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

Commencement Speech Lessons that Help Us Connect, Listen and Learn

This is graduation season and I love the commencement speeches that foster a great sense of hope for the future. They also offer lessons for the work that I do with cultural and arts institutions. In this week’s blog, I am sharing excerpts from five speeches that I believe offer important points I can apply to my work in the fields of community engagement, marketing … Continue reading Commencement Speech Lessons that Help Us Connect, Listen and Learn

Creating a Culture of Diversity by becoming “Color Brave”

  One thing I know for sure: America is in the midst of a culture war, and every week there are explosions on the frontlines. One of the most prevalent and recurrent flare-ups revolve around the issues of race. As I’ve watched the events unfold this past week, the question I’ve continued to ask myself is, “What will it take to create a culture of … Continue reading Creating a Culture of Diversity by becoming “Color Brave”

This Time, I’m the Interviewee: Featured on Be In The Talk

The Black Panther film opened a little more than three months ago, but it’s impact on the fields of marketing and audience development will reverberate for years to come. As I wrote in my blog the weekend after the film’s opening, witnessing the “Black Panther Effect” is not only a cultural phenomenon, it’s also caused an awakening of new possibilities for my field! Recently, I … Continue reading This Time, I’m the Interviewee: Featured on Be In The Talk

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