Viola Davis “Drops the Mic” on Hollywood’s Portrayal of Black Women

Award-winning Actress and Producer Viola Davis recently made headlines while accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast. Ms. Davis used the platform to speak her mind about the importance of truthful and authentic narratives, and she brought her “A-Game.” Her December 5, 2018, speech was so powerful that it made international headlines. and the video of … Continue reading Viola Davis “Drops the Mic” on Hollywood’s Portrayal of Black Women

Black Curators Taking the Helm in the United States and Europe

Last year, I posted a report on my Arts and Culture Connection blog about the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI), a program established as the result of a joint venture between the Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, to diversify curatorial and management staff at art museums across the United States. Twenty institutions are participating in the program—18 at urban-area museums across the … Continue reading Black Curators Taking the Helm in the United States and Europe

Government Shutdown Imperils the Arts!

This past Friday (January 11, 2019), the Performing Arts Alliance sent out an urgent letter via email to its membership informing them of the dire impact the government shutdown is having on the national arts community. The Alliance is the national policy advocate, leadership forum, and learning network for America’s nonprofit performing arts organizations, artists, and its allies. The email was shared with me and … Continue reading Government Shutdown Imperils the Arts!

An Interview with Kersten Stevens: How Social Media can be used to Engage Diverse Audiences

Kersten Stevens is an accomplished jazz and gospel violinist, as well as a creative and talented social media executive. Not only did she bring down the house as a six-time winner of The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night and win a People’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Gospel Album, Kersten is CEO and Chief Thinker at her own firm—Think Suite Media, LLC. In the nearly eight … Continue reading An Interview with Kersten Stevens: How Social Media can be used to Engage Diverse Audiences

What Changes Will You Make to Achieve Your 2019 Goals?

As we approach the beginning of another extraordinary year, I have been thinking about how old habits and fear of change keep us stuck and prevent us from achieving our goals. This also applies to creating equitable access to the arts. Just like making changes in our own lives, there is no such thing as a short-term fix. Even incremental change begins with a long-term … Continue reading What Changes Will You Make to Achieve Your 2019 Goals?

Grants Bolster the Sustainability of Five Black Dance Companies

I am always thrilled to share information about significant funding allocated to the arts, especially resources for building infrastructure and advancing the mission of arts organizations or cultural institutions. That’s why I’m delighted to share the news with my Arts and Culture Connection readers that the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and with support from … Continue reading Grants Bolster the Sustainability of Five Black Dance Companies

An Interview with Skawennati: A New Frontier to Create Access to Arts and Culture

I recently had the honor of interviewing Skawennati for Arts and Culture Connections.We met at the biennial Conference for International Exchange for the Performing Arts (CINARS), which was held last month in Montreal. We were both on a panel that explored how cultural spaces can become real citizen spaces. Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her groundbreaking new media projects are … Continue reading An Interview with Skawennati: A New Frontier to Create Access to Arts and Culture

What Will It Take to Foster Change?

The fervor of the U.S. midterm election has finally died down. However, the one thing that has not changed as the result of the millions of ballots cast is our nation’s deep class, racial, social and cultural divisions. As a matter of fact, according to a report compiled by the FBI, hate crime in America has had its biggest spike since September 11, 2001. As … Continue reading What Will It Take to Foster Change?

Highlights from the Staten Island Arts’ Expanding Audiences Initiative

I am pleased to provide an update on Staten Island Arts’ Expanding Audiences and Cultural Participation Initiative, which I first blogged about in June 2017. The two-year initiative, which was the dream of SIA’s Executive Director Elizabeth Bennett, is working with 10 local arts organizations. The goal of the initiative is to develop new strategies for audience development that incorporate the needs and interests of Staten … Continue reading Highlights from the Staten Island Arts’ Expanding Audiences Initiative