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Life & Work with Erica Shamaly

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Shamaly.

Hi Erica, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Combining both her management experience and marketing expertise within the music and creative industries, Erica is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of the City of Austin’s Music & Entertainment Division to develop and implement initiatives that help accelerate the growth of the music and entertainment industry and its infrastructure. She served as the Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of the Austin School of Film @ Motion Media Arts Center for nearly 10 years before becoming Director of Marketing & Business Development for the Reverberation Appreciation Society / Levitation (formerly Austin Psych Fest). Erica was Director of Marketing at Austin City Limits Live and 3TEN at ACL Live for three years before coming to the City of Austin in 2017.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
This journey has by no means been on a smooth road but it’s been well worth the struggles and hard work. I’m a divorced mom of three; actually made my career shift from the film to the music industry as my marriage was falling apart. Very tough period. But with the struggles, wisdom has developed (and is still developing).

Most importantly, you cannot depend on anyone else for your success, nor can you blame anyone when things don’t go your way. I want my children to learn from me that they can do anything in this life if they follow their passion, work hard, and take responsibility for the efforts. Also, experiencing joy whenever possible–could be a Barton Springs dip, a great movie with friends, or sitting and doing nothing. Listen to you without guilt or judgment because the hard work will always be there to pick back up.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My degrees from university were for Art History and Studio Art. I’m a pretty good maker but it wasn’t my passion. I have always advised that making art should be the first thought when waking every morning–there must be a thirst in order to keep going.

What gets me up in the morning, though, is promoting artists and their work to wide audiences. I am passionate about creating experiences for people to see or feel something beautiful or provocative from creatives within our community. Just as important for me is providing learning and development opportunities for creatives–whether it’s visual arts, film, or music–it’s crucial that artists learn what’s necessary to build lasting careers where they can earn a living and have a good life for their families.

Over these many years, my career track has focused on developing, curating, and promoting pretty much every artistic discipline in Austin since the 1990’s–the evolution here has been surreal and I’m fortunate to have played a part with so many others. My current position with the City’s Economic Development Department is the perfect place for me to use what I have learned to continue investing and developing in what makes Austin special–our creatives.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Follow your gut and don’t worry about how things are “supposed to go”. There is no right way. As long as you feel passion and a drive to do whatever it is that gets you up in the morning, there’s a way to build a career with this passion. Don’t give up! Learn everything you can about whatever it is and get on it.

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