Blog Posts for Leadership

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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The leadership pipeline: A core responsibility

Posted by Nicholas Dragga, Apr 17, 2017 0 comments

It is obviously unfortunate when talent, out of necessity or frustration, leave the field for higher paying jobs with more responsibility and/or agency. The brain drain on the field, as with any field, is problematic as it not only makes the next generation of leaders more elusive, but takes away the change agents that could help create a better environment. There are steps we can take now—as in today—within our organization to make the situation better. We can make a better arts field.

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Community Leadership from the Inside Out

Posted by Julia Dixon, Apr 17, 2017 0 comments

Berkshire County in western Massachusetts is an incredibly rich place for the arts. It contains such a critical mass of artists, arts institutions, and arts resources that in 2016 the county was named the 12th most arts vibrant small- to mid-sized community in the nation by the National Center for Arts Research. With this abundance of creative activity comes a necessity for arts leadership, although here, these positions aren’t reserved for executive directors and upper management of large institutions. A new generation of community arts leaders in North Adams is surfacing as junior employees and other non-executive workers are beginning to cultivate leadership roles outside of work.

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