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
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
Sphinx LEAD: Inaugural Program Launched to Train Arts Leaders and Administrators I first introduced the Sphinx Organization to the readers of Arts and Culture Connections last year with a blog about its founder Aaron Dworkin. The organization has helped foster and cultivate thousands of classically-trained musicians of color, who have gone on to win national competitions and perform in many of the country’s greatest orchestras. … Continue reading Sphinx LEAD: Inaugural Program Launched to Train Arts Leaders and Administrators
I had the wonderful opportunity last weekend to visit the amazing Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) during the annual retreat of the HARLEM WEEK Board of Directors. Located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the AARLCC is a vast repository of African-American, African and Caribbean history and culture—the third of its kind in the United States—joining the Schomburg Center for Research and Black … Continue reading Broward County’s Jewel: The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center:
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
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
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!
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
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?
Arts and Culture Connections wishes you a very happy holiday season. Thank you for your support and interest in advancing access to the arts. A wonderful gift to give is to share an arts experience in your community and contribute to an arts organization. With much appreciation, Donna Continue reading Happy Holidays!