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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

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

HARLEM WEEK Reimagined for 2021

August 8, 2021—It’s my favorite time of the summer—HARLEM WEEK 2021! This year’s festival is a “reimagined” event featuring 10 days of live and virtual celebrations of the history, people, arts, culture, and entertainment that reaffirm Harlem as a global destination. As the readers of Arts & Culture Connections know, HARLEM WEEK began as a one-day event of encouragement and fellowship for the African-American residents … Continue reading HARLEM WEEK Reimagined for 2021

How The Cultural Industry Can Respond To Racial Injustice

August 1, 2021 — I recently had the opportunity to moderate a webinar with a panel of esteemed colleagues working in the field of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) to address “What an Anti-Racist Arts Organization Looks Like and How The Cultural Industry Can Respond To Racial Injustice.” Sponsored by Arts Reach, an association of arts management, marketing and development professionals, the panelists discussed trends, challenges … Continue reading How The Cultural Industry Can Respond To Racial Injustice

Chicago’s Black Dance Legacy Project Spotlights Najwa Dance Corps

July 25, 2021—I recently had the delightful opportunity of moderating a discussion with the creative leaders of the Najwa Dance Corps (NDC) for the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project’s Legacy Conversation Series. You can view my discussion with Najwa I, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, and Sheila Walker-Wilkins, Executive Director, at this link. NDC is comprised of professional dancers and musicians devoted to the performance, … Continue reading Chicago’s Black Dance Legacy Project Spotlights Najwa Dance Corps

Utilizing the Arts to Support Racial Justice

July 18, 2021—In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in 2020, a coalition of artists, curators, culture producers, and organizers has been forged, committed to using the arts to support racial justice movements. The coalition is called The Blacksmiths. I recently had the honor of speaking with one of the founders—Michelle Taylor of the multi-faceted, artist management company Passion Music Group—who shared some … Continue reading Utilizing the Arts to Support Racial Justice