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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

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

Little Rock: Bridging the Past to the Present

In last week’s blog, I wrote about a conversation I moderated at the 92nd Street Y, between the legendary Arthur Mitchell, Dance Theater of Harlem co-founder and the first African-American principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. During that dialogue, Darren made a point about the importance of documenting and preserving the legacy and narratives of … Continue reading Little Rock: Bridging the Past to the Present

Supporting a Legacy of Diversity and Excellence: A conversation with Arthur Mitchell and Darren Walker

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of moderating a conversation sponsored by 92nd Street Y in New York between two giants of the arts and of philanthropy: Arthur Mitchell, Dance Theater of Harlem co-founder and the first African-American principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. The purpose of the discussion was to reflect on … Continue reading Supporting a Legacy of Diversity and Excellence: A conversation with Arthur Mitchell and Darren Walker

And now the work begins!

I’m excited to announce that Staten Island Arts has awarded more than $300,000 in grants through it’s Expanding Audiences and Cultural Participation Initiative. The initiative, which I first wrote about in a blog post last year, was launched in June 2017 to develop new strategies for audience development that incorporate the needs and interests of Staten Island’s growing diverse population, including immigrants from Sri Lanka, … Continue reading And now the work begins!

Creating Access to the Arts for Girls

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center hosted its 12th annual Girl Scouts Sleepover April 7-8, 2018, an event geared towards giving girls early access to cultural experiences that will enrich and transform their lives. Over the past six years, I have participated in four of these NJPAC events and they are so much fun! This year, a multicultural group of 131 Girl Scouts of Northern … Continue reading Creating Access to the Arts for Girls

Montclair Art Museum: A Thoughtful Approach to Community Engagement

The Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ, recently organized a community conversation to discuss its upcoming exhibition of the work of artist Kara Walker. Ms. Walker is known for creating complex, multi-layered works that candidly investigate race, gender, sexuality and violence through mural-sized, silhouetted figures. The museum recently acquired Ms. Walker’s 12-foot wall installation, “Virginia Lynch Mob,” and plans to mount an exhibition of several … Continue reading Montclair Art Museum: A Thoughtful Approach to Community Engagement

An interview with Rhenotha Whitaker: Faith-based initiatives deliver spiritual enrichment, engagement and NJPAC ticket sales

  Rhenotha Whitaker is a force of nature. A native of Newark, N.J., who holds degrees in economics and public administration, Rhenotha is an official contributor to the Dr. Oz Show and Dr. Oz’s Go To Girl; a certified fitness instructor, and the creator and lead writer of the lifestyle blog, Full Figured Fabulous and On The Way To Fit. I met Rhenotha in her … Continue reading An interview with Rhenotha Whitaker: Faith-based initiatives deliver spiritual enrichment, engagement and NJPAC ticket sales

Some thoughts on the Dialogue and the Slow Progress of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

  A few weeks ago, I was invited to be on a panel focusing on how to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in the professional Broadway community. Sponsored by the Commercial Theater Institute (CTI), a joint venture of The Broadway League and the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the purpose of the three-day intensive was to provide direction and instruction to people interested in becoming Broadway … Continue reading Some thoughts on the Dialogue and the Slow Progress of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

An Interview with Jim Joseph: Opening the Front of the House and Theater Operations to Diversity & Inclusion

Jim Joseph describes himself as an expert in theater operations and an enabler of artistic ideas. He currently works as the Theatre Manager at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, the Broadway home of Manhattan Theatre Club. A graduate of Marist College, Jim has worked in many different areas of the performing arts and Broadway, including development, education, marketing, box office and most notably Front of … Continue reading An Interview with Jim Joseph: Opening the Front of the House and Theater Operations to Diversity & Inclusion