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
Sphinx LEAD: Inaugural Program Launched to Train Arts Leaders and Administrators I first introduced the Sphinx Organization to the readers of Arts and Culture Connections last year with a blog about its founder Aaron Dworkin. The organization has helped foster and cultivate thousands of classically-trained musicians of color, who have gone on to win national competitions and perform in many of the country’s greatest orchestras. … Continue reading Sphinx LEAD: Inaugural Program Launched to Train Arts Leaders and Administrators
I had the wonderful opportunity last weekend to visit the amazing Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) during the annual retreat of the HARLEM WEEK Board of Directors. Located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the AARLCC is a vast repository of African-American, African and Caribbean history and culture—the third of its kind in the United States—joining the Schomburg Center for Research and Black … Continue reading Broward County’s Jewel: The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center:
Award-winning Actress and Producer Viola Davis recently made headlines while accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast. Ms. Davis used the platform to speak her mind about the importance of truthful and authentic narratives, and she brought her “A-Game.” Her December 5, 2018, speech was so powerful that it made international headlines. and the video of … Continue reading Viola Davis “Drops the Mic” on Hollywood’s Portrayal of Black Women
Last year, I posted a report on my Arts and Culture Connection blog about the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI), a program established as the result of a joint venture between the Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, to diversify curatorial and management staff at art museums across the United States. Twenty institutions are participating in the program—18 at urban-area museums across the … Continue reading Black Curators Taking the Helm in the United States and Europe
This past Friday (January 11, 2019), the Performing Arts Alliance sent out an urgent letter via email to its membership informing them of the dire impact the government shutdown is having on the national arts community. The Alliance is the national policy advocate, leadership forum, and learning network for America’s nonprofit performing arts organizations, artists, and its allies. The email was shared with me and … Continue reading Government Shutdown Imperils the Arts!
Kersten Stevens is an accomplished jazz and gospel violinist, as well as a creative and talented social media executive. Not only did she bring down the house as a six-time winner of The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night and win a People’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Gospel Album, Kersten is CEO and Chief Thinker at her own firm—Think Suite Media, LLC. In the nearly eight … Continue reading An Interview with Kersten Stevens: How Social Media can be used to Engage Diverse Audiences
As we approach the beginning of another extraordinary year, I have been thinking about how old habits and fear of change keep us stuck and prevent us from achieving our goals. This also applies to creating equitable access to the arts. Just like making changes in our own lives, there is no such thing as a short-term fix. Even incremental change begins with a long-term … Continue reading What Changes Will You Make to Achieve Your 2019 Goals?
Arts and Culture Connections wishes you a very happy holiday season. Thank you for your support and interest in advancing access to the arts. A wonderful gift to give is to share an arts experience in your community and contribute to an arts organization. With much appreciation, Donna Continue reading Happy Holidays!
I am always thrilled to share information about significant funding allocated to the arts, especially resources for building infrastructure and advancing the mission of arts organizations or cultural institutions. That’s why I’m delighted to share the news with my Arts and Culture Connection readers that the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and with support from … Continue reading Grants Bolster the Sustainability of Five Black Dance Companies
I recently had the honor of interviewing Skawennati for Arts and Culture Connections.We met at the biennial Conference for International Exchange for the Performing Arts (CINARS), which was held last month in Montreal. We were both on a panel that explored how cultural spaces can become real citizen spaces. Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her groundbreaking new media projects are … Continue reading An Interview with Skawennati: A New Frontier to Create Access to Arts and Culture