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Welcome to My Blog: Arts and Culture Connections

Dear Colleague, Imagine a world without theater, music, dance, visual arts, books or the support of our essential cultural institutions. Unfortunately, the current political climate has awakened us all to the possibility that we may be standing at the threshold of what could become be a dark, abysmal and soulless landscape. Against that backdrop, today, I am launching my new blog to champion the arts, … Continue reading Welcome to My Blog: Arts and Culture Connections

The Opportunity to Share the Evolution of My Work

December 2, 2022—I recently had the honor and fabulous opportunity to discuss the evolution of my work to expand Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Access in the arts on the podcast, Barsha Barsha Barsha!, with the award-winning composer, pianist and singer Debra Barsha. The conversation ranged from the pioneering community engagement work I did with Dance Theatre of Harlem to the EDI&A trainings I am currently … Continue reading The Opportunity to Share the Evolution of My Work

How Black Inventors Have Made Life Better

November 27, 2022— I believe it’s very important to help youth develop a vision for their lives by exposing them to information about the bold and daring work of others. That’s why I am urging the readers of Arts & Culture Connections to share widely Black Inventors Got Game, a film and lively panel discussion featuring pioneering Black inventors. Sponsored by the New Jersey Performing … Continue reading How Black Inventors Have Made Life Better

Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month

November 20, 2022—November is Native American and Alaska Native Heritage month, and I have asked my long-time friend and colleague, John Haworth, to share his view on the state of arts and culture for Indigenous artists and cultural organizations. John is the Senior Executive Emeritus of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Most recently, he received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award, Guardians of … Continue reading Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Thriving in the Business of Arts

November 13, 2022 — I am honored to be a member of a group of African-American arts leaders and administrators who are organizing virtual discussions to showcase and leverage our collective cultural and philanthropic power to sustain and expand Black cultural life. At the Table, whose launch I wrote about last year, recently held its second virtual roundtable. Our goal is to offer dynamic and … Continue reading Thriving in the Business of Arts

Part 2: OSF’s Nataki Garrett Targeted with Threats

Image credit: Christopher Briscoe   November 6, 2022—Nataki Garrett is a trailblazer. The nationally recognized director and sixth Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is the first woman to artistically lead a $44-million theater company and OSF’s first Black female in this role. Born and raised in Oakland amid a family of educators, artists and community organizers, Ms. Garrett developed a deep appreciation … Continue reading Part 2: OSF’s Nataki Garrett Targeted with Threats

Part 1: Nataki Garrett takes on Oregon’s Culture War

Image credit: Christopher Briscoe   October 30, 2022—In the spring of 2019, the New York Times published a profile of six new Artistic Directors—women and people of color—who had been chosen to lead six of the nation’s top regional theaters, which marked a dramatic shift from a position that previously has been held almost exclusively by white men. The article made special note of the … Continue reading Part 1: Nataki Garrett takes on Oregon’s Culture War

Utilizing the Arts for the Day of Racial Healing

October 23, 2022—The 7th Annual National Day of Racial Healing will be observed on January 17, 2023, and I urge you to begin now to make plans for arts- and culture-related community events. The National Day of Racial Healing began January 17, 2017 and it has been observed since that time on the Tuesday following the national holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday. Hosted … Continue reading Utilizing the Arts for the Day of Racial Healing

Why Diverse Boards are Essential for the Arts

October 16, 2022—Since 2020, we have witnessed a much-needed emphasis on the importance of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Access throughout arts and cultural sectors. This week, I want to shift the emphasis from the artists and those in frontline management positions to the power behind the C-Suite—the Board of Directors. In my forthcoming book, Champions for the Arts, I write: “The breadth and scope of … Continue reading Why Diverse Boards are Essential for the Arts

A New Chapter for America’s Arts and Culture Institutions

Image credit: Screenshot October 9, 2022—I am both excited and encouraged by President Joe Biden’s declaration of October 2022 as National Arts and Humanities Month, which includes a new Executive Order re-establishing the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The Executive Order refers to the arts as “essential to the well-being, health, vitality, and democracy of our Nation. They are the soul … Continue reading A New Chapter for America’s Arts and Culture Institutions

Hispanic Heritage Month Shines Light on Inclusion

October 2, 2022—With the recent opening of the Molina Family Latino Gallery as a forerunner to the building of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino, there is now an overdue spotlight on the foundational contributions made by the Hispanic/Latinx community to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the nation. The Museum’s inaugural exhibition—¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States—along with in-person … Continue reading Hispanic Heritage Month Shines Light on Inclusion