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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

Generation Z Offers Challenges to Arts and Cultural Organizations

I recently ran across articles in the online editions of Pacific Standard Magazine and the New York Times about “Generation Z” or “Gen Z,” the post-Millennial generation of youth born after 1995. Both articles offer an urgent message for the leaders of conventional arts organizations and cultural institutions: “business as usual is no longer an option.” The New York Times article describes these 68 million … Continue reading Generation Z Offers Challenges to Arts and Cultural Organizations

Exploring “White Fragility” and Why Diversity in the Arts is Essential

Last week, the podcast, “CI to Eye” focused on the issue of race and its impact on arts and culture with a candid and provocative interview featuring sociologist and author Robin Diangelo, Ph.D. Erik Gensler, president of the digital arts marketing consulting firm Capacity Interactive, discussed white fragility with Dr. Diangelo and why diversity is essential among those who control the arts and entertainment we … Continue reading Exploring “White Fragility” and Why Diversity in the Arts is Essential

Doing the Tough Work of Succession Planning

Many arts and culture leaders work very hard and are focused on day-to-day operations. But what happens if a key leader chooses to leave the organization? How can you ensure that the organization will continue to fulfill its mission and thrive? How do you assure funders or your board members that your organization is sustainable? I recently had the privilege and pleasure of facilitating a … Continue reading Doing the Tough Work of Succession Planning

Recognizing Inequities in the Arts and Working to Mitigate Them

This week, Arts & Culture Connections is reposting with permission a blog written by Gary Steuer, President and CEO of the Bonfil-Stanton Foundation. Mr. Steuer’s post advocates for proactive and continuous efforts to mitigate inequities in the arts. It provides a lot of food for thought—from promoting the term ALAANA as a replacement for the phrase “people of color,” and the need for all stakeholders … Continue reading Recognizing Inequities in the Arts and Working to Mitigate Them

Access to the Arts is a Global Conversation

I just returned from Zagreb, Croatia, where I conducted a series of audience development workshops at the invitation of Kultura Nova. This organization provides professional training and financial support to arts and culture organizations so that they can better connect with civil society. My experience was another reminder that access to the arts is a global conversation. The make-up of the audiences may vary, depending … Continue reading Access to the Arts is a Global Conversation

An Interview with George Faison: Collaboration is the Key to the Future

I recently had the opportunity to interview the internationally renowned choreographer and dance legend George Faison, Ph.D. Dr. Faison began his career as a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He launched his Broadway career in 1970, with the musical Purlie, and later became the first African-American to receive a Tony Award (1975) for best choreography for his work on the play … Continue reading An Interview with George Faison: Collaboration is the Key to the Future

An Interview with Dr. Ed Holmes: Providing Arts Opportunities for All People

This week’s Champion of the Arts is Edward S. Holmes, Ph.D., who recently was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin. A native of Washington, D.C., Dr. Holmes moved to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin, where he completed his undergraduate degrees in English and Political Science; a Masters … Continue reading An Interview with Dr. Ed Holmes: Providing Arts Opportunities for All People

An Interview with Reginald Van Lee: Expanding the Traditional Model of Philanthropy

On the home page of the website of Reggie Van Lee is his favorite quote: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you understand why.” A renowned philanthropist and a tireless arts advocate, who also donates his time and expertise to nonprofit organizations, today Reggie is a living example of the “why.” I have known … Continue reading An Interview with Reginald Van Lee: Expanding the Traditional Model of Philanthropy

The Arts, Optimism and Imagining What Can Be

I recently had the opportunity to revel in “The Art of Optimism,” the focus of TIME Magazine’s special double issue, dated February 18-25, 2019. Edited by award-winning, writer/producer/director Ava DuVernay, this issue is an antidote to the derisive and divisive narrative currently dominating our landscape and a call to both envision and promote the arts “as a weapon for dynamic optimism.” The issue profiles 34 … Continue reading The Arts, Optimism and Imagining What Can Be

Helping Youth Impact Broadway

There are two theatrical productions coming to Broadway in 2019 that showcase the global impact of African-American artists and their contributions to America’s cultural heritage. Previews begin on February 28, 2019, for “Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations.” And “Tina—The Tina Turner Musical” is scheduled to open in the fall. If we are truly committed to fostering the next generation of multicultural … Continue reading Helping Youth Impact Broadway