First-ever Education and Community Engagement Conference Marks New Era in the Performing Arts

Dear Colleagues, I am pleased to report that last week the Performing Arts Centers Consortium held its first-ever Education and Community Engagement Conference at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The conference was three days of meetings, dialogues, panel discussions and enriching one-on-one conversations to share and learn from each other about our nationwide efforts, including Canada, to engage various communities with the performing … Continue reading First-ever Education and Community Engagement Conference Marks New Era in the Performing Arts

Using history as a catalyst for community engagement

I was reminded of the power of history during my recent visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. My soul sisters and I decided to celebrate our June birthdays at this esteemed national monument and treasure trove of the African American experience. Upon arrival, we immediately went to the top floor to peruse the arts, culture and … Continue reading Using history as a catalyst for community engagement

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

WAKANDA: A CASE STUDY FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  Black Panther, the record-breaking Marvel comic-themed movie has changed the way People of Color go to the movies. It’s that simple. The pride, the respect, and the dignity projected in every frame of this film and promoted by the film-making team has made it a game-changer. I’m not just talking about the economic perspective—although Black Panther’s global receipts have exceeded a mind-bending $500 million … Continue reading WAKANDA: A CASE STUDY FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Harlem Week 2018: Showcasing all the Roots that Make a Community Strong

The excitement is building as we approach the annual HARLEM WEEK 2018, which will be held July 29-August 25, 2018. What originally began 44 years ago as a one-week tribute to one of the most culturally-rich neighborhoods in the world has now become a month-long celebration that prides itself on being the connecting thread between individuals, the community, businesses and the arts. The event draws … Continue reading Harlem Week 2018: Showcasing all the Roots that Make a Community Strong

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

Harlem/Havana Festival: Benefiting the Community through Business, Art and Partnerships

In May, I wrote about my historic trip to Havana as part of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce’s People-to-People Tour of Cuba. In August, GHCC hosted the 2017 Harlem/Havana Music and Cultural Festival as part of the 43rd annual HARLEM WEEK. The event featured international visual and performing artists, as well as fashion, education and culinary exchanges. Cesar Lopez and Habana Ensemble kicked off the jam-packed week with … Continue reading Harlem/Havana Festival: Benefiting the Community through Business, Art and Partnerships

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

Lessons for Cultural and Arts Organizations: Do You Really Know Your Donors?

I am given the opportunity to review graduate student theses and dissertations. Usually, they are about audience development or diversity, equity and inclusion. However, I recently read a thesis about philanthropy in the African-American community. It was researched and written by Christina E. Dennis, and I thought the existence of her work was important to share with the readers of Arts & Culture Connections. A … Continue reading Lessons for Cultural and Arts Organizations: Do You Really Know Your Donors?

The Groundbreaking Efforts Required to Extend An Invitation to the Party

I recently was talking with a dear friend and colleague, Voza Rivers, who reminded me of the groundbreaking community engagement work we did together in 2005 for the theatrical production “Tierno Bokar.” The play, which is a true story about the Sufi mystic and the power of tolerance, was written by the multiple Tony- and Emmy-award winning director Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, and based … Continue reading The Groundbreaking Efforts Required to Extend An Invitation to the Party