Photo Challenge: Work of Art

Space WindowWork of Art – National Cathedral: Space Window in Washington, D.C.

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Giving USA 2013: Establishing Context for Annual Giving in the U.S.

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is the seminal publication reporting on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States.  For the past 57 years, these reports have provided fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, donors, and others within the charitable sector, with “the most comprehensive charitable giving data available.”  Here are the highlights from Giving USA’s 2013 report, establishing the context for annual giving in the United States for 2012-2013.

GivingUSA2013-Highlights

AU Arts Management Master’s Capstone Presentations – Spring 2013

AU Arts Management Master’s Capstone Presentations – Spring 2013

Emerging arts leaders from American University’s Arts Management program discuss more than a year’s worth of research and work on their Master’s Capstone projects. Presentations were made Thurs – Fri, May 2-3 & Mon, May 6, 2013.

  1. Master’s Capstone Presentations start today! The time has come.:) fb.me/2tm58WlmD
  2. T-minus 5 until the start of “Using Social Media Technology in Arts Organizations.” #engagearts
  3. Live tweet or follow along to “Using Social Media in Arts Orgs” 5/2 9am. Use #engagearts facebook.com/events/5232997…
  4. #engageart @artmansteven Master’s #AUCapstone (@ AU – Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center – @americanu) 4sq.com/13P2IsT
  5. Social media strategy for the arts – think of it in the form of a pyramid. #engageart
  6. Marketing basics form the base of social media strategy for #engageart
  7. Social media is the second layer of the pyramid – @chadbauman social media is the “wild west.” Once out, can’t control it.
  8. @ArtsmanSteven is so kind! Acknowledging me as a key player and social influencer leading to a successful @EALSAU 2013 Thank you! #engageart
  9. @ArtsmanSteven is doing a GREAT job on his #AUCapstone presentation – I will have a lot to live up to tomorrow at this time. #artsrolemodel
  10. Social media marketing – the idea is that it will lead to ticket sales… Do you agree? #engageart
  11. Marketing and social media are NOT the same thing – try to separate them in your mind. Yes, part of mktg mix, but use for real engagement
  12. Consider the #engagement bottom line (I like that!) and then the financial bottom line. #engageart on social media
  13. Social media engagement (for engagement sake) good research and promotion = greater ticket sales in the #arts
  14. Don’t over-post, you’ll become white noise. #engageart
  15. Social media: not a marketing platform, it’s a connection platform! #engageart
  16. @CStarek That’s the beauty of Twitter, one feels, in this capacity: for continuing dialogue with supporters…!
  17. Social media is meant for creating a forum for #conversation #engageart (customer-centered approach!)
  18. For crystal-clear analysis of social media and strategy, @ArtsmanSteven – Killer capstone defense. #EALS2013 #AUartsmanagement
  19. Audience Q: Do all arts orgs need to use soc med? A: If you can’t devote time, it’s like inviting ppl to dinner & not showing
  20. Social media policy, planning, engagement strategy. Get everyone involved – artists, evangelists, mindful mktg
  21. #engageart @ArtsmanSteven confidently handled the tough questions from the audience. Great #AUCapstone presentation pic.twitter.com/8wtjiJnsMX
  22. @BoardSource discovered that only 1 in 5 boards are actually taking action to improve board diversity #AUCapstone by Anjali
  23. T -1 hour! #MillennialsOrch
    facebook.com/events/5228936… fb.me/2URfC58UP
  24. 63% of millennials volunteered for nonprofits. #MillennialsOrch
  25. 77% of millennials are interested in leadership roles. #MillennialsOrch
  26. 75% of millennials made a financial gift in 2011. A hidden pot if gold for fundraisers? #MillennialsOrch
  27. Live tweeting @CStarek capstone presentation about the Millennials Orchestra. #MillennialsOrch
  28. Millennials want to know “how my money will make a difference.” Be prepared to give that info. #MillennialsOrch
  29. @BaltSymphony Concerts with a Twist: themed concerts with an aim to the millennial generation. #MillennialsOrch
  30. @BaltSymphony looks into sleek, modern wardrobe design so musician don’t look so “stuffy.” #MillennialsOrch
  31. @BaltSymphony BSO Ambassadors. Engaging the evangelists and market influencers for a form of “viral marketing” #MillennialsOrch
  32. @CStarek the most important issue with millennials is trust. #MillennialsOrch
  33. Spend the time NOW building real relationships with millennials. They will me your major donors in the future. #MillennialsOrch
  34. Average audience member for BSO was 60 years old before there millennial engagement strategies. 😦 #MillennialsOrch
  35. Q: I’d there a connection for millennials to the core orchestral product, or only the “special” programs? #MillennialsOrch
  36. Q:” we have seen what millennials are and what they care about. What will the next generation care about?” #MillennialsOrch
  37. Congratulations to the emerging arts leaders who are graduating this May!!
  38. Reposition our argument for board diversity, rephrase in a way that matters to board members. In terms of fundraising. #AUCapstone
  39. Reframing rationale for board diversity. Smart, deep research by Anjali Lalani. #AUartsmanagement pic.twitter.com/TgyopJz0Ty
  40. Anjali chose several orgs across the nation with most responsibility and greatest opportunity to explore board diversity
  41. Top 2 barriers to #diversity on #arts boards – recruitment and board culture
  42. Are other sizes and types of orgs better equipped to diversify by ethnicity? #AUCapstone Anjali L
  43. Talk to your audience in their language. Couch discussion on board diversity in terms if fundraising potential, ways that matter to them.
  44. At least 20% participation to shift the board culture towards greater ethnic diversity. Doesn’t happen automatically, has to be nurtured.
  45. A lack of Contributed income is a large trend among education depts. in theaters. -Amy Russell
  46. Healthcare for Artists – an in depth analysis of what’s available (and what isn’t) by David Simmons. #AUartsmanagement
  47. Watching @violet_dc giving her capstone presentation via uplink to London. Leveraging Brands of Campus Museums
  48. #UMOJA Founder Raynel Frazier speaks at AU about her innovative jazz music series
  49. @EALSAU Executive Council member Raynel Frazier talks about her #UMOJA jazz music series. #Build artistic vision in jazz.
  50. #UMOJA based on 9 elements of business model building
  51. #UMOJA engaged in #crowdfunding on @kickstarter – campaign was unsuccessful, but a huge learning experience.
  52. @AUArtsDC Senior Professor Sherburne Laughlin is visibility excited about #AUCapstone presentations and arts mgt student success. 🙂
  53. #UMOJA will be focusing on making the personal ask. Growing and diversifying funds.
  54. #UMOJA jazz music series hosts a Zumba fundraiser… Awesome!
  55. #UMOJA is built on principles of Kwanzaa – Unity, self determination, faith and fosters community through education and jazz music
  56. Fabulous, growing music series – awesome music, musicians, and principles, woven into the fabric of the Hartford… fb.me/25OvcXUQf
  57. Congratulations to the emerging arts leaders who are graduating this May!!

