Blog Posts for lead

How Do We Prepare Arts Students for the Workforce?

Posted by Camille Schenkkan, May 07, 2019 0 comments

The post-graduation years are considered a rite of passage, where emerging artists navigate crushing poverty, unpaid internships, uninformed financial decisions, and rejection in order to emerge as bona fide artists. People use words like sacrifice and bootstraps. You’re expected to work for free in order to demonstrate your work ethic and “make connections” with important people. These connections, we’re told over and over, lead to paid jobs. Just not yet. Let’s look closely at these expectations through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In a field that is still white and male-dominated despite encouraging signs of change, those who hold privilege (economic, racial, gender, social, etc.) are better positioned to take the unpaid internships, get that one-on-one meeting with the artistic director, or convince the seasoned leader to take them on as an assistant. How can we better prepare aspiring artists from all backgrounds to enter this field?

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Help Your Team Grow or Watch Your Team Go: Empowering Passionate Employees to Become Leaders in their Own Right

Posted by Dennyse Sewell, Ms. Shoshana Zeldner, May 07, 2019 0 comments

I firmly believe that leaders happen at every level within an organization, and that the attributes for leadership can be found in entry-level employees just as frequently as they can be found in top-level executives. Working in the arts, we’re fortunate that passionate and dedicated people are drawn to our mission-driven organizations. If an employee demonstrates a connection to the work and a desire to make an impact within the organization, they have all the raw material needed to become a successful leader. Each individual employee will have a different set of natural talents, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all approach to determine what they need for their own growth, but it begins with direct, frequent, and open communication. It’s amazing what a manager can learn by simply asking their employee what they need and how to help empower them to achieve it.

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This work shouldn’t feel easy.

Posted by Ms. Gina Rodriguez-Drix, May 03, 2019 0 comments

Revolutionary Amilcar Cabral once said, “Tell no lies, claim no easy victories.” As the leader of the Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC), Cabral fought against Portuguese colonial forces in Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau, and had a unique vision of the role of artists and culture bearers in the struggle for liberation and self-determination of his people. His is a quote I continue to carry every day in both my creative practice and as Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism. If cultural equity is a human right, then I believe our work in a local arts agency is, at the end of the day, human rights work. And while our work doesn’t have to feel heavy all the time – Emma Goldman told us to dance! – work ensuring publicly supported arts and culture shouldn’t feel easy.

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Welcome to the 2019 Emerging Arts Leaders Blog Salon

Posted by Mr. Geoffrey Kershner, May 03, 2019 0 comments

Welcome to the 2019 Emerging Arts Leaders Blog Salon! This year, we have approached a number of emerging leaders in the field to reflect and respond to the theme: “Own your past, shape your future.” You will hear from a number of emerging leaders and change agents in the field who are forging a new path for the arts in America. Along with the theme, we have also asked all our blog salon participants the question, “How is history shaping the future of the arts in your community?” In the coming days you will hear from a number of brilliant emerging leaders who are working to mold and shape the future. This is being done through deliberate, mindful, and creative leadership that is creating discomfort (in a positive way). They are taking what they have been handed, creating dialogue, and forging a path for a stronger tomorrow.

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A Fresh Way to Learn About Local Arts Agencies

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Apr 11, 2019 0 comments

I conducted my first survey of local arts agencies in 1991. It was all paper in those days. We didn’t even ask for fax numbers because too few had one! Over the years we have fielded dozens of local arts agency (LAA) surveys—some were short and easy to fill out and provided useful information, but lacked adequate depth; others were comprehensive and extremely informative, but were too long and hard for respondents to complete. While the paper surveys became online surveys and technology has made distribution more expansive, what remains as pressing as ever is the need for reliable, relevant, and easily accessible information about the LAAs—research that provides early alerts about new trends, drives discourse about how the industry is evolving, and simply allows LAAs to see how they compare to their peers. In 2018, Americans for the Arts implemented a new annual survey to accomplish just this—The Profile of Local Arts Agencies. There are multiple ways you can put the Profile findings to work for you! 

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A Message to Young Women Leaders in the Arts

Posted by Erika Juran, Apr 04, 2019 0 comments

My Feminist mom learned in the working world of the 1970s what it was like to move through patriarchal spaces. Women leaders: those times, they have not fully “a-changed”. You will be belittled, left out. Your appearance is foremost in their minds. Worst of all, other women will cut you down. Confident women: you will be called loud. You are told to moderate your confidence level, called strident. You are not the problem. It’s their expectations that are the problem. In art, we must all be activists. We “fight” not just for funding and support, but also to be included at all planning tables. We should fight to speak for those whose voices may not be in the room—or who are never invited in the first place. 

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