Artful Insights

Art takes effect when it reaches and engages the people around it. Without engagement it risks both stasis and irrelevancy. – Americans for the Arts | Animating Democracy – The Hair Parties Project, Case Study: Urban Bush Women

It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly. – Claude Monet

This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. – Gary Lew

The world of cultural arts demands curiosity, tenacity, adaptability, flexibility, agility, and determination. As a cultural leader, I work to question, clarify, reinforce, and contribute to a dynamic and fast-paced arts sector.  I seek to identify and develop novel methods and ideas to improve the production, delivery, and outcomes associated with data-driven cultural organizations, facilitating the efforts of individual artists.

Is it music? … This is not the important question. The important question is, is it interesting? – Mark Applebaum

Mark Applebaum, also known as the mad-scientist of music, has a unique tendency of “breaking the rules.”  Spurring his creativity as a composer and musician, this tendency has allowed him to get outside of what is expected in music and to create works that are more interesting and entertaining.  As my professors used to tell me, musical notation is just ink on a page.  The real music is the life you put into the notation through your personal and stylistic interpretation and performance of a composer’s work.  Challenge yourself to make a statement and create meaning in everything you do.  What makes a persons work distinctive and make others want to pay attention?  Well, is it interesting?

A metaphor is like a simile. – Author Unknown

The power of art and language.  What a clever way to use six little words!

Respecting tradition is important; being trapped by it has little value. – Robinson, Nonprofit Boards That Work

This is a reflection on the power of personalities to shape behavior.  Although tradition plays an important role in society, heritage, and culture, holding on to the past too tightly can prevent us from moving forward in an environment of rapid change.  With this rapid change, it is easy to cling onto traditions of the past out of fear for its loss.  While we must honor the past, it is also important that we remain open-minded and act as a constructive force in the development of a healthy, meaningful, and progressive future.

I am easily satisfied with the very best. – Winston Churchill

Life, music, and the arts are constant works-in-progress.  We are always striving for the best and to become a master of our craft, but in reality, our work is always changing.  A life in the arts requires that we never stop learning about ourselves and the world around us.

Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old. – Winston Churchill

We were honored to have Chad Bauman, 21st c. arts marketing guru, speak at the 2012 EALS Symposium.  With humor and insight, he shared his experiences in marketing the arts, reflecting on the good, the bad, and lessons learned.  He offered an important reminder – “Many of us are so captivated by the allure of attracting new audiences that we concentrate much of our attention on getting the new ones in the front door while the old ones are running out the back door.”

In a fast-paced, competitive society we tend to get so caught up in moving forward that we forget to stop and acknowledge all the wonderful things we already have.  Attracting new people to the arts is good, but not when it is done at the expense of excluding or neglecting those who are already passionate supporters of the arts.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. – Winston Churchill

Creating, supporting, and participating in the arts requires a certain level of risk – risk in innovation, risk in unpredictability, risk in letting go of previously held assumptions and allowing yourself to be open, reflective, and accepting of new artistic experiences.  Be courageous, be creative, get engaged in the arts!

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