Annemarie Guzy

Annemarie Guzy

I grew up attending family orchestral concerts with my mother, two childhood friends and their parents, and my piano teacher who, contrary to the stereotype, I was very fond of.  We would head over to the symphony hall every few months to experience the orchestra, and I was even encouraged to enjoy the experience more with the promise of a trip to a favorite restaurant afterwards.  Experiencing entertainment aimed at children just my age, with people I loved, the opportunity should have all led to positive experiences with the orchestra.  Yet, every family concert morning, I would wake up with dread of the boredom that I was about to endure.  I grew up hating orchestral kid’s concerts!

Thinking back on how I would watch the seconds on my watch go around until the concert was over, I now spend a great deal of time considering what it was that so repelled me. Read the rest of this entry »

Nate Zeisler

Nate Zeisler

Five years ago, the Colburn School asked a fundamental question: How do we prepare conservatory students for careers in the 21st century? There were many suggestions put forward, but one idea kept rising to the top. Professional musicians entering the work field, the group agreed, must also be great teachers.

“Regardless of career path, musicians of the 21st century will always teach,” said Colburn Conservatory of Music Dean Richard Beene. “It is our responsibility to prepare students at the conservatory for a variety of careers in classical music, and teaching is a skill we hope all of our students acquire during their time at the Colburn School.” Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Stokes

Anna Stokes

Tommy Butler

Tommy Butler

There’s absolutely nothing revolutionary about leadership development. All across the country (and the world) opportunities to enhance and develop one’s professional skills seem to be popping up in every corner. But when the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC) won a challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we chose to take leadership development in a direction that encouraged arts administrators to not just think about themselves as nonprofit leaders but as Leaders, with a capital “L”.

According to Americans for the Art’s latest Creative Industries Report, the City of Philadelphia has the fifth highest percentage of arts-related jobs in a comparison of the 100 largest cities in nation (4.94%, including both for-profit and nonprofit creative industries). At number five, our creative community is both ahead of the pack and has room to grow, and what better way to grow this sector than to invest in its leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

JR "Nexus" Russ

JR “Nexus” Russ

In December of 2013, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies released a fact sheet about support for individual artists. They began the report with the following:

“Artists form the foundation of a state’s creative environment. They act as creators and individual entrepreneurs who provide many of the products and designs that drive innovation and shape a state’s cultural character. Many artists also work as educators, providing training in creative skills and passing on cultural traditions from one generation to the next.”

This is a descriptive, not a prescriptive statement. This is something that many, if not most, if not ALL of us, can probably agree with to some degree. And it is important to keep this in mind, as arts administrators, when it comes to artist advocacy. Because artist advocacy is a matter of culture and values. Read the rest of this entry »

Brea Heidelberg

Brea Heidelberg

Cards Against Humanity is marketed as a party game for horrible people. It is essentially a politically incorrect, dark humored game of mad libs. Gameplay with Cards Against Humanity is very simple. Each round someone asks a question from a black card and each player responds with his or her funniest white card. There are holiday, 90’s nostalgia, and science expansion packs available. While there is currently no official arts management expansion pack, arts management education is preparing an increasingly diverse student population to handle the smorgasbord of circumstances, from hilarious to heartbreaking, that arts administrators tackle every day.

Arts management education is in the midst of a few revolutions that speak to various elements of one main question: how do we become better as a field? There are a variety of opinions about what better actually means and how we will know it when we see it. Does it mean that we become more specialized? Read the rest of this entry »

Culture as the New Solution

Posted by Lindsay So On April - 14 - 20151 COMMENT
Lindsay So

Lindsay So

The intrinsic impact of the arts is one that is well known, but a challenge to prove. In the face of arguments that frame arts and culture as entertainment, as a sign of privilege, and not as a priority, our field has worked hard to advocate for the value of the arts. Sure, economic impact of the arts is strong, but is a weak advocacy argument that fails to recognize the big picture: cultural experiences are more than entertainment and more than revenue generators, and Philadelphia is armed with the data to tell this story. Ideally, this will put culture at the table with social service organizations and City departments to build new solutions for endemic community issues. Read the rest of this entry »

I Wanna Live Forever

Posted by Gregory Burbidge On April - 14 - 20152 COMMENTS
Gregory Burbidge

Gregory Burbidge

“And we don’t care about the young folks, talking ’bout the young style, And we don’t care about the old folks, talking ’bout the old style too” -Peter Bjorn and John

