Having been engaged with the Emerging Leaders Network for several years now, I remain thoroughly impressed with those whom this network connects me to. These individuals represent a group of next generation leaders filled with great capacity, innovative approaches, and a strong vision for how to strengthen their organizations, the arts field, and their communities.
Over the course of the Emerging Leaders Blog Salon these past five days, we had the privilege to meet 22 more of these arts leaders, each filled with insightful and passionate approaches to what they feel would make where they live a better place or bring it to the next level.
In a time where we are both witnesses and participants to massive change on local and global scales—both in the arts & culture field and in the general landscape of our communities—we as arts administrators need to be ready to tackle the challenge of using art as a catalyst for the betterment of the places and the people we belong to.
And after reading through these posts this week, I’d say we’re up for the challenge.
We’ve heard a wide range of ideas, including incentivizing an arts district and cultural planning; the challenge of making an arts and culture identity known when it sits in the shadow of a major city or a large tourism industry; and ideas on how we can create social bridges, claim public space, and enable the ability of a community to tell their own story.
Throughout all of these posts, the one over-arching theme that emerged time and again was the need for collaboration. As Chase Maggiano mentioned in his post, collaboration is a hot topic in the arts right now, whether you’re talking about programming, funding, or the general scope of cross-sector relationships.
If we are willing to take that step towards action, listen to community needs, and then find the best channels to create partnerships that allow arts and culture to be at the center of our community conversations, we will enable our field to be the creative change-makers needed in so many places at this time.
I want to thank our 22 bloggers this week for taking the time to look into their communities, both inside and outside of the arts, and address such insightful approaches to how to make where they live a better place.
I’d also like to extend a thank you to our Emerging Leaders Council for creating a great question to guide our blog salon and for leading the process to locate individuals from across the country to share their ideas.
Based on your comments as readers that have come in over the course of the salon, I think we all resonate with the issues and potential solutions these emerging leaders are identifying in their communities.
I look forward to being a part of this new generation of arts leaders and sharing the work of bringing the places we live to the next level.
If you’d like to continue discussing many of the topics presented during the blog salon, please consider joining us in Pittsburgh this June for the Emerging Leaders Preconference just prior to the Americans for the Arts 2013 Annual Convention. Generously supported by the Carnegie Mellon University Master of Arts Management Program and featuring a keynote from Richard Evans of EmcArts, the Emerging Leaders Preconference will help participants to understand the changes happening in our field – from the way audiences are interacting with arts and culture, to how we as arts administrators can manage organizations to respond to the fluctuating needs of our communities. Register today!