My first full-time job after finishing grad school was as executive director of the Oswego County Council on the Arts in upstate New York.
Three and a half years ago, I returned to arts council management after more than 25 years as a theatre producer and director, when I was appointed executive director of Arts Orange County.
I don’t know which is worse, running an arts council or running a theatre in times like these, but one thing I’m sure of: I owe my success to breaking the rules.
There are plenty of people who’ve attempted to dissuade me from that path or criticized me for failing to adhere to the conventional wisdom of the field. Conventional wisdom may have contributed to the growth of America’s arts organizations in decades past, but it sure isn’t helping them much today.
I see this every day—and not just in the reforms I’ve been instituting at Arts Orange County, but among the many constituent organizations we serve. Read the rest of this entry »