Young Professionals in the Arts (YPA) is a New York-based networking organization founded to foster connections and creativity within the art professional community. It is inspired by and associated with YPA London.

The group is aimed at those who work in the arts and cultural field such as galleries, museums, theaters, auction houses, cultural centers or any other professional capacities within the arts (although not artists or students). YPA unites the powerful minds that keep the arts moving forward by offering monthly events that expand experiences and ignite meaningful conversations centered on working in the arts. We believe there is strength in collaboration, communication, and shared experiences and aim to form a more positive, more inclusive New York arts community.

By sharing common issues and challenges we face as arts professionals, we hope to jointly make the arts industry stronger, supportive and more accessible to new audiences. Faced with struggles such as financial difficulties, capacity limitations and the aftermath of an economic crisis, we know that the support of a community can make all the difference.

It is free to join and while the group is called Young Professionals in the Arts there is no age limit.



In 2015 Jacque Donaldson and Mara Vlatković co-founded the New York chapter of Young Professionals in the Arts out of a belief for the need to support each other as arts professionals, share their passions as well as their experiences in the industry and create a community of like-minded individuals in the art world.

Jacque Donaldson (left) is a photographer, writer, curator, and arts program manager currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art as well as a BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from Arizona State University. She has curated shows at the artist-run space in Bushwick, Gallery Petite and has co-curated exhibitions during her previous role in the Award & Grants Department at New York Foundation for the Arts. She currently is the Manager of Public Programs at the International Center of Photography. 

What gets her out of bed in the morning: Her very fat cat, George who usually is pestering her for breakfast. 

Artwork she turns to for inspiration: Robert Frank’s 1950’s photo essay book, The Americans. It’s timeless, haunting, captivating, and conveys the unspeakable universal humanity that ties not just us, but our country together. I don’t think it will ever lose relevancy or impact for me. 

Mara Vlatković (right) is a communications professional and arts manager based in New York City. She has a MA in Culture, Policy and Management from City University London and a BSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics. With experience in cultural diplomacy and international development in Washington DC, she has turned her focus on start-ups and organizations that support artists and creatives in fulfilling their full potential. Mara was previously at the New York Foundation for the Arts and currently works as a Campaign Specialist at The Juilliard School and manages her father’s classical music career.

What gets her out of bed in the morning: A run in Central Park, the promise of coffee and the knowledge that I’m working with some of the most incredible people to spark change and empower artists.

Artwork she turns to for inspiration: When I feel like needing to realize what it all comes down to in this adventure called life, it’s reading and re-reading Samuel Beckett or Anton Checkov plays. Or watching Singin’ in the Rain to remind myself that life is a song and a dance.

Emerging Arts Career Mentorship Program

Help support the future of YPA NYC - by donating to support the YPA Arts Career Mentorship Program, a developing program fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.. This year long program will pair emerging art professionals with leader mentors in the field. Make a donation to support this essential program today.