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Saving the Legacy of Important Art

My blog has been relatively quiet over the past several weeks.  As I approach the end of the semester and the end of my graduate program at American University, it has been a very busy and exciting time.  In the past month or so, I have completed my comprehensive exams in arts management, had job interviews, performed in the American University Symphony Orchestra, continued my work in PR and Marketing for the Arts at AU, submitted my “nearly completed” Master’s Capstone Project, and served as Crowdfunding Project Leader for the ART CART: Saving the Legacy campaign on RocketHub. (I also got to stand as a bridesmaid in my best childhood friend’s wedding in North Carolina – it was a blast!)

I am excited to announce that we recently reached and have since surpassed our goal for the crowdfunding campaign!  Reaching our goal early presents a wonderful opportunity to enhance our success further. Our project will continue to accept funds for the next two weeks, which enables the success of our second documentary, “Living the Legacy,” as well as the promotion and implementation of the ART CART 2013 exhibitions in DC and NYC in the fall.  In the following RocketHub post, I reflect on my experiences in crowdfunding and the importance of the ART CART project.  Enjoy! : )

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Saving the Legacy of Important Art
Catherine Starek, ART CART Project Leader, Crowdfunding Pioneer
Originally posted: April 23, 2013

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We launched our 2013 RocketHub campaign to raise funds for our second documentary film, capturing this year’s ART CART: Saving the Legacy process. Getting this on film will help us to raise the profile of the ART CART project, the efforts of our artists and student fellows, and this incredible interdisciplinary, intergenerational experience.

