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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

Creating the Means to Amplify Our Power

October 17, 2021—In August of 2020, Dr. Durell Cooper saw an announcement on LinkedIn about a global arts conference to discuss the state of the world amidst the pandemic. Not a single Black person was included as a speaker. This event was being organized while the world was still reeling from the murder of George Floyd and record numbers of African-Americans (and other people of … Continue reading Creating the Means to Amplify Our Power

Women of Color Nominated to National Endowment Posts

L to R: Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., ASU and Shelly Lowe, NEH October 10, 2021—Just in case you missed the reports, I am passing along some historic news to the readers of Arts & Culture Connections: Two women of color have been nominated to lead America’s 35 year-old cultural agencies –the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). … Continue reading Women of Color Nominated to National Endowment Posts

Racial Healing Circles Help Bridge Differences

Photo credit: Everett Stroye Logo used with permission October 2, 2021—More than 10 years ago, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation joined forces with scores of people from different backgrounds, disciplines, and cultural and healing practices to co-develop a process to address the impact of racial injustice. The process became known as the Racial Healing Circles. I have had the privilege of engaging in this transformative process … Continue reading Racial Healing Circles Help Bridge Differences

Arts Engines Spotlights The Black Theater Coalition

September 26, 2021 — I recently had the opportunity to listen to an interview conducted by Aaron Dworkin with T. Oliver Reid about the Black Theatre Coalition (BTC). The videocast interview is both informative and powerful, and I urge the readers of Arts & Culture Connections to take the time (about 18 minutes) to watch it at this link. The interview was conducted as part … Continue reading Arts Engines Spotlights The Black Theater Coalition

Cultural Nuances are an Invitation to the Party

September 19, 2021—I have attended hundreds of theater productions over the course of my career as an audience development and community engagement specialist. This past week, I had an experience that reaffirmed a core value I’ve been promoting for years, and I want to share this insight with the readers of Arts & Culture Connections. The confirmation occurred during a recent performance of the Public … Continue reading Cultural Nuances are an Invitation to the Party

Go Francesca!

September 12, 2021–Legacy is so important, especially in the arts. That’s why I couldn’t have been happier to read about the appointment of Francesca Harper as the new Artistic Director of Ailey II. Seriously, I believe there is no better person to lead the next chapter of this beautiful company than Francesca, who is both a visionary and great collaborator! Francesca has an extensive and … Continue reading Go Francesca!

The Building Blocks of Welcome

September 5, 2021—More than ever before, arts organizations throughout the country are recognizing that their survival depends upon their responsiveness to this era of demands for social and racial justice and the need for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access (EDI&A). Forward-thinking, “woke” organizations are taking bold action—they are determined that welcoming diverse audiences is a priority for how they intend to do business. What I’ve … Continue reading The Building Blocks of Welcome

Navigating the Dynamics of Criticism and Communication

August 29, 2021—If you’re responsible for marketing arts organization, or if Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is your concern, I believe this podcast curated by Erik Gensler, founder of Capacity Interactive, is important for you to hear. It features two separate discussions: First, with Theresa Ruth Howard, a former ballet dancer and journalist, who is the founder and curator of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. She … Continue reading Navigating the Dynamics of Criticism and Communication

Turning the Spotlight on the Native Arts & Culture Foundation

August 22, 2021—I recently read an insightful blog post written by my long-time friend and colleague John Haworth about the national arts service organization, Native Arts & Culture Foundation (NACF). Established more than a decade ago, NACF supports Indigenous artists, culture bearers, and Native-led arts organizations through fellowships and project funding. And the projects they support run the gamut—from social justice to community engagement. I … Continue reading Turning the Spotlight on the Native Arts & Culture Foundation

CI to Eye with Claire Spencer

August 15, 2021—As our performing arts community prepares for more and more re-openings, I thought it would be important to share the experiences and lessons learned by our colleagues in other places. My friend and colleague, Erik Gensler, founder of Capacity Interactive, recently shared with me a link to an interview he conducted for his podcast, “CI to Eye,” with Claire Spencer, CEO of Arts … Continue reading CI to Eye with Claire Spencer