Vulnerability is the New Confidence

Posted by Lara Smith, Apr 29, 2016 0 comments

Arts leaders must be comfortable with risk and uncertainty to be successful. Actually, I think this is true for leaders in every industry, but especially in the arts. Embracing vulnerability can be challenging for any leader, but especially a young one. Brene Brown, a preeminent researcher on vulnerability defines it as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” She has this to say: “Vulnerability is the absolute heartbeat of innovation and creativity”; “There can be zero innovation without vulnerability”; and “Invulnerability in leadership breeds disengagement in culture.”

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Notes from the Field

Posted by Ms. Margaret Weisbrod Morris, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

I am in the field. Literally. A wheat field in McPherson County, Kansas to be exact. There’s no cell service and no other human being in sight, so I feel seriously out of place. I am far outside of my comfort zone. Other than the hundred head of cattle expectantly staring at me over a wire fence behind me, my only companion is Stretch, the Chinberg’s farm dog. Used to the solitude, he keeps eagerly bringing me junk – a stick, discarded flip-flop with teeth marks, a chewed rabbit foot – canine enticements to friendship. There is a hot, skin-stripping wind blowing chaff onto my cheeks, getting stuck in my hair that falls into the palette I have set out. The starkness of this scene inspired my courage to capture the power of this hot, solitary land. I am here because of, and in spite of, the wind. It drives my thoughts.

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They Should’ve Asked a Folklorist: New Horizons for State Folk Arts Programs

Posted by Adrienne Decker, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

Following the 1974 launch of NEA support for state folklife programs, folklorists have led state arts agencies’ efforts to serve traditional artists of the nation’s rural, occupational, and immigrant communities. What are the challenges facing state-level folk arts coordinators in 2016?

To gain insight, I consulted three emerging leaders in the field: Lilli Tichinin, Program Coordinator of Folk Arts, Art Projects and Accessibility for New Mexico Arts; Jennifer Joy Jameson, Folk and Traditional Arts Director for the Mississippi Arts Commission; and Josh Ehlers, Assistant Folklorist for the Oregon Folklife Network.

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A Leader's Responsibility to Create Opportunities for Others

Posted by Susannah Darrow, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

In 2008, print publications were shedding staff writer positions. Arts criticism was on the cutting room floor at daily newspapers across the country.

Blogging was all the rage in the mid-aughts, so despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s unceremonious slaughter of their arts coverage, Atlanta was seeing a groundswell of local arts scene coverage. From this movement a cohort of critics emerged. This independent and often amateur motley crew consisted of emerging artists, recently graduated art history majors, retired editors and junior writers. What they penned was avant-garde reviews that disregarded traditional methods of criticism.

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Working With or For Everyone in an Organization

Posted by David Wicai, Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

We have all heard or said the phrase: “I wear many hats within my organization”, as if we are justifying our importance (like my Great Dane tries to justify her importance by licking my face down to the bones). We all play important roles within our organizations. I have certainly used this phrase in some shape or form, but staying humble about our numerous roles can really pay dividends as we move forward in our careers.

Working with or for everyone does not always mean everyone is asking you to do something for them. More frequently, it means asking others how you can be involved in what they are doing. This approach not only expands knowledge in the short term, but it can lead to long term benefits including building new relationships or creating opportunities to take on more responsibility. Here are my keys to success when it comes to working with or for everyone in your organization.

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Resilient Leadership in the Arts: Realities about being in an Arts Couple

Posted by Mrs. Amy K. Ruggaber, Apr 27, 2016 0 comments

A few years ago, my husband got a new job several states away that completely changed our lives. At the time, I had a job I loved in theatre arts education from which I had to resign. Starting over in a new place where you know absolutely no one is a daunting task for anyone, but when you’re in the arts, it can seem like an impossible task. Jobs in the arts are harder to come by than in many other fields and it takes years to build up connections, develop working knowledge of local funding sources, and get another shot at a job with an organization when you aren’t the one hired away.

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