Our first documentary (2011) was a great success and RocketHub provided the platform. Since the pilot in NYC, ART CART has expanded to Washington, DC, taking on a national voice. As a DC Fellow and now the RocketHub Project Leader for ART CART, I have developed my understanding of the artistic process and realized the importance of documenting our nation’s creative legacy. We have returned to RocketHub to raise the funds needed for our second documentary, helping us to continue the expansion of the program to six locations by 2015.

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This is my first time leading a fundraising project. It has been an exciting experience for me to see the variety of people and levels of support emerging in response to the ART CART: Saving the Legacy 2013 RocketHub campaign. Funders range from friends, family, and colleagues, to arts administrators, researchers, professors, graduate students and alumni, as well as ART CART artists, their working partners, fellows, and faculty. Supporters are located on both coasts, from California, to New York, Washington DC, and North Carolina. I look forward to welcoming others into the ART CART network over the next few weeks as we carry out our project, as well as learning more about their interests in the arts.

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When I was first approached to lead this crowdfunding project, I found RocketHub’s Success School materials to be very helpful in developing my understanding of RocketHub’s crowdfunding process and maintaining a strategic mindset. Joan Jeffri, the Director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture and Founder of ART CART, also made sure to introduce me to the 2011 project leader in order to learn about our first documentary campaign. My advice to others who are considering their own crowdfunding campaign would be to:

  • Create a well-thought-out plan for the content and implementation of your project (if your project has a Director/Founder like ART CART, make sure s/he is an integral part of the process and aware of the project’s development throughout).
  • Have someone who cares about the project proofread your project description and appeals.
  • Maintain a dynamic project page with frequent status updates, a variety of media, and news related to your project. Don’t forget to share your excitement with your social media connections, too!
  • This may be a personal standard of mine, but I believe in prompt “thank-you’s.” No matter the size of the gift, show your gratitude for each funder’s support. I send an individualized thank-you to every person who gives to our campaign and helps bring awareness to our project.
  • Have a passion for what you’re doing. If you don’t believe in the project, why should others?
  • Be creative!

Engaging in this project has been rewarding for me in many ways. I have learned a lot about the crowdfunding process and even more about the ART CART artists participating in the project. Through our project on RocketHub, I have witnessed the power of ART CART to bring people of all ages together in support of a common goal – one that will impact future generations.

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– Catherine Starek, ART CART Project Leader, Crowdfunding Pioneer
BE OUR HERO - Save the Legacy
RocketHub Blog

  • RocketHub is the world’s crowdfunding machine. RocketHub is an international, pioneering, open community that has helped thousands of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and social leaders raise millions of dollars.

Arts engagement across the lifespan

In the first part of my ART CART fellowship (Fall 2012), my classmates and I were given the task of researching a topic related to arts and aging.  Considering my interest in arts engagement, I compiled this brief annotated bibliography to add to the knowledge base of the ART CART project.

ART CART Artists 2013

ART CART DC Artists (2013)

Friedman, M. (2012). Art Can Be Good for Mental Health. Huffington Post. Retrieved from website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-friedman-lmsw/art-mental-health_b_1562010.html?ir=Arts

As suggested by the title, the purpose of this article is to describe and help others better understand how “art can be good for mental health.” The author’s experience and extensive knowledge of psychology and social work warrant a level of credibility and establishes confidence in the reader. The article supports greater participation in the arts and provides ample justification of this position.

Author Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. (which stands for Licensed Master Social Worker, as I have come to discover)[1] presents content in a logical, comprehensible, and relevant way, addressing key aspects and implications of arts participation on mental health and the aging process. He begins by addressing art more broadly, as a “tremendous source of happiness for a great many people,” and how it can be “a healing force” for those with mental illnesses, and points to the contribution of art to one’s overall mental health.

He continues by citing Martin Seligman, author of Flourish, and his concept of psychological well-being, which consists of “five critical elements” – ‘positive emotion, engagement, accomplishment, positive relationships, and meaning.’  Throughout the remainder of the article, he demonstrates how the arts effectively serve and enhance each of these elements.  To summarize, he states:

The contributions that art can make to psychological well-being via enjoyment, immersion, development of skill, revelation and expression of emotion, shaping of self, connections with people and a culture, and the potential for transcendent experience apply both to people without mental disorders and those with mental disorders.  For them, art can have a great healing impact…

To close, he emphasizes the capacity of arts participation to establish fulfilling lives among present and future generations.  He also poses the idea of a public mental health agenda, which not only aims to provide treatment for those with mental disorders, but also attends to the “human potential to live well.”

