For Arts Professionals in the Know
It has been truly exciting and invigorating to follow this blogging experience. I have read great ideas (P.A.D.T.H.A.I), felt validated (A Lonely Place to Be), and seen that I have the same basic opinion as others but am there by an entirely different circumstance (Stop Blah, Blah, Blahing...). Indeed this project has shown that emerging leaders have much in common and share many of the same goals, fears, and visions for the future of this field. We are also incredibly diverse and ready for action.
To me one of the most important aspects of professionalism is follow through. Actually get your work done, return emails (sooner rather than 2 weeks later!), remember to attach the file, evaluate the work, use that data to make the next time even better, call the potential partner or new contact you just met, etc etc etc. Of course, this is not always easy as there are only increasing demands on limited time. But one cannot lead if one cannot meet these commitments (and then dream of new projects that require more follow through!)Read More
As this week-long web salon comes to a very successful close, I’m sure a lot of people are amped up about the potential we have to impact conceptual change in the field of the arts and arts education. One big question on folks’ minds may be “this is so exciting—what’s next?” I think this is the wrong question.
We’ve generated a lot of discussion, but exciting dialogue of this variety (perhaps, though, not in this quantity) has been generated before. Rather than ask what we do next, I want to know what we do first. And by do I mean DO. Actively do something that puts the gears of change in motion. Something we can see. Something tangible. Something that actually begins to change the purposes, procedures, and principles that influence leadership and practice in the arts.Read More
I have spent the better part of this morning and afternoon reading through the comments on this blog salon, and am thrilled at the amount of energy, excitement, and dialogue that this week’s online event has generated. This week alone, we’ve questioned the term “Emerging Leaders”, defined (or attempted to define) what Leadership is, and debated with ourselves whether we have had enough success to really qualify us to lead. On the other side, veteran leaders have told us to stop our whining, complaining, and discussing. We need to start doing our jobs, make ourselves and our communities matter, and start seeing the bigger picture. And – honestly, we need to hear that.
Right now, it seems like we are working in silos. We have silo’d our communities, our art forms (read John Steinmetz’s comment to Edward’s early post), our generations, and in turn – ourselves. The great thing about the 20UNDER40 Project is that it has generated so much discussion and some of these silos are beginning to break down. It’s clear from this weeks’ posts and comments that the arts field needs ALL of the ideas that we ALL bring to the table – the veterans and the emerging leaders. Collectively, we are only as strong as we are individually.
I believe veterans do have the responsibility to mentor and pass down knowledge to the next generation, and not cast generalizations that their younger colleagues are lazy and impatient. I also feel like a great supervisor listens to those around them, and truly values the opinion of their colleagues. On the other side, Generation X and Y should respect the positions of the veteran leaders above them, learn what they can, change what they can, and accept what they can’t change until it’s their turn to jump into the leadership position. This doesn’t mean Generation X and Y can’t be leaders. (Check out the audio podcast interview I did with Ruby Classen to hear her advice on leading in your organization and community from entry – middle level positions). It just means that sometimes, you have to wait your turn to affect all the changes.Read More
Over the last decade the term “emerging leaders” has become the code phrase to use when convening a meeting, reception or forum for anyone employed in the sector who is under 35 with five or less years of experience in the field. Why emerging leaders vs. new arts professionals? What makes an emerging leader an actual leader?
How do we classify mid-career professionals? Aren’t they leaders?
What about veterans in the sector? Are they all leaders? Or are they a combination of leaders, contributors, honest workers, and even, ‘survivors’?
What is the value of a “label”? Do we really need or want these labels? Do they bring us together, or do they divide us? Is emerging leaders the right “brand” to define this group of arts professionals?Read More