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 »

Eric Delli Bovi

Eric Delli Bovi

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a common refrain for describing the world’s most successful people and history’s most brilliant ideas and discoveries. Perseverance in the face of adversity can lead to major breakthroughs. Unfortunately in our hyperactive, high-stakes world of standardized testing, making time in the classroom for discovery, revision, and reflection without fear of judgment is now considered an unaffordable luxury. Read the rest of this entry »

Doug Israel

Doug Israel

Urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education. After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, cities are taking action.

Owing largely to mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school districts of all sizes spent recent years focusing educational goals very narrowly on improving test scores in just two subject areas—English Language and Math. This focus came at the expense of the arts, music, and other subject areas that were not being tested.

Fortunately, the tide may be turning, and arts education may be making comeback. Read the rest of this entry »

So What do You Do?

Posted by Caitlin Holland On March - 30 - 2015No comments yet
Leslie Ito

Leslie Ito

This blog post is an extended interview from the Spring issue of Americans for the Arts member magazine Arts Link. Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leader program celebrates its 15th anniversary this year in 2015. Leslie Ito was one of the founding members and she is interviewed by another founding member, Graham Dunstan, Americans for the Arts vice president of marketing and communications.

Featured Americans for the Arts member: Leslie Ito

Position: president and CEO, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center

Please tell our readers about your organization.

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) was founded in 1972 and is a two-acre campus in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles. We have a five-story building that houses different nonprofit organizations, but we also manage a professional gallery space, a tea room, a ukulele café and store, a large plaza designed by renowned artist Isamu Noguchi, and the 880-seat Aratani Theatre.
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Kellyn Lopes

Kellyn Lopes

There have been a slew of discussions lately centered around the potential in combining art and technology, two sectors that operate differently but ultimately share many similarities. A recent article in the New York Times by Alice Gregory questioned if in the physical world, the arts and tech are clashing cultures, or “parallel universes that rarely intersect.” Stephen Tanenbaum, on the other hand, noted that “arts and tech are not in competition with each other,” but are at a juncture that offers exciting opportunities for collaboration and growth, pointing to San Francisco in particular.

Perhaps instead of asking: “Are the arts and tech in competition?” we ask: “How can the arts and tech partner to foster the next wave of culture and technology?” Read the rest of this entry »