November 29, 2020—I recently was invited to moderate a discussion with thought leaders representing the nonprofit arts sector and the Broadway industry about the future of the arts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Convened by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the theme of the Virtual Action Summit was “Arts, Culture and Beyond: What’s Next?”. It was interesting to hear the participants share their plans for re-emergence; the recognition that issues of systemic racism must be addressed, along with a positive hope for new work and a new way of working.
As part of my ongoing effort to share what my colleagues are doing to help carve out the way forward in this still unchartered landscape, I thought this dialogue would be of value to the readers of Arts & Culture Connections. It’s important that we all remember, as I have previously mentioned, the most effective strategy is not to look behind us and try to recreate “what we used to do,” but rather to boldly look towards the future. You will find a recording of the summit at this link.
I am both excited and hopeful that in this new era many arts leaders are recognizing that their efforts must be innovative, and their emphases must include creating anti-racist spaces that champion humanism, respect, equity and inclusion. It is my belief that this new landscape demands both courage and audacity if the arts are to become equitably accessible to all.
I want to know what you are thinking. What next steps are you or your arts organization taking as you plan for the future of your organization or your work? Please share your comments and thoughts below. As we approach the year-end holiday season, please take a moment to renew, refresh and take a deep breath. Let’s channel that vitality into making 2021 a dynamic year filled with limitless possibilities.