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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

On the Frontlines of Fighting for Diversity and Inclusion: An Interview with Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Sandra Jackson-Dumont is the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—the largest museum in the western hemisphere.  Jackson-Dumont is responsible for the vision and management of education, public programs, the live arts/performance, audience development and academic programs. Her work encompasses a wide range of experiences designed for a diverse cross-section of audiences.   She was formerly the Deputy Director for Education + … Continue reading On the Frontlines of Fighting for Diversity and Inclusion: An Interview with Sandra Jackson-Dumont

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards: Celebrating 20 Years of the Nation’s Best After-School and In-School Arts Programs

   Across the United States, after-school and in-school arts education programs continue to fulfill a vital need for our nation’s youth—from self-discovery and learning new forms of expression to fostering self-confidence and providing them with a safe haven to grow. The NAHYP Awards are given annually to organizations renowned for their efforts to develop high-quality arts and humanities programs for youth. This year’s finalists have … Continue reading National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards: Celebrating 20 Years of the Nation’s Best After-School and In-School Arts Programs

The Arts are a Bridge to Cultural Understanding in our Neighborhoods

In my previous blogs, I have encouraged readers to collaborate locally; use local media, and use local platforms to share stories about their efforts to collaborate and engage with multicultural audiences. Last week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on BK Live, along with Eric Frazier, musician and founder of the Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival. We discussed our efforts to keep intact indigenous … Continue reading The Arts are a Bridge to Cultural Understanding in our Neighborhoods

Millennials: Use Your Talents to Protect the Arts

This blog is dedicated to the artists and arts administrators of the Millennial Generation. And it is a call to action. You are standing at the juncture of a new era of civilization or a new era of civil dissolution. Now, more than ever, your passion, enthusiasm, and directed efforts are needed to ensure that arts and culture remain an accessible source of renewal and … Continue reading Millennials: Use Your Talents to Protect the Arts

A New Cultural Diversity Network Emerges on Staten Island

This coming week, a new cultural diversity network will be forged on New York’s Staten Island. Spearheaded by Staten Island Arts’ Executive Director Elizabeth Bennett, close to 40 arts representatives will join forces to launch the Expanding Audiences and Cultural Participation Initiative. The goals of this initiative include training to: enable cultural organizations (from emerging to established) to better market their work; build strong relationships … Continue reading A New Cultural Diversity Network Emerges on Staten Island

Envisioning a Creative State

I just returned from my fourth trip to Melbourne, Australia. Why the love affair with Melbourne? The recently released 2016 census figures for Australia demonstrate a growing shift in the population–one in four people living there was born in another country. Immigration impacts every aspect of society, especially the arts, and this data demonstrates why engaging with diverse audience is critical to the future of … Continue reading Envisioning a Creative State

Celebrating the Passions that Dance Can Ignite

When I was 5 years-old, my mother took my twin sister and me to see the Bolshoi Ballet at McCormick Place in Chicago.  I am positive we were the only African Americans in attendance that day, but somehow our mom was forward-thinking and felt her girls needed both the exposure and the experience. Even today, I still recall being pulled in by the dancers; transported … Continue reading Celebrating the Passions that Dance Can Ignite

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