The AFC Lobby Chats: Safe Networking for Entertainment Careers

November 30, 2021, 1:00 - 2:30 PM

A panel discussion about networking while maintaining personal boundaries and a sense of safety.

About this event

One of the most nebulous, anxiety-inducing aspects of an entertainment career is networking. Many people hate doing it, especially since there is no perfect rulebook to show the way. At its best, it can lead to a growing sense of community and new work opportunities. Conversely, it can also be riddled with uncomfortable moments, blurred boundaries, and misunderstandings.

We hear it a lot, “It’s all about who you know!” But how do you know who those people are and how to best approach and interact with them? How do we build genuine connections while maintaining personal boundaries? What can we do if we feel our boundaries are crossed? We raise these questions because putting ourselves out there for our careers can be a vulnerable process, with power dynamics giving weight to every interaction, either consciously or unconsciously.

Our second Lobby Chat will discuss building professional connections while maintaining a sense of safety by identifying personal boundaries and respecting the ones of others. Even though we do not have a rulebook, we hope this will be an opportunity for community learning about professional development tools that will help you feel confident in your networking interactions.

This Lobby Chat is hosted by The AFC, in partnership with WorkInCulture and the Association for Opera in Canada.

Content Warning: Safe Networking for Entertainment Careers may include sensitive subject matter.

Accessibility: ASL interpretation and closed captioning provided.


  • Astrid Baumgardener, JD, PCC (career coach, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer on Careers in Music at the Yale School of Music)
  • Adanya Dunn (mezzo-soprano, Founder of Red Light Arts & Culture)
  • Pratishtha Kohli (concert curator, arts administrator, Co-Artistic Director of The Tawoos Initiative)
  • Hari Krishnan (choreographer, Artistic Director of inDANCE, Chair and Professor of Dance at the Department of Dance at Wesleyan University)
  • Kimberly Rampersad (actor, stage director, choreographer, Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival)


Christine Rossi-Wright (Registered Social Worker, Senior Program Worker at The AFC)