It’s an understatement to say that I learned a great deal from some very engaged individuals representing both the arts and the corporate worlds while writing the recently released BCA Monograph. But one comment in particular, from Bob Speltz, The Standard’s Director of Public Affairs, has really kept my mind turning. “We are facing intergenerational changes in business leadership,” he said. “The elder statesman CEO is gone, and the men and women leading companies today are seeing fundamental change. Doing it “the old way” is not an option, and it will require a very different set of skills for arts administrators to appeal to new leadership and the people who work around them.” Bob was a fantastic interview, but I found this to be an especially insightful observation. For me, it was particularly refreshing to hear given the NEW ways we’ve begun experimenting with professional and leadership development initiatives for Charlotte-area arts leaders, many of whom have direct responsibility for securing private sector support.
Certainly Arts &Science Council is not alone as an arts council in providing critical capacity building and technical assistance programs for the artists and organizations we support, and like many others, we started down this new-ish path (for us) with a more traditional approach. Over the past 5 years or so, we’ve offered a series of high quality full and half-day workshops featuring hot topics of the day delivered by experts in the field, and we’ve had success with that approach – great attendance, positive feedback, and appreciative constituents. In the past year though – largely in response to significant psychological changes faced by those of us still working in a sector that’s taken quite a beating – we’ve shifted the focus somewhat. We’re still offering workshops, but intuitively it began to feel like those of us working in the cultural sector were really craving opportunities for deeper, more personal professional and leadership development. So, we’ve gone in a few new directions…! Read the rest of this entry »