Blog Posts for Leadership

Shatter Some Glass

Posted by Molly Smith, Sep 07, 2018 0 comments

How can the arts empower other women to take leadership roles? When you find your passion, believe that no one can stop you. Search for adventure. The old adage—there are no small parts, only small actors. The American regional theater movement was founded by women—three women in three different cities across the country, Margo Jones (Dallas), Nina Vance (Houston), and Arena Stage’s Zelda Fichandler in Washington, DC. I am honored to have taken the helm of Zelda’s flagship. It’s important to remember that these women were at the forefront of an entire movement—while we struggle with gender parity among current directors of regional theaters, the movement itself owes everything to these three women. Any woman trying to burst forward should take strength from that. And remember and speak their names. We are here because they took action.

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Nonprofit Arts Women Rock

Posted by Ms. Mara Walker, Sep 04, 2018 0 comments

Throughout this fall, Americans for the Arts is curating a blog series featuring the voices of women in leadership roles at nonprofit arts organizations. It would be easy to say that we are holding this blog series because of the recent surge in the women’s movement, or because today women are still not paid as much as men for their work and deserve a spotlight, or because it would be sport to call out the men who have abused their power over women. The truth is, we simply felt it would be amazing to lend a microphone to these women to hear their perspectives about what it means to be a woman in an influential role in the arts today. It is our hope that through these blogs, other women will feel empowered to take on leadership roles and in turn encourage other women to do the same.

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Pre-Election Activities for Arts Organizations

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Aug 28, 2018 0 comments

Recently, I sat down with former Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg to talk about what arts organizations should be doing in preparation of the upcoming elections. Here are highlights of our conversation.

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Happy New School Year

Posted by Ms. Argy Nestor, Aug 22, 2018 0 comments

New beginnings are a good time to establish changes, take risks with new ideas, challenge the status quo, and support and celebrate your community of arts education and educators. Since it’s a new year I’d like you to consider two topics: Advocacy and Leadership. What is your role as an advocate for arts education? Who do you know that has taken a leadership role impacting the quality of arts education? What are you doing and saying as an arts educator or arts education advocate to support quality programs—and access to them—for every learner from our pre-school children through adults? How do you use your voice and share the story that motivates others to understand why arts education is essential for all learners?

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Remembering to Celebrate the Victories: State Arts Action Network Members’ Advances for the Arts and Arts Education

Posted by Ms. Elisabeth Dorman, Jul 03, 2018 0 comments

First, I want to acknowledge that the past few months have been tough; it seems like anytime I refresh my web browser, there’s more bad news happening in our nation. Personally, I find some solace in the work that we as arts advocates do at the federal, state, and local levels in advancing the healing and transformative power of the arts and arts education. I think it’s important to remember the positive moments and for us to celebrate the victories that we as a field are achieving. In that spirit, I want to share with you a few stories about the current advocacy successes at the federal and state levels, spearheaded by the State Captains, State Arts Action Network (SAAN), and their states’ advocates.

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Presenting Historical Works of Art in the #MeToo Era

Posted by Jessica Stern, Ms. Danielle Iwata, Jun 13, 2018 0 comments

Recently, we saw a performance at the Met Opera of the classic Mozart opera Cosi Fan Tutti, restaged and mounted with a new production set in the 1950s. In the program, the director stated it was restaged so that it would be “[easier] to buy into the conceit” of the show. It was so real, in fact, that it was easy to draw comparisons to every man who has ever persistently ignored a woman’s denial and blamed rejection on the woman. So real, that when the women are literally saying they are frightened and terrified of the unwanted men sneaking into their rooms, it was easy to think of the hundreds of thousands of women who said #MeToo. As such, we began questioning the role of cultural institutions, particularly large and leading organizations to which others look for inspiration or leadership. What is their responsibility in reconciling classic works in modern times?

Americans for the Arts will continue this conversation at our upcoming Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado June 14-17, 2018, during the session “The Arts Community in the Time of the Women’s March and #MeToo.”

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