All posts tagged: the arts

One Big Secret to a Sustainable Arts Organization: Stop trying to take over the universe with your ideas.

  Over the past decade, I have observed the Walmart mentality permeate the zeitgeist of our field. Build a large, national business or organization and you will have a path to sustainability. Many arts leaders, particularly those who are just starting their organizations, come to me with the vision of scaling an idea nationally, or even internationally. The thought is that if they could just scale an artistic project or organization, they would find long-term programmatic and financial stability. There are three large issues that I see passionate arts leaders missing as they build their organizations: They don’t have a strategy for building a staff before pushing forward a vision for a national organization. While there may be potential for an entity to grow and have a real impact nationally, leadership must develop a strategy for building a staff along with the organizational mission and vision. Absent this strategy, leadership is put in a position of taking on more responsibility than they are able, dramatically impacting the organization’s ability to scale. Arts organizations with ambitions to …

Launching a new ensemble, organization, or business? Read this, Part III. Developing your Concept.

For the past few days, I’ve written a step by step process for how I would go about launching a new ensemble, organization, or business. Today, I’m going to give you some thoughts on how to develop that great idea you came up with during the first two posts. Continue divergent thinking and brainstorming. Now that you have gathered a few good ideas to pursue, brainstorm ways you can develop a solution to your idea or the beginnings of a vision for your ensemble. Continue to think broadly, but begin to strategize how you can create tangible, achievable goals to meet the need or demand you are addressing.  Tip: Think of specific benchmarks over the next year to help you develop and achieve your idea. Think about 3 month, six month and twelve month goals.  Now that you have a few ideas in which to pursue, it’s time to see how your network responds to the concept.  Tip: Do not be afraid of someone else stealing your idea. The information you get from asking what your network thinks …

The Long Tail Sessions, Vol. V—Jonathan Kuuskoski interview and some great tools of the trade, and an amazing playlist.

Hi everyone! This week, I decided to include a short interview with Jonathan Kuuskoski, who currently serves as the Interim Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership (EXCEL) and Director of the EXCEL Lab at the University of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance. Here is the interview: I’m also happy to share my weekly Long Tail Session, which includes recommendations from Jonathan. Here are the show notes Jonathan and I spoke about in the video. Here are the show notes. Link to Volume V of the Long Tail Sessions: Link to the Khemia Ensemble. Link to Asana, a free task management tool for your team. Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses by Amy Whitacre. About The Long Tail Sessions: Last winter, I traveled from LA to NYC on a Virgin America flight and loved that the in-flight entertainment featured musicians in alphabetical order. At first, I found it jarring to see Beethoven next to the Beatles, but then I thought “Of course they’re featured side-by-side, …

One thing Artists can do in response to the rescinding of the DACA program.

For most of my adult life, our political parties have been at such odds with each other that even simple legislation has become a challenge to pass. Political score keeping has become more important than the well being of the American people. This type of political paralysis often means that instead of our elected officials legislating policy, our President is put in the position of executing policy through signing or rescinding executive orders. Executive orders are not party specific. Here are number of executive orders signed by the last six Presidents : Ronald Regan—381 (47.6 executive orders per year) George H. W. Bush—166 (41.5 executive orders per year) Bill Clinton 364—(45.5 executive orders per year) George W. Bush 291—(36.4 executive orders per year) Barak Obama 276—(34.6 executive orders per year) Donald Trump 45—(On pace for 72.7 executive orders this year) While executive orders achieve a short term win for the political party of the person in office, they can easily be rescinded with a stroke of a pen by the next President. Today’s announcement by …

5 Things Artists Can Do, Post-Election

  The arts live continuously, and they live literally by faith; their nature and their shapes and their uses survive unchanged in all that matters through times of interruption, diminishment, neglect; they outlive governments and creeds and societies, even the very civilizations that produced them.  They cannot be destroyed altogether because they represent the substance of faith and the only reality.  They are what we find again when the ruins are cleared away. —Katherine Anne Porter