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 Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) is a volunteer-managed, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1987 as a support network and advocacy group for women who work in sports media (reporting, editing, broadcast, media relations, etc.). Founded by Nancy Cooney, Susan Fornoff, Michele Himmelberg and Kristin Huckshorn – our membership of more than 1,000 women and men primarily includes professionals in sports media and students aspiring to careers in the industry.

Founded in 2002, the Sport Marketing Association (SMA) has led the effort in developing and expanding the body of knowledge in sport marketing by providing forums for professional interaction among practitioners, academics, and students dedicated to the sport marketing field.The SMA has over 350 active members, the majority of whom are university professors of sports marketing and management who conduct leading-edge research as well as educate and advise the hundreds of students who enter the sport industry each year. Our annual conference also attracts undergraduate and graduate students seeking to develop a network with industry professionals, as well as industry leaders who share experiences and provide insights that our membership can take back to their classrooms.

The mission of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) is to promote, stimulate, and encourage study, research, scholarly writing, and professional development in the area of sport management. Members of the Society are concerned about the theoretical and applied aspects of management theory and practice specifically related to sport, exercise, dance, and play, as these fields are pursued by all sectors of the population. The Society endeavors to support and cooperate with local, regional, national, and international organizations that have similar purposes and organizes and administers conferences to promote its purposes.

National Sports Marketing Network (NSMN) is the trade organization for the sports business industry in the United States. Founded in 1998 by award-winning entrepreneur Jennifer Karpf, NSMN includes more than 13,000 individual, corporate, and student members with chapters in major markets and members in more than 50 U.S. cities. The national organization is dedicated to the advancement of the sports business industry through networking and the production of thought-provoking, issue-oriented seminars created to raise the level of discourse on critical sports industry issues. In addition to producing must-attend panel discussions, NSMN facilitates customized member-to-member introductions; industry-wide discounts on trade publications and conferences; and complimentary job matching.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1962, whose membership consists of nearly 428 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers. The mission of the CFDA is to strengthen the impact of American fashion globally by amplifying creative excellence, business longevity, and positive impact.

Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, the American Apparel & Footwear Association are the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its more than 3.2 million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $490 billion in annual U.S. retail sales.

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.

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.

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 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.

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.

American Theatre Wing invests in brave work, supports creative growth, and celebrates excellence to bring inclusive stories to our national culture through theatre. Founded in 1917 on the eve of America’s entry into World War I by seven suffragists, American Theatre Wing has spent a century using theatre to advance human experience, empathy and cultural growth like never before. We provide grants and scholarships, connect talent at all stages with educational and professional opportunities, and create content that illuminates and preserves theatre. We award excellence and foster artistry by providing a platform for strong and fearless voices in the American theatre.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

The American Screenwriters Association’s (ASA) mission is to help screenwriters hone their screenwriting skills, thereby increasing their chances of selling their screenplays. We are dedicated to creating a dialog between screenwriters and industry leaders to foster mutual success.

The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA®) supports, protects, and advances the global independent film and TV industry. Our membership includes more than 140 companies from 23 countries. From independent production and distribution companies, to sales agents and financiers, we are the only organization that unites the collective voice of Independents around the world and ensures that they are well represented across all issues that impact the independent business.

The Sundance Institute’s artist programs provide dynamic support at every step of the creative journey for individuals with distinct voices in film and episodic storytelling. Each program consists of labs, grants, intensives, sessions, and ongoing resources for artists to nurture their projects and sustain their careers. Through year-round activities, we provide the space for artists to create and share their stories with the world.

Founded in 1957, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy Award for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime, Public Service and Technology. NATAS, which operates independently of the Television Academy in Los Angeles, is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within these sectors of television industry.

The Los Angeles-based Television Academy administers the Emmy Awards, which recognize excellence in national primetime programming and are a symbol of peer recognition from nearly 20,000 Television Academy members. Two New York City-based sister organizations bestow Emmy Awards to other sectors of television programming.

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.

Founded in 1998 from a successful lobbying effort to raise ASCAP royalties for advertising, the Association of Music Producers continues to advocate for creators of sound and music for media. We are a 501(C)(6) not-for-profit trade association advocating for creators of music and sound for media.

The Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) was formed in 1977 by a group of Los Angeles music publishers, and has local chapters in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and Atlanta. The organization’s primary focus is to educate and inform music publishers about the most current industry trends and practices by providing a forum for the discussion of the issues and problems confronting the music publishing industry. The AIMP provides a unique medium for those in the music industry to discuss with their colleagues various points of view from the cutting edge of the ever-changing music business. The opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions with others on issues of mutual concern is fostered by the informal atmosphere of the AIMP’s monthly meetings, forums, and workshops.

The association began with a small meeting of 104 music supervisors in Keokuk, Iowa in 1907, known at that time as the Music Supervisors’ National Conference. In 1934, the organization’s name changed to Music Educators National Conference (MENC), reflecting its growth to include music educators at all levels from prekindergarten to university, college students preparing to become music teachers, high school music honor society members, music industry representatives, music supervisors, and parents and community members who supported our cause. In 1998, MENC expanded the organization’s name to MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Finally, on September 1, 2011, we became known simply as National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization whose mission is to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world. AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, credentialing, and research in support of the music therapy profession. AMTA currently serves approximately 3,500 diverse members consisting of clinicians, faculty, business owners, internship directors and supervisors, researchers and students. AMTA offers education, professional development, networking, and advocacy opportunities through an annual conference, academic journals, research efforts, government relations activities, social media and volunteer activities.

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union representing 70,000 professional musicians in the United States and Canada. The AFM, which has its headquarters in New York City, is led by President Tino Gagliardi. Founded in 1896, the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing professional instrumental musicians playing in orchestras, bands, clubs, and theater—both on Broadway and on tour. AFM members make music for film, television, commercials, and sound recordings. The AFM negotiates fair agreements, protects ownership of recorded music, secures benefits such as health care and pension, and lobbies for musicians and the rights of workers. As the largest union of musicians in the world, we have the power to make the music industry work for musicians.

The mission of the Recording Academy is to recognize excellence in the recording arts and sciences, cultivate the well-being of the music community, and ensure that music remains an indelible part of our culture.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 975,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We uphold the value of our members’ music, and help them thrive alongside the businesses that use their music every day.

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) was founded in 1939 by forward-thinkers who wanted to represent songwriters in emerging genres, like jazz, blues and country, and protect the public performances of their music. BMI is currently the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and continues to nurture new talent and new music. BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. As a global leader in music rights management, BMI serves as an advocate for the value of music, representing over 22.4 million musical works created and owned by more than 1.4 million songwriters, composers and music publishers.