Creative professionals and national organizations that represent them

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Creative professionals are often hard pressed to find work doing projects, temporary assignments and permanent jobs that pay the bills. They are also hard pressed to find help with training, networking and other important tasks that will help them attain their professional goals. Therefore, it pays to be involved with an organization that has a wide spectrum of resources available to their members. Membership often requires membership dues and does not guarantee success, but they can help you get your foot in the door. Here we provide national professional organizations by professional category.
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Design

Within this broad category exists, like the other categories here, another subset of categories and each have their own associations, societies, guilds, groups and the like.
• AIGA is one of the largest and most prominent organizations for creative professionals in the area of design. They were founded in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts and they have 67 chapters throughout the country, with more than 23,000 members. They are now only known as "the professional association for design," and their stated mission is to be committed to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.
• If you're Canadian, check out the The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada.
• If you work in education, you might want to take a look at University & College Designers Association.
• People who work on news or publications should get to know The Society of Publication Designers and the Society for News Design.
• Graphic designers, in particular, often join the Association of Registered Graphic Designers or the Graphic Artists Guild.
• There are some very specific organizations for things like Photoshop, typography and color as well.

Film/Video

The film and television industry has longstanding organizations for creative professionals in this category.
• Consider the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences if you are someone aspiring to work in the motion picture industry or the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for TV professionals.
• If both of those are your forte and you are the indie type, the consider the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
• Other independent enthusiasts often join Film Independent.
• Web video enthusiasts might find the right home with International Academy of Web Television.

Audio/Music

The recording industry is represented by a myriad of different organizations. Here are a few to remember.
• The National Association for Recording Industry Professionals is one of the leading industry organizations for creative professionals working with audio and music.
• The Association of Music Producers is another example of an organization with roots in music, specifically.
• The leading professional association for audio engineers is the Audio Engineering Society.
• Again, there are several major organizations focused on very specific niches within these industries at large. The Berklee College of Music provides a comprehensive list of music organizations.

Journalism

Journalism is another industry with a long history of various organizations behind its development for creative professionals.
• The most well-known of these organizations, one that has several chapters throughout the nation (student chapters in addition), is the Society of Professional Journalists.
• The Online News Association is an organization meant to nurture the growing online news industry.
• Another example is the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. JournalismJobs has a more exhastive list.

Web/Mobile

Web and mobile developers are likely to find many resources in the public domain or in forums, but professional groups exist outside of this.
• A group called Web Professional is a great example of how an organization for creative professionals can yield powerful results for their members or community, with its professional directory that helps connect web and mobile professionals to clients.
• The Web Association is also an organization in Ohio that spun off the Cleveland Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals (AIP). Several groups exist for the technology in general.
Animation/Multimedia
Animation and multimedia is a rather new profession in the creative sector, but there are groups out there.
• The International Animated Film Society has more than 1,700 members and sponsors the Annie Awards.
• Animation is a very precise niche and assistantdirectors.com has a more detailed list of organizations in this field of creative professionals. 

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