Actors like to make plays. I feel most comfortable and alive in rehearsal. All artists presumably feel this way, within their own genre.
You see it in books—the artist as a mysterious neighbor locked away in his workshop for hours or living in an artist colony and never associating with the “outside world.” Perhaps this mystery served us well for a time. But that day has passed.
In my first post, I proposed that if what I see in my peers is any indication, the next generation of arts leaders will be incredibly unique and will have a few common characteristics—who we are, how we work, and why we will do it.
How will we work? Not as mysterious neighbors locked in studios and rehearsal rooms. When not busy with DIY projects, these arts entrepreneurs are engaged, active citizens.
The Nashville songwriter is the best example. Let’s call him Bill.
Bill works in his community garden, teaches a class at his church, watches the Titans down at the local bar with the guys, and hangs out at Dragon Park with his kids. And everywhere he goes Bill shares proudly about songwriting—his publisher, his process, new songs, and upcoming gigs.
As a result, the Nashville songwriter is not a mystical unicorn-like being. He’s just neighbor Bill. And suddenly, he is a hard-working, well-loved part of the workforce, just like everyone else on the block.
Bill may not even know it, but advocacy for the arts sector has become his way of life. Sure, this is a great marketing tactic and many successful arts leaders know the rule of community involvement—becoming a member of Rotary as an obvious first step.
The future arts leader takes this one step further.
We are working and living alongside our neighbors. As a result, the conversation is changing and the creative workforce is becoming a known and celebrated part of Nashville’s identity.