Ellena, Eric and Berna Huebner. Narrated by Olivia de Havilland. Produced by Centre national de la cinématographie, Association France Alzheimer, French Connection Films, Hilgos Foundation. Distributed by Aquarius Health Care Media. 2009. Documentary. I remember better when I paint: Treating Alzheimer’s through the creative arts. Paris, France: French Connection Films.

In the documentary’s trailer, which has been made available on YouTube,[2] narrator Olivia de Havilland begins to unfold the journey of aging adults in creative activities and the many benefits of engaging in the arts.  The feature film centers on older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and having to cope with its adverse affects.

The documentary consists of seven short films, featuring a variety of creative therapies and ways of adapting and incorporating them into existing programs in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and care centers. The purpose of this documentary is to capture and illustrate the positive results associated with creative activities and mental health.  It highlights the ability of “drawing, painting, and museum visits to improve quality of life and to restore a dialogue between caregivers and families.”

The film incorporates multiple perspectives from a variety of interdisciplinary fields.  Dr. Robert C. Green, Professor of Neurology and Genetics at Boston University, provides insight into the rather selective onset and early nature of the disease (targeting the area of the brain responsible for creating new memories).  Dr. Sam Gandy, the Associate Director of Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s disease Research Center in New York City, discusses parts of the brain associated with creativity – the Parietal Lobe – and how this area tends to be affected much later in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Tony Jones and Judy Holstein provide a more aesthetic, visceral description of the response to and benefits of Alzheimer’s patients experiencing and participating in the arts. Tony Jones, the Chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, reflects on the connection that is established between the older adults and the art, which is somehow communicating and creating a dialogue through its various features (e.g. scale, color, and vibrancy).  Judy Holstein, Director of CJE Senior Life Day Service in Chicago, provides insight into this remarkable phenomenon:

The creative arts are an avenue to tap into a nonverbal, emotional place in a person.  When they’re given paint, markers, any kind of medium for art-making, and their hands are involved and their muscles are involved, things are tapped in them that are genuine, and active, and alive. So the creative arts bypass the limitations and they simply go to the strengths…

National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (2007). Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit. Retrieved 11/03/12, from artsandaging.org/index.php

The National Guild of Community Schools, the National Center for Creative Aging, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center developed a toolkit to provide information and tools for leaders involved in the arts and aging programs. Arts Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit is designed to help readers appreciate the urgency for such programs, to better understand and learn about older adults, aging services, and the arts, to articulate the benefits to a variety of stakeholders, and to create, manage, and sustain arts and aging programs for older adults.

The purpose of the toolkit is summarized on the Creativity Matters webpage. “Designed for the arts and aging services fields, this resource explains why and how older adults benefit from participating in professionally conducted community arts programs and offers detailed advice and examples on program design, implementation, and evaluation.”  Creativity is a central theme, understandably, and serves as a relevant connection to the arts and the meaningful experiences and contributions of older adults as individuals and within communities.

The toolkit is divided into ten chapters and supplemented by a glossary of terms and appendices offering various tools, templates, and resources.  The contents of the Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit include:

  • Chapter 1: Understanding the Context for Arts and Aging Programs
  • Chapter 2: How Arts Participation Benefits Older Adults
  • Chapter 3: The Aging Services Field
  • Chapter 4: The Arts Field
  • Chapter 5: Effective Practices
  • Chapter 6: Program Design
  • Chapter 7: Program Implementation
  • Chapter 8: Evaluation
  • Chapter 9: Public Awareness
  • Chapter 10: Looking to the Future

This toolkit appears to be a useful and informative resource.  It serves to build communication, understanding, connections, community, and respect among and between those involved.  The establishment of and participation in high-quality arts and aging programs not only enhances learning and discovery over the lifespan, it also engages older adults in the creation and celebration of one’s personal and artistic legacy.


[2] Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner. (2009, 11/03/12). I Remember Better When I Paint. [YouTube video] Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54AtoQVGfwU

“Slice of Life: Lila (Oliver) Asher, an active artist for more than seven decades”

American University graduate students – including myself – and others are helping older artists save our national legacy in the ART CART: Saving the Legacy project.

