My SAVVY 5

I recently had the honor to again participate as a “visionary thought leader” at the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge, which was held the first week in June at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. This pioneering and revolutionary professional development program for performing and visual artists, as well as arts administrators, helps the participants become better entrepreneurs, collaborators and change agents. The program is … Continue reading My SAVVY 5

Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser: Offering Insights on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This past week, I participated as one of the keynote speakers and workshop leaders at the Orchestras Canada’s annual conference “Designing the 21st Century Orchestra,” which was held in Ottawa. Organized by Orchestras Canada’s Executive Director Katherine Carleton, the conference participants representing orchestras seeking ways to grow their audiences; expand their relationships with Indigenous artists and communities; diversify their musical performances, and appeal to young … Continue reading Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser: Offering Insights on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Smithsonian Makes History with Appointment of Lonnie Bunch, III as 14th Secretary

On June 16, 2019, scholar and educator Lonnie Bunch, III, who is the founding director of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC), will make history. That’s when he assumes the helm as the 14th Secretary of the the 19-museums of the Smithsonian Institution; its nine research centers, and the National Zoo. Mr. Bunch’s appointment is historic for many reasons: He is the first African-American secretary; the first historian, … Continue reading Smithsonian Makes History with Appointment of Lonnie Bunch, III as 14th Secretary

Cultivating A Culture of Giving

Billionaire Robert F. Smith’s announcement in May that he would pay off the student loans of the nearly 400 young men graduating from Morehouse College made headlines around the world. But this gift, estimated to be worth $40 million, was not his first. The founder of Vista Equity Partners and the Fund II Foundation, Mr. Smith gave a $20-million donation in 2016 to the Smithsonian’s … Continue reading Cultivating A Culture of Giving

Students Encounter the ‘Weep and Sting” of Racism at Boston Museum

According to the website of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, it offers “innovative programs for students and teachers that encourage exploration of the MFA’s world-renowned collections and groundbreaking exhibitions.” However, a group of African American and Latino honor students from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy had a different experience—they left their museum visit on May 16, 2019, in tears, shock and anger after being … Continue reading Students Encounter the ‘Weep and Sting” of Racism at Boston Museum

Can Arts Organizations Become the “Third Place?”

Nearly 30 years ago, a curious and keenly observant urban sociologist named Ray Oldenburg wrote about the “anchors of community life”—café’s, pubs, bars, libraries, bookstores, main streets, barbershops, beauty salons and the post office— and called them the “third place.” Dr. Oldenburg, author of the book, The Great Good Place, identified these as neutral, public places where people gather, hang out, informally interact, put aside … Continue reading Can Arts Organizations Become the “Third Place?”

An Interview with Dr. Indira Etwaroo: Visionary on a Quest to Expand Brave Spaces that Create Change

Indira Etwaroo, Ph.D, is a producer, educator, scholar, and non-profit arts leader. She has worked with institutions across the country and the world to explore the complex intersections between community, performing and visual arts and the topics-of-our-time. A Fulbright Scholar, Indira has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including being named one of The Network Journal’s “40 under 40” national leaders. Indira joined … Continue reading An Interview with Dr. Indira Etwaroo: Visionary on a Quest to Expand Brave Spaces that Create Change

Cultural Appropriation: Elevating the Hidden or Disregarding the Less Powerful

In this era of social and political fracture, the question of cultural appropriation has popped up on social media, spurred by a recent opinion article in the New York Times. The genesis of the article, titled “Finding the Beauty in Cultural Appropriation,” was a conversation at last fall’s Lagos Fashion Week, an annual event featuring designers from throughout Africa. The writer, Connie Wang, an editor … Continue reading Cultural Appropriation: Elevating the Hidden or Disregarding the Less Powerful

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

Generation Z Offers Challenges to Arts and Cultural Organizations

I recently ran across articles in the online editions of Pacific Standard Magazine and the New York Times about “Generation Z” or “Gen Z,” the post-Millennial generation of youth born after 1995. Both articles offer an urgent message for the leaders of conventional arts organizations and cultural institutions: “business as usual is no longer an option.” The New York Times article describes these 68 million … Continue reading Generation Z Offers Challenges to Arts and Cultural Organizations