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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

Time for “Artivism:” The call to be “All In” for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Nearly 25 years ago, Linda Steele and I worked together on the national tour of “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.” Since that time, we have remained in touch, which is a reminder that collaborations in the fields of equity, inclusion, diversity and community engagement are the catalyst for lifelong relationships. Today, Linda is the Founder and CEO of ArtUp, a Memphis-based enterprise … Continue reading Time for “Artivism:” The call to be “All In” for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Harlem Week 2018: Showcasing all the Roots that Make a Community Strong

The excitement is building as we approach the annual HARLEM WEEK 2018, which will be held July 29-August 25, 2018. What originally began 44 years ago as a one-week tribute to one of the most culturally-rich neighborhoods in the world has now become a month-long celebration that prides itself on being the connecting thread between individuals, the community, businesses and the arts. The event draws … Continue reading Harlem Week 2018: Showcasing all the Roots that Make a Community Strong

Aging Population Still Values and Appreciates the Arts

People with cognitive impairments, such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, can still experience and enjoy the arts. As a matter of fact, in the book, Creative Arts in Dementia Care, the late dance movement therapist Jill Hayes and voice therapist Sara Povey discuss how “the ‘core self’ in each person can be renewed through the arts, which enables people experiencing cognitive and physical impairments to … Continue reading Aging Population Still Values and Appreciates the Arts

Summer Arts Training Programs: Creating Access for Future Generations

Growing up in Chicago, I had the fortune to be paid to learn to dance as part of my local Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). My twin sister and I took the bus from the south side of Chicago to the west side where the program was held. It was a 90-minute ride and our morning commute often included eating our breakfast on the bus. … Continue reading Summer Arts Training Programs: Creating Access for Future Generations

Using history as a catalyst for community engagement

I was reminded of the power of history during my recent visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. My soul sisters and I decided to celebrate our June birthdays at this esteemed national monument and treasure trove of the African American experience. Upon arrival, we immediately went to the top floor to peruse the arts, culture and … Continue reading Using history as a catalyst for community engagement

Commencement Speech Lessons that Help Us Connect, Listen and Learn

This is graduation season and I love the commencement speeches that foster a great sense of hope for the future. They also offer lessons for the work that I do with cultural and arts institutions. In this week’s blog, I am sharing excerpts from five speeches that I believe offer important points I can apply to my work in the fields of community engagement, marketing … Continue reading Commencement Speech Lessons that Help Us Connect, Listen and Learn

Creating a Culture of Diversity by becoming “Color Brave”

  One thing I know for sure: America is in the midst of a culture war, and every week there are explosions on the frontlines. One of the most prevalent and recurrent flare-ups revolve around the issues of race. As I’ve watched the events unfold this past week, the question I’ve continued to ask myself is, “What will it take to create a culture of … Continue reading Creating a Culture of Diversity by becoming “Color Brave”

This Time, I’m the Interviewee: Featured on Be In The Talk

The Black Panther film opened a little more than three months ago, but it’s impact on the fields of marketing and audience development will reverberate for years to come. As I wrote in my blog the weekend after the film’s opening, witnessing the “Black Panther Effect” is not only a cultural phenomenon, it’s also caused an awakening of new possibilities for my field! Recently, I … Continue reading This Time, I’m the Interviewee: Featured on Be In The Talk

Black Women’s Club Movement: Avid Supporters of the Arts

From the inception of my work to engage diverse audience with the arts, I have had the fortune to have my efforts supported by the Black Women’s Club Movement. These clubs, which were first formed in the 1890s, provide a network for civic, economic, political, educational, social and cultural advancement of African-American women. By extending an invitation to them to support the arts, I’ve been … Continue reading Black Women’s Club Movement: Avid Supporters of the Arts

Cultivating the Influencers

My company was retained last summer by Disney Theatrical Productions (DTP) to help develop a community engagement campaign highlighting the diversity impact of the musical The Lion King and, more recently, Aladdin. The fact that DTP has consistently employed more people of color than any other Broadway show and has done so for 20 years with The Lion King, certainly is significant. It’s also important … Continue reading Cultivating the Influencers