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  • Barry's Blog: Exit Interview with Olga Garay-English
    have participated in the CAC s Arts Internship Program and have been working in the arts field from three to seven years Through a competitive peer reviewed process six former interns will be chosen to travel to the UK where British Council colleagues will offer a series of experiences that will provide participants with an in depth understanding of a range of issues in arts management and leadership practice as addressed by fellow practitioners in the United Kingdom The program will consist of visits to leading UK arts organizations seminars with British cultural leaders and arts professionals and opportunities to see high quality performances and exhibitions This represents a high level opportunity for our best emerging arts managers to engage expand their networks and universe DCA could not have accomplished such an enterprise on its own and is excited about the partnership with both CAC and the British Council Barry What do you see as the major obstacles in providing more direct services to artists in Los Angeles and how are you addressing those challenges How can we better serve working artists Olga A number of studies have posited Los Angeles as a major arts capital Relevant to this question in Ann Markusen s 2010 report for the Center for Cultural Innovation CCI that hails Los Angeles as America s Artists Super City Professor Markusen observes that successful artistic livelihoods studies show require lifelong learning validation access to financial and physical resources including space to work and equipment health insurance business skills and networks that help expand markets or land jobs Jackson 2003 In Los Angeles these are especially pivotal and yet underinvested in The sheer number of artists that make Los Angeles home makes serving them a very challenging proposition especially in difficult funding climates In addition to providing direct funding support to individual artists through our respected COLA Individual Fellowship Program which turns 20 next year we provide artists in residence support in all 15 Council Districts and in a program I started upon arriving here through our Cultural Exchange International Program which provides international residency opportunities of a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of three months to chosen applicants Further we work collaboratively with arts service and advocacy organizations such as Arts for LA the Center for Cultural Innovation the Dance Resource Center the LA Stage Alliance and others funding them to better serve individual artists through a variety of proactive programs Yet it is still not enough and we constantly strive to be more intelligent and more creative in our quest to serve individual artists Barry Los Angeles has one of the more sophisticated active and successful local advocacy arms of any metro area in the country How do you and the DCA work within that framework What hasn t the Arts For LA structure yet been able to accomplish that is high on your priority list Olga I am a big fan of Arts for LA Executive Director Danielle Brazell and her team have done amazing and strategic work in promoting the arts and arts education for our diverse community I routinely credit Arts for LA as saving DCA during the darkest period of the City s fiscal crisis Arts for LA galvanized the arts community which came out in droves in support of DCA s work And smartly now that the worst is hopefully over Arts for LA continues to engage the City family positively by having annual LA Arts Days in City Hall that bring together elected officials their Arts Deputies and our City s arts advocates to better inform each other on their goals aspirations and realities and to celebrate the important work being undertaken in Los Angeles by artists and creatives Arts for LA s primary challenge in accomplishing its goals and by extension DCA s goals I believe are primarily a resource issue By any measure it is a small some would call it lean and mean operation that needs more stability But DCA s ability to substantially help could undermine Arts for LA s efficacy as an arts advocate during tough times It is better for us to fund its educational and professional development activities rather than to muddy the waters by supporting its advocacy efforts One of the primary goals Arts for LA wants to accomplish for DCA is to have the City significantly increase grants funding It is an uphill battle but one best accomplished by having Arts for LA truly independent as an advocacy organization and not perceived as an arm of DCA By the way naming Danielle Brazell to WESTAF s really Barry s list of the Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts was spot on Barry As the head of one of the major arts agencies in the country and as a Latina woman what is your position on the increasingly accepted proposition that too much funding public and private has for too long gone to the very largest and largely Euro centric arts organizations and too little has gone to multicultural emerging smaller and more vanguard arts enterprises How do you think a more equitable allocation of our scarce resources might be accomplished Olga This has been an ongoing battle or debate depending on where you sit that has been taking place for dozens of years This axiom is especially true during fiscally challenging times when organizations of color and alternative arts organizations more often fail than do mainstream arts organizations It is not a level playing field by any means And just as funders are complicit in helping create this ecosