Creative Industry Professional Organizations

Creative industry is an ever-changing field where dynamics of current trends influence professional standards of practice and foster new developments across arts and entertainment in an attempt to meet today’s present challenges. Learn more about the professional organizations below to explore creative sectors of interest, source opportunities, and connect with professionals in the field.

This abbreviated list of professional organizations is brought to you in partnership with DEMAN (Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network) to highlight, in a complimentary fashion, Duke Arts curricular offerings which include creative practice in music, visual art, dance, cinema, theater, literary, and experimental arts.

The Actors’ Equity Association is the labor union representing over 40,000 American actors and stage managers working in the professional theatre. Equity’s website contains information about the union and its various departments, programs, and contracts, industry-related news, and casting notices.

The Association of Performing Arts Professionals is the national service, advocacy and membership organization for the live performing arts field. APAP is dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting, booking and touring industry and the professionals who work within it.

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education is an organization of individuals and institutions that provides vision and leadership for the profession and promotes excellence in theatre education. ATHE actively supports scholarship through teaching, research and practice and serves as a collective voice for its mission through its publications, conferences, advocacy, projects, and through collaborative efforts with other organizations.

Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas was founded in 1985 as the volunteer membership organization for the professions of literary management and dramaturgy. LMDA is a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization with members throughout North America and abroad. LMDA holds the belief that theater is a vital art form that has the power to nourish, educate, and transform individuals and their communities and that dramaturgy is central to the process of theater-making.

The NBCUniversal Page Program is a rotational learning and development program that gives early career talent a well-rounded experience along with unmatched exposure to the media industry. The program is designed to help prepare Page Program graduates for other early-career, entry level roles at the company. Employment at NBCUniversal after program completion is a primary goal but not guaranteed. The program is based out of New York, NY and Universal City, CA and considered an in-person learning and development experience.

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and commercial vitality of music labels in the United States, the most vibrant recorded music community in the world. Our membership – which includes several hundred companies, ranging from small-to-medium-sized enterprises to global businesses – creates, manufactures and/or distributes sound recordings. In support of its mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conducts consumer, industry, and technical research; and monitors and reviews state and federal laws, regulations, and policies. Here are a few organizations and partners we’ve worked with.

The College Art Association (CAA), as the preeminent international leadership organization in the visual arts, promotes these arts and their understanding through advocacy, intellectual engagement, and a commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners. CAA supports those who study, teach, write about, advocate for and/or create art and design. The Association honors human diversity and acknowledges the extraordinary range of backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, work styles, education, rank, skills, and experiences that make the advancement of art and design integral to culture.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 Individual Members. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year. TCG offers networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG’s partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute.

With a membership of over 10,500 global film industry artists and leaders, an acclaimed film museum and collection, and world-renowned awards for cinematic achievements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the home of an expertise and reach that is unparalleled. The Academy: recognizes and celebrates all aspects of the film industry and the diverse, talented people who make movies; inspires young artists and creates opportunities for underrepresented communities to engage with the film world; curates and leads vital and thoughtful programs and initiatives about cinema’s past, present, and future; connects global audiences through their shared love of cinema.

Founded in 1969, the University Resident Theatre Association works to ensure the continued renewal of the American theatre by supporting excellence in the professional training of new artists. URTA continues to develop programs and services that answer the needs of university theatres, training programs, and individual artists. Whether it’s articulating the highest standards for professional training, helping to match potential students with the MFA program best suited to their needs, facilitating engagement of professional artists at universities, or expanding the scope of our education and career outreach programs, URTA is setting the stage for emerging theatre artists, and professional advancement.

USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) connects performing arts design and technology communities to ensure a vibrant dialogue among practitioners, educators, and students. USITT was founded in 1960 as an organization to promote dialogue, research, and learning among practitioners of theatre design and technology.

The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation celebrate, advance and advocate for the curatorial narrative.With members and supporters from around the globe, we offer professional development, leadership skills, and direct connections for art curators working in the not-for-profit sector.

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is the only organization representing the entire museum field, from art and history museums to science centers and zoos. Since 1906, we have been championing museums through advocacy and providing museum professionals with the resources, knowledge, inspiration, and connections they need to move the field forward.