I am always excited to read the Emerging Leaders blog salon — to hear new stories of innovative practices and trends and to read about where our field is headed. Emerging leaders now have the capacity to combine access to big data, informational trends, and artistic vision in ways unheard of even a decade ago. Our standard arts presentation models struggle under the weight of our changing society and have yet to reckon with the new information at our disposal. Take data on aging, for example. What does it look like to re-imagine strategic planning in light of this? Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Kadzielski

Paul Kadzielski

The Georgia Aquarium had 3.5 million visitors in its inaugural year. This massive launch earned the cultural institution notoriety, donations, and public affection. But, as the novelty of its exhibits dulled, attendance at the state-of-the art facility dropped by 40% in the ensuing years. This steep slide raised flags amongst the staff, who began to ask questions: Why is this happening? Is this normal? What can we do about it? Read the rest of this entry »

Whitney Roux

Whitney Roux

David Bowie said “The future belongs to those that hear it coming.” As the arts sectors faces challenges of shrinking funding, aging audiences and wavering government support, professional groups, like Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego (RALSD), offer hubs of new ideas, fresh faces, and unjaded ambition. Leveraging our emerging leaders’ passion and talent, we can start to make real impact on our communities and the sustainability of the arts. But we have to act now!

Guided by Rising Arts Leader’s vision to Make San Diego an innovative, inspiring, world-class arts leader, the network took practicing leadership to a new level by creating solutions to the challenges that face our sector. Our steering committee started with a listening campaign; doing short surveys at networking happy hours, hosting workshops that brought together admin, funders and constituents, and through our annual Creative Conversation event, defined the five biggest hurdles in our city. Read the rest of this entry »

Candace Kita

Candace Kita

When was the last time that you were told to “play harder”? Unless you happen to work at an extremely progressive workplace such as this one—where employees can mentally recharge in a gallery-turned-ball pit—the possibilities for play tend to disappear as we grow older. While arts nonprofits tend to acknowledge that creative thinking and experimentation propel innovation, resources are rarely allocated towards opportunities for staff to regularly weave play with work. Read the rest of this entry »

Olga Garay

Olga Garay

As I have segued from my nearly seven year stint as the Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and resumed my former role as a local, national, and international arts consultant, I have submerged myself once again in building bridges between the U.S. arts sector and the Latino/Latin American arts communities. Though these communities continue to take on more central roles in the U.S. dialogue, they are still marginalized. Read the rest of this entry »

Elena Muslar

Elena Muslar

In more recent times, the arts administration field has begun to recognize the importance of cultivating tomorrow’s leaders. Professional development opportunities have begun to spring up for the “next-gen” or “emerging” leader. These buzzwords have essentially become synonymous with being a “millennial” in this field. Yet the term itself tends to be defined with certain characteristics of being detached, entitled, liberal, and tech savvy – most of which don’t always bode well for a young person trying to emerge into a predominately “baby boomer” arena. Read the rest of this entry »

Abe Flores

Abe Flores

Arts administration needs a bit of revolutionary thinking for the continued health of the sector. The future of the arts is already here, being ushered in by arts leaders who test norms, continuously evolve, and keenly anticipate tomorrow.

New audiences, technologies, and competition require successful arts leaders to implement new models, develop cross-sector partnerships and allies, and stay focused on their vision. The revolutions in our field do not appear to be complete departures from what we are doing. That is to say most of the fundamental work functions of arts administration remain (e.g. production, marketing, and fundraising). What is in flux are how these functions are carried-out. These new methods and considerations require some revolutionary minds. Read the rest of this entry »

Kerry Adams-Hapner

Kerry Adams-Hapner

In January, the United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF) held its winter meeting in New Orleans (NOLA). A program of Americans for the Arts, USUAF is comprised of executive leaders of the local art agencies (LAA) in the 60 largest cities in the United States. USUAF serves as a forum to have a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange around best practices and contemporary issues facing LAAs in their respective communities. We learn from each other, and meeting locations serve as case studies that demonstrate the unique role that the arts and LAAs serve in urban life. Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Bruney

Laura Bruney

This piece by Laura Bruney of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published on their blog, www.artsbizmiami.org/ArtsBizBlog.

Alyce Robertson is Executive Director of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority. The Great Recession wreaked havoc on downtown Miami, with empty condos and a surplus of office space that even the most bullish economists thought would take a decade to absorb. But the turn-around has been quicker and better than imagined. A 24-7 community has emerged as thousands of new residents and business professionals flood the district seeking a more urban lifestyle. Today, Miami has reversed course and emerged as a true metropolis and international destination for commerce, tourism, and arts & culture. Alyce shares her views with us on the value of the arts to downtown Miami. Read the rest of this entry »