Tackling the Complex Issues Faced by Immigrant Artists

Last week, I participated in a very important forum about key issues that should be considered by arts organizations when they prepare for, promote and engage the immigrant community—the artists as well as the potential audience. The forum was part of the annual Association of Performing Arts Professionals/New York City (APAP/NYC) Conference—an annual gathering of more than 3,500 people from 49 of the 50 U.S. … Continue reading Tackling the Complex Issues Faced by Immigrant Artists

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Seeking to Guarantee Music Education for Any Child Who Wants it

Your Arts & Culture Connection for Nov. 23, 2019 The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) recently announced that it is hoping to provide a musical instrument to every single Detroit student—any K-12 student in public, private and charter school—who wants to play one. In addition, the DSO envisions that this program will create jobs for city residents by also providing children with access to music education … Continue reading Detroit Symphony Orchestra Seeking to Guarantee Music Education for Any Child Who Wants it

Champion of the Arts: Sandra Jackson-Dumont to Lead Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

I was thrilled to read in ArtNews and Culture Type that Sandra Jackson-Dumont, the Chairman of Education for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), has been chosen after an international search to be the Director and CEO of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The Lucas Museum is currently under construction in LA. Ms. Jackson-Dumont will begin her new post in January 2020. Readers of … Continue reading Champion of the Arts: Sandra Jackson-Dumont to Lead Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Black Classical Composers Making News; Now Activate the Audiences

I have received numerous inquiries from leaders of the classical music field to support their efforts to cultivate and develop audiences of color. My first response is to encourage them to think about their programming–until they begin to diversify their offerings, everything else is a gesture. That is why I was thrilled to read recent published reports about the breaking down of century-old barriers by … Continue reading Black Classical Composers Making News; Now Activate the Audiences

Museum of Fine Arts-Boston to Hire Director of Inclusion and Launch New Program to Welcome Students

Photo credit – tripadvisor.com A lot has been going on in the Boston arts community in the months since a group of seventh grade students from Dorchester’s Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy experienced the “weep and sting” of racism and harassment from museum patrons and staff during a class trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As I previously shared in an Arts & … Continue reading Museum of Fine Arts-Boston to Hire Director of Inclusion and Launch New Program to Welcome Students

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

Champion of the Arts: Nina Simon Pries Open the Doors

When Nina Simon walked into the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH) as its newly appointed executive director in 2011, the museum had $16-thousand in the bank; $36-thousand dollars in unpaid bills and no philanthropist in the wings ready to write a big check. Although the museum had been in its location for 20 years, she said people remembered the building as a … Continue reading Champion of the Arts: Nina Simon Pries Open the Doors

Why Our Libraries Matter

While in South Carolina recently for the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge, I had the extraordinary opportunity to visit the main branch of Columbia’s Richland Library. With state-of-art facilities, extensive programs and meeting spaces, this is not the same public library system I frequented as a child growing up in Chicago. The Richland Library is redefining community engagement, which is why I’m so excited to share … Continue reading Why Our Libraries Matter

The League of Professional Theatre Women’s Rachel Crothers Leadership Award Luncheon

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) last week held its inaugural Rachel Crothers Leadership Award Luncheon, which was named for the trailblazing woman who helped transform American theater. Ms. Crothers, who was born in 1878 and died in 1958 a few months before turning 80, helped open doors to women in theater. Among her major accomplishments were the professionalization of the roles of the … Continue reading The League of Professional Theatre Women’s Rachel Crothers Leadership Award Luncheon