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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

Can Arts Organizations Become the “Third Place?”

Nearly 30 years ago, a curious and keenly observant urban sociologist named Ray Oldenburg wrote about the “anchors of community life”—café’s, pubs, bars, libraries, bookstores, main streets, barbershops, beauty salons and the post office— and called them the “third place.” Dr. Oldenburg, author of the book, The Great Good Place, identified these as neutral, public places where people gather, hang out, informally interact, put aside … Continue reading Can Arts Organizations Become the “Third Place?”

An Interview with Dr. Indira Etwaroo: Visionary on a Quest to Expand Brave Spaces that Create Change

Indira Etwaroo, Ph.D, is a producer, educator, scholar, and non-profit arts leader. She has worked with institutions across the country and the world to explore the complex intersections between community, performing and visual arts and the topics-of-our-time. A Fulbright Scholar, Indira has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including being named one of The Network Journal’s “40 under 40” national leaders. Indira joined … Continue reading An Interview with Dr. Indira Etwaroo: Visionary on a Quest to Expand Brave Spaces that Create Change

Cultural Appropriation: Elevating the Hidden or Disregarding the Less Powerful

In this era of social and political fracture, the question of cultural appropriation has popped up on social media, spurred by a recent opinion article in the New York Times. The genesis of the article, titled “Finding the Beauty in Cultural Appropriation,” was a conversation at last fall’s Lagos Fashion Week, an annual event featuring designers from throughout Africa. The writer, Connie Wang, an editor … Continue reading Cultural Appropriation: Elevating the Hidden or Disregarding the Less Powerful

First-ever Education and Community Engagement Conference Marks New Era in the Performing Arts

Dear Colleagues, I am pleased to report that last week the Performing Arts Centers Consortium held its first-ever Education and Community Engagement Conference at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The conference was three days of meetings, dialogues, panel discussions and enriching one-on-one conversations to share and learn from each other about our nationwide efforts, including Canada, to engage various communities with the performing … Continue reading First-ever Education and Community Engagement Conference Marks New Era in the Performing Arts

Generation Z Offers Challenges to Arts and Cultural Organizations

I recently ran across articles in the online editions of Pacific Standard Magazine and the New York Times about “Generation Z” or “Gen Z,” the post-Millennial generation of youth born after 1995. Both articles offer an urgent message for the leaders of conventional arts organizations and cultural institutions: “business as usual is no longer an option.” The New York Times article describes these 68 million … Continue reading Generation Z Offers Challenges to Arts and Cultural Organizations

Exploring “White Fragility” and Why Diversity in the Arts is Essential

Last week, the podcast, “CI to Eye” focused on the issue of race and its impact on arts and culture with a candid and provocative interview featuring sociologist and author Robin Diangelo, Ph.D. Erik Gensler, president of the digital arts marketing consulting firm Capacity Interactive, discussed white fragility with Dr. Diangelo and why diversity is essential among those who control the arts and entertainment we … Continue reading Exploring “White Fragility” and Why Diversity in the Arts is Essential

Doing the Tough Work of Succession Planning

Many arts and culture leaders work very hard and are focused on day-to-day operations. But what happens if a key leader chooses to leave the organization? How can you ensure that the organization will continue to fulfill its mission and thrive? How do you assure funders or your board members that your organization is sustainable? I recently had the privilege and pleasure of facilitating a … Continue reading Doing the Tough Work of Succession Planning

Recognizing Inequities in the Arts and Working to Mitigate Them

This week, Arts & Culture Connections is reposting with permission a blog written by Gary Steuer, President and CEO of the Bonfil-Stanton Foundation. Mr. Steuer’s post advocates for proactive and continuous efforts to mitigate inequities in the arts. It provides a lot of food for thought—from promoting the term ALAANA as a replacement for the phrase “people of color,” and the need for all stakeholders … Continue reading Recognizing Inequities in the Arts and Working to Mitigate Them

Access to the Arts is a Global Conversation

I just returned from Zagreb, Croatia, where I conducted a series of audience development workshops at the invitation of Kultura Nova. This organization provides professional training and financial support to arts and culture organizations so that they can better connect with civil society. My experience was another reminder that access to the arts is a global conversation. The make-up of the audiences may vary, depending … Continue reading Access to the Arts is a Global Conversation

An Interview with George Faison: Collaboration is the Key to the Future

I recently had the opportunity to interview the internationally renowned choreographer and dance legend George Faison, Ph.D. Dr. Faison began his career as a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He launched his Broadway career in 1970, with the musical Purlie, and later became the first African-American to receive a Tony Award (1975) for best choreography for his work on the play … Continue reading An Interview with George Faison: Collaboration is the Key to the Future