When Trying Hard Isn’t Good Enough: Alignment, Action and Accountability

Posted by Mary Hester, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

Bridging the gap between reality and results for arts education in schools requires multi-sector, cross-agency leadership making aligned efforts and contributions. Moving from talk to action requires collaborative leadership—the ability to make decisions and take action together in service of the result. This type of leadership requires experimentation, trust building, and a fair amount of risk. It breaks down the boundaries of hierarchical leadership and looks across organizational boundaries. When we work collaboratively, we acknowledge that no one program, agency, or organization can produce population-level results.

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Investing in Leadership Development

Posted by Cassie Newman, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

Having worked with arts organizations both large and small, I have learned that it is the leaders at the grassroots level who actually represent and reflect the diverse communities that their programs and organizations aim to serve. Meanwhile, the larger institutions—such as museums, operas and symphonies—are facilitating conversations around the need for greater diversity in arts leadership, but most have not yet overhauled their own practices for cultivating diverse leaders. The arts field needs to invest in developing the necessary leadership skills of emerging professionals whose marginalization is keeping them out of the running for leadership positions at larger arts institutions.  

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Justice-Seeking Super Robot Takes on Arts Education; or, How I switched from a deficit mindset to an asset-based approach

Posted by Ms. Megan Attermann, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

Instead of entering a community as a teacher and bringing a prescribed text or curriculum, I would enter as a learner. I needed to value the community and learn from them. I needed to connect with my students—to see their stories and experiences as equal to my own. To see my students for more than their perceived needs. I needed a new approach to arts education. So, I scanned the literature, and I found an approach that works with, and values, oppressed groups. It’s called an asset-based arts education, and it works in solidarity with the community. It is mutually beneficial and builds social capital.

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Asking for a raise is awkward. But it doesn't have to be.

Posted by Jackie Miller, Apr 18, 2017 0 comments

As an emerging leader in the arts, have you ever felt stagnant in your job? Are you struggling with feeling undercompensated? Love what you do and where you work, but don’t feel able to ask for the raise that you deserve? These are common challenges facing many emerging leaders in the arts. They lead to burnout, young professionals leaving the arts altogether, or perpetuate the high turnover rates that many small and mid-sized arts organizations experience. Even though asking for a raise is uncomfortable and intimidating, it’s an important and necessary communication skill to cultivate.

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Are Internships Building the Leaders We Need?

Posted by Mr. Ryan Antony Nicotra, Apr 18, 2017 0 comments

Today’s emerging leaders will need to be proficient, savvy, self-aware, and boundlessly resilient in order to meet tomorrow’s challenges; and yet, the long-term value of the short-term internship model appears to vary by organization and pupil. What makes an internship meaningful and worthwhile for both parties? Does a traditional internship model facilitate learning that extends beyond specialized proficiency to include strategic thinking, a value for cultural equity, and adaptive processes?

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Playing the Long Game: Developing our Future Board Members

Posted by Stephanie Johnson, Apr 18, 2017 0 comments

After years of playoff failures, Sam Hinkie, the Philadelphia 76ers general manager, decided to stop focusing on winning now. In fact, sometimes he made an active choice to start losing. Why? The worst teams in the NBA get the highest probability of top draft picks, and he was going to build a dream team, one player at a time. Hinkie and the 76ers were playing the long game.

Arts organizations can have a similar problem. Some organizations in our sector struggle to make balanced budgets, and while we’re producing thought-provoking, life-changing art for our communities, our financial situation can be squarely mediocre. So I, too, am playing the long game. Fortunately, it doesn’t involve losing at all.

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