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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

Nui te Kōrero: New Zealand

Due to the wonders of technology, I recently had the opportunity to be one of the keynote speakers at Creative New Zealand’s Nui te Kōrero: Talking About Diversity Conference, held June 7, 2017, in Auckland, New Zealand. When I first received the invitation, I thought I was being offered the opportunity to go to New Zealand, which has been on my bucket list for many years. … Continue reading Nui te Kōrero: New Zealand

SAVVY: Learning the Skills to Change the World

Last week I had the privilege of participating in the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge on the campus of University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Facilitated by multi-talented pianist,composer, author and USC professor David Cutler, the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge is an immersive experiential laboratory designed to help musicians, performing artists, educators, and others generate more income from their work and have greater impact with … Continue reading SAVVY: Learning the Skills to Change the World

Celebrating an Extraordinary Patron of the Arts

Fred Powell, the former chairman of the Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) and owner of Barbara’s Flower Shop, was an extraordinary man whose unending support and devotion to promoting arts and culture I deeply admired. We first met about 30 years ago when Fred provided his amazing floral designs to the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH). During our conversation, I invited him to attend a DTH performance. … Continue reading Celebrating an Extraordinary Patron of the Arts

Mentorship: An Investment in the Future of the Arts

June is the season of graduation; a conclusion of one phase of learning and the beginning of the next. But I believe that artists and arts administrators should continuously take advantage of opportunities to learn. That seeking spirit enables us to refine our craft; expand or cultivate our skills, and lead others to do the same.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy lecturing at … Continue reading Mentorship: An Investment in the Future of the Arts

RESTORATIONART: “A Revolutionary Time” At the Reopening of the Billie Holiday Theatre by Donna Walker-Kuhne

Revitalizing theater, let alone a community-based, cultural institution, is no small accomplishment.  But the Billie Holiday Theatre (BHT) in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, has done just that.  Under the driving-force of the indefatigable Indira Etwaroo, Ph.D., this premiere cultural institution re-opened its doors in Restoration Plaza earlier this month, following a $4.1-million renovation. Dr. Etwaroo and her team at RestorationArt were able … Continue reading RESTORATIONART: “A Revolutionary Time” At the Reopening of the Billie Holiday Theatre by Donna Walker-Kuhne

Fighting on the Frontlines for Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts on behalf of the Native American Community: A Conversation with John Haworth

John Haworth recently retired after many years as the Senior Executive for the National Museum of the American Indian. In addition to managing public programs, exhibitions, and outreach projects, John collaborated with Native communities on a broad range of public programs and special projects to ensure that the museum addressed their diverse needs. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation.  John has been a friend for … Continue reading Fighting on the Frontlines for Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts on behalf of the Native American Community: A Conversation with John Haworth

Black Philanthropy and the Arts by Donna Walker-Kuhne

In the article “Diversity Matters: Theoretical Understanding of and Suggestions for the Current Fundraising Practices of Nonprofit Art Museums.” Dr. Yuha Jung of the University of Kentucky provides a map that has the potential to change how museums do business with communities of color when it comes to fundraising. Based on extensive research, Dr. Jung outlines how current fundraising practices of the majority of U.S. … Continue reading Black Philanthropy and the Arts by Donna Walker-Kuhne

Expanding the Bridge Between Harlem and Havana

At the age of 18, my twin sister, Patricia, and I spent a semester abroad in Europe. The experience was pivotal, revelatory and transformative. By the time we returned home, I believe I had a deeper understanding of who I was as a woman; a Black woman, and an American. Later in life, I realized that understanding different cultures not only stimulates curiosity, imagination and … Continue reading Expanding the Bridge Between Harlem and Havana

Harlem’s Ongoing Arts and Cultural Renaissance – The Model for My Work

For nearly 100 years, the Harlem neighborhood of New York has been renowned for being the birthplace of the cultural, social, literary and artistic movements that documented, heralded and celebrated African-American life. Thanks to The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance continues to thrive through the organization’s involvement with cultural events, including jazz concerts, theatrical and dance performances, film and … Continue reading Harlem’s Ongoing Arts and Cultural Renaissance – The Model for My Work

Give ‘em jazz! By Donna Walker-Kuhne In honor of International Jazz Month

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, which culminates with International Jazz Day on April 30, 2017. Throughout the month, there have been events across the country dedicated to sharing the history, tradition, vibrancy and vitality of jazz. International Jazz Day, first established by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011, brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts on all … Continue reading Give ‘em jazz! By Donna Walker-Kuhne In honor of International Jazz Month