committee has been created by the NFA with the mandate to provide artistic and professional guidance as well as to facilitate access to information about career resources for all NFA members.

Call for Lightning Talks

The Career and Artistic Development Committee is pleased to announce a call for Lightning Talks for the 2021 convention. Presenters of all levels are invited share innovative projects, fresh ideas, new approaches, and research in an exciting new format. Lightning Talks distill a larger topic into five minutes of the most relevant material. A 250-500 word abstract of your presentation is required for the application. Applicants will be notified by April 30. Invited presenters will work with a member of the Career and Artistic Development Committee to refine their presentations; participation is contingent upon submission of script drafts and video run-throughs of the presentation prior to the 2021 NFA convention. Presentations should contain no more than eight slides and font should be 40 pt or larger. Deadline: April 15, 2021, 11:59 p.m. central

Tips for Getting Started

In writing your proposal and constructing your presentation, address the following questions:

  • What is the primary point you want to convey to your audience?
  • What new information will your audience have by the end of your talk?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Why are you interested in/passionate about this topic?
  • Why should other people know more about your topic?
  • Is there a call to action for your audience (for example, a talk about new music might encourage audience members to seek out contemporary works or collaborations with composers)?

Guidelines for Structuring Your Talk

  • Your first sentence should introduce your topic and tell your audience what new information they should expect to learn by the end of your talk.
  • Everything else in your talk should address a point from your introduction.
  • The flow of the talk should be linear and concise. Try not to jump around too much, but guide your audience through one train of thought from beginning to end.
  • Start with an outline to get organized, but write an actual script, word for word, rather than just working from an outline or notecards.
  • PowerPoint presentations should reinforce points from your talk; they should not include additional information, apart from a resource like a website or organization that your audience might want to write down.

Example Presentations

  • 2019 presentations were recorded and are available here. If accepted, select presentations may be edited and included on the NFA website as examples for future presenters.

To submit a proposal, use this form.



This committee brings together the entrepreneurial experience of several flutists:

  • Colleen White, Chair
  • Rose Bishop
  • Marco Granados
  • Zara Lawler
  • Jessica Sherer
  • Michelle Stanley
  • Brittany Trotter
  • Iva Ugrčić

The CAD committee offers both career and artistic development guidance, because we recognize the dynamic interdependence between the artistic and business aspects of every flutist's career. To serve our mission, we launched a mini-conference of workshops at the 2010 Anaheim Convention, and they have since become a standard part of the National Flute Convention. Featured Guests have included Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza, Lillian Burkart, Flutronix, Cristina Ballatori, Alice K. Dade, Meret Bitticks, Shanna Gutierrez, Stephanie Jutt, and Eva Amsler, among others. The CAD committee also sponsors the biennial NFA C.R.E.A.T.E. Project Competition. Established in 2014, this unique competition seeks to reward and encourage new thinking and viable, innovative ideas with a seed grant.

We believe that the word "career" involves more than just earning money as a flutist. It's what shapes our path as artists and vice versa. Whether you're a full time flutist, an aspiring student, or an adult amateur, our committee has something to offer you! 

NFA C.R.E.A.T.E. Project Competition

2018 Winner: Iva Ugrčić, LunART Festival - LunART Festival's mission is to support, inspire, promote, and celebrate women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration; thus enriching our community and creating a welcoming space for learning and experimentation. 

2018 Finalists:
Sabrina Raber: Find Your Beat 
April Cheung, Joanne Wheeler, Laura Pillman, Maria Gabriela Alvarado, and Stacey Chou: In Radiance
Natasha Hongsermeier-Graves: Musicians for Healing

2016 Winner: Jessica Sherer & Emma Shubin, Play It Forward -  A nonprofit organization providing private music lesson scholarships. In exchange, students "play it forward" by volunteering their own time to help others.  

2016 Finalists:
Stacey Chou: In Radiance
Bonnie Cochran: In Concert 
Michael Hoover: Chicago Symphonic Winds

2014 Winner: Shelley Martinson, Elizabeth Robinson, David Graham, Ashley Shank, Flute New Music Consortium - A 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to promoting new music for the flute by commissioning works, organizing premieres, and encouraging repeat performances. 

2014 Finalists 
Leonard Garrison: L’Atelier de flute: French Intermediate Flute Repertoire
Meg Griffith, Rik Noyce: Whole Musician: Mind, Movement, Music
Melinda Ostrander-Aviles: Flute Troops: Scouting for Flutists



Following is a list of websites designed to help aspiring artists gain the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain a career as an independent artist.

Music Career Guides and Strategies

CV, Resume and Cover Letter Guides

Marketing Your Music

Arts Entrepreneurship & Grant Resources

Arts Entrepreneurship Books & Podcasts

New Resources