The Arts, Healthcare, and Leadership

Posted by Alie Wickham, May 25, 2010 0 comments

In response to "Leadership is a Verb - so Act on it!", Karin writes, "We need to remember that these industries need liaisons who are empathetic and understanding of both sides of the coin and can speak to both communities."

Now, I believe I know which two communities Karin is referring to.  However, Karin, if you read this and I am incorrect, please feel free to let me know.  The two communities that come to my mind from this response are:

1) Arts   2) Healthcare

It is true - the leaders of our field must understand both sides, equally, and have similar empathy for each of them.  The arts in healthcare are most impacting when they work as a compliment for one another. Just like in arts in education - they are most impacting when the artists understand what the educators need, and vice versa. Or with the Public Voice in Arts Advocacy - how can we even begin to describe the importance of the arts to politicians if we don't first allow the artists to understand the "behind-the-scenes" of politics - I'm sure there is a bulk of information in politics that we never hear. 

However, in the research discussion we had at our conference, one of the most thematic conflicts we ran across was the impact of the terminology you would use according to the audience you are working with - are these folks administrators of a hospital, administrators of an arts organization, potential donors, scientists, or artists?? They could even be all of the above.

So, how do we begin to understand the most appropriate way to communicate with each side, and therefore allowing us to understand the empathy that each side needs? Once we can understand where everyone is coming from, we can then more clearly empathize with each of them and develop the terminology that is most useful in understand the key components in leading towards the strongest future of our field.

Who needs to be commenting on this discussion? EVERYONE that is involved!!!! Seriously, how do each of you - artists, administrators - healthcare and arts organizations, scientists, politicians, community advocates - feel about the arts?? TELL US IN YOUR OWN WORDS - we all want to know! That's empathy, right??

Please login to post comments.