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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

Reflections on Teaching for 28 Years at NYU

Photo credit: Nichole Washington August 14, 2022–I got the idea to pitch a course to teach at New York University while working at the Public Theater. NYU was just a block away and it just made sense to offer real-life marketing strategies to college students studying to become arts administrators. I was delighted when the university agreed with my idea. Since 1994, I have taught … Continue reading Reflections on Teaching for 28 Years at NYU

Ujima Theatre Perseveres through Move, Pandemic, Death of Founder

August 8, 2022—Over the past few years, I have provided succession planning workshops for arts organizations across the country. Recently, I ran across the example of the Ujima Theatre, which is in Buffalo, New York, and has had several years of major upheavals. I think its story offers invaluable lessons for the readers of Arts & Culture Connections. Ujima Company founder Lorna C. Hill was … Continue reading Ujima Theatre Perseveres through Move, Pandemic, Death of Founder

In Memoriam of the “Godmother of African-American Visual Art”

Image credit: Legacy.com July 31, 2022—Dr. Samella Lewis was a visionary artist, curator, scholar, and historian, who not only imagined opportunities for African-American artists that did not exist, but also dedicated her life to creating them. She recently died in California at the age of 99.  This week, I am inviting the readers of Arts & Culture Connections to join me in celebrating her legacy, … Continue reading In Memoriam of the “Godmother of African-American Visual Art”

The Summer of Blacks in Ballet

July 24, 2022—Two years ago, Chrystyn Mariah Fentroy, principal dancer for the Boston Ballet, wrote an essay in Pointe Magazine following the murder of George Floyd. This excerpt caught my attention: “All of this amounts to the realization that no matter what work you put in, your dancing will always be overshadowed by your skin color… Yet our resilience is clear. We continue to show … Continue reading The Summer of Blacks in Ballet

Mark Your Calendar: HARLEM WEEK 2022

July 17, 2022—Regular readers of Arts & Culture Connection know my favorite time of the summer is HARLEM WEEK, and this year’s activities kick-off in about three weeks. I urge you to make some time, between August 12-21, 2022, to attend the virtual and/or in-person events. Sponsored by the The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, HARLEM WEEK began 48 years ago as a one-day event … Continue reading Mark Your Calendar: HARLEM WEEK 2022

Black Theatre Network Holds Detroit Conference

July 10, 2022—Black Theater Matters. African-Americans have a rich and storied theatrical history, which has roots in traditions brought to this country by slaves. Despite the pandemic, the anchor urban theaters located in communities hardest hit by COVID-19—New York, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles—have survived and are both vibrant and strong. That’s why I am excited to share news with the readers of Arts & … Continue reading Black Theatre Network Holds Detroit Conference

Spotlighting Arts Programs for Our Military Communities

July 3, 2022—Ten years ago, Americans for the Arts advocated for strengthening our nation’s health through the arts. The organization wrote the following in a 2012 Legislative Issue Brief: Arts in health, healing, and wellness is a growing policy imperative and national need that is driven by several factors. In the United States, there is an aging population requiring significant long-term healthcare solutions coupled with … Continue reading Spotlighting Arts Programs for Our Military Communities

Exploring the Social Impact of Our Work

Photo credit: Used with permission and Kennedy Center   June 26, 2022—This week I am sharing another Arts Engines videocast—this time with Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Bamuthi is not only the Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact Initiatives at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, he also is a multi-hyphenated artist and a 2017 TED Global Fellow. Bamuthi is one of the … Continue reading Exploring the Social Impact of Our Work

Ford Foundation Reimagines Recovery

June 19, 2022—Last month, the Ford Foundation released a thought-provoking and insightful “playbook” of the Post-COVID-19 landscape. It is a landscape, the playbook says, that “challenges us to realize a bold, hopeful reimagination of our social, economic, political, and governance systems, with equity and interdependence at their core.” I urge the readers Arts & Culture Connections to check out the playbook, which is available for … Continue reading Ford Foundation Reimagines Recovery

Showcasing the Arts at Juneteenth Celebrations

June 12, 2022—It’s time again to celebrate our nation’s true Independence Day—Juneteenth. June 19, 1865, was the date the enslaved people, who resided in Galveston, Texas, were the last to be officially freed more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. While we all know the fight for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Access continues today, I believe it is important that we … Continue reading Showcasing the Arts at Juneteenth Celebrations