Lila Oliver Asher – ART CART: Saving the Legacy, DC Artist 2013

ART CART DC Artist Lila Oliver Asher has been featured on WTOP radio’s website. “Slice of Life: Lila Asher, an active artist for more than seven decades,” by WTOP intern Hoai-Tran Bui. Check it out! http://www.wtop.com/1232/3278510/Lila-Asher-active-artist-for-more-than-seven-decades-

Make Time to Make Money – TRG Arts

  1. 250 signed up for this afternoon’s webinar! Are you one of them? There’s still time to register–we’ll start at 2 ET bit.ly/WHDRpV
  2. 250 signed up for this afternoon’s webinar! Are you one of them? There’s still time to register–we’ll start at 2 ET bit.ly/WHDRpV
  3. #trgrx Webinar starts in 1 hour (2 EDT)! Get TRG’s take on balancing time & priorities: bit.ly/WHDRpV #auddev #artsadmin
  4. Welcome to all now online for the @TRGArts webinar “Make Time to Make Money”. The hashtag is #trgrx – looking forward to chatting!
  5. Data, knowledge, solutions, results for arts organizations in the US and abroad @TRGArts #trgrx
  6. Reviewing “Top of Mind 2013” results @TRGArts — Conclusion: (The arts) need to refocus on what gets results… #trgrx
  7. The next hour, @TRGArts prescription for “Taking Time to Make Money” #trgrx
  8. Get organized and take the time to prioritize your work #trgrx
  9. And @ricklestertrg takes the stage on the #trgrx webinar. He says “stop doing everything.”
  10. Consider your patrons, analyze your revenue sources, etc. then use your priorities as a framework going forward #trgrx
  11. Best advice in a webinar, ever: stop doing everything. I wish I could. #trgrx
  12. Create a “stop doing this” list — analyze your activities and results, tailor your to-do list, motivate your colleagues #bigpicture #trgrx
  13. Choose sustainability re: programs for future growth #trgrx
  14. Goal: sustainable income for orgs long-term future #trgrx
  15. Sticky, high-value patron relationships through deeper engagement and coordinated, focused arts management #trgrx
  16. Make time… #trgrx It’s subs renewal time, Do I even have time to do this webinar?! 🙂 OF COURSE!
  17. Your work effects everybody! Think about all departments, reconnect with donors, engage with volunteers #trgrx
  18. Agreed! Time to prioritize prioritzing!! RT @SaraMKelly: Best advice in a webinar, ever: stop doing everything. I wish I could. #trgrx
  19. Personal (& ideally, organizational) mantra — Good data in, good data out #trgrx
  20. @TRGArts Thanks for all the RTs! Enjoying the webinar so far 🙂 #trgrx
  21. Develop an #actionplan that reflects your priorities, based on what’s required for your org to succeed and sustain arts over lng term #trgrx
  22. “Data analysis generated ~ 60% improvement…” #trgrx
  23. .@ricklestertrg: “you don’t have to be an IT person to know what’s going on with your data”
  24. Good leaders need to be brave, but also focused, because there is distraction everywhere. #trgrx
  25. Change is difficult…embrace stewardship and be a brave, brave leader #trgrx
  26. It’s hard, but it is also possible. Change is evolutionary. Change takes time. Have confidence and trust that you’re on right path #trgrx
  27. Be a brave leader. Stop doing everything. Steward clean data smartly. Get results. #trgrx
  28. Facts and data do INDEED provide a better picture and provide correct view of past. No more anecdotal driven decisions. #trgrx
  29. What do you do if your focus, your messages aren’t supported? #trgrx
  30. Does your org have a number to galvanize around? With that clarity, your decisions become easier! #trgrx
  31. Understand your revenue sources and their impact on your organization. #trgrx
  32. Mission has to be #experienced – engage staff in conversation on importance and relevance of your patrons #trgrx
  33. Patrons are not just marketing, not just development. They are part of your mission. #trgrx
  34. #understand — so much involved in this one word (awareness, analysis, priorities, direction, mission) #trgrx
  35. implementation driven by data and tied to revenue streams; relevance and impact #trgrx
  36. Audience development vs. patron management – understand the differences and build objectives and budget around it #trgrx
  37. Biggest takeaway from #trgrx Use Data to inform building and supporting the Patron list.
  38. Arts organizations don’t need new audiences, we need more repeat audiences #trgrx
  39. @TRGArts #Question: How can symphony orchestras most effectively engage Millennial generation audiences/donors on a long-term basis? #trgrx
  40. Thank you for this empowering and informative webinar! #trgrx
  41. Really enjoyed the #TRGRX webinar today. Esp. like the advice to plan & invest in every campaign like you do a subscription campaign.
  42. Surprise! “No arts organization needs new audiences.” Keeping audiences coming back has the higest ROI. #TRGRX
  43. Getting the #trgrx webinar recording together & re-listening… @ricklestertrg & @jrobinsontrg did a great job!
  44. Thanks! Glad you could make it! MT @emadram: Really enjoyed the #TRGRX webinar. Esp. the advice to invest in every campaign like sub camp…
  45. @TRGArts You’re welcome. Thanks for a great webinar!
  46. @TRGArts Thanks to great #trgrx hosts! @ricklestertrg
    @jrobinsontrg I appreciate the follow-up and Tweet shout out.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin: Lovingly Nicknamed The “Mighty Mouse” of the Orchestra World

“In a first-of-its-kind partnership with Philadelphia Live Arts, The Philadelphia Orchestra collaborates with the New York-based Ridge Theater Company to present a 21st-century treatment of The Rite of Spring with dancers, video projection, and theatrical lighting.”

Orchestral innovations – Gallery
Thurs., Feb. 21, 2013 (www.philly.com)

The Philadelphia Orchestra is in rehearsals for “The Rite of Spring” with the cutting-edge Ridge Theater Company of New York at Verizon Hall. The presentation will include aerialists, multiple scrims for video opportunities, and onstage dancers. (Katherine Blodgett)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin announced his second Philadelphia Orchestra season Wednesday in a climate of acclaim so intense that a less sturdy musician might be braced for the cyclical backlash that the likes of Lang Lang and Gustavo Dudamel have experienced before him. But he says he’s just happy word is circulating that the Philadelphia Orchestra is back.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin announced his second Philadelphia Orchestra season Wednesday.

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His energy, plus a diminutive but muscular physique, prompted mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato to dub him “Mighty Mouse” in a New York Times profile.

Until then, the Montreal-born conductor knew nothing about the American cartoon character. “Joyce wrote me a message immediately and said ‘Oh God! I’m so embarrassed!’ I went online, saw what Mighty Mouse was, and thought, ‘Why not?’ I find this cute and funny.”

He also didn’t know that Mighty Mouse’s catchphrase – “Here I come to save the day!” – was so appropriate to his Philadelphia Orchestra tenure. But he does now.

Read more>> Orchestral innovations

Systemic arts – What if we took a holistic approach to managing nonprofit arts organizations?

I am pleased to announce that my post has been featured on the Americans for the Arts blog as an Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (EALS) post!!  You can check it out here>>

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I have always thought of symphony orchestras, or any large musical ensemble, to function somewhat like clockwork.

As a musician, one quickly realizes that the success of the symphony (e.g. high-quality performance, beautiful tone, expressive phrasing, etc.) is dependent on the sum of its parts. The performance of every individual must be sensitively adjusted to compliment the rest of the ensemble in order to produce one cohesive musical story.

The internal intricacies, typically unseen by its admirers, must be functioning properly and working together in order for the larger system to operate properly.  In the case of a clock, even the grandest, most impressive-looking ones may cease to operate with broken or damaged parts.  Similarly, symphony orchestra management can be most effective when all of its departments are working well and moving forward together.

Source: Tai Toh on flickr.com

What if we, as nonprofit leaders in the arts, took a systemic approach to orchestra management? Rather than focusing on issues separately and only when we are forced to deal with them, one might adopt the mindset of always doing what is best to maintain the overall health of the organization in the long run.  Perhaps we should start asking ourselves: How does the health of the organization affect the community it serves or the field as a whole? How can you help your art-form continue to be resilient in an environment of constant change?

I have thought about the idea of holistic management for a while and now a new book, appropriately named Resilience, is making me think that it is not only a good way to manage arts organizations, but may also be a better way of living life.  In no way am I an expert at this and I am still learning, but I wish to be the best arts manager I can be.  I believe in the importance of symphony orchestras in society and hope to inspire others to continue to engage in their performances and events.

  • What do you do in your daily life and work to make sure you’re seeing the larger picture?
  • What mechanisms have you built-in to ensure that your organization has the ability to “bounce back” in the face of hardship?

More ideas to come… for now, I welcome your thoughts and comments!

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Thank you, Professor Andrew Taylor for inspiring me, as well as other emerging art leaders at American University, to embrace new ways of thinking about the arts and career readiness around the concept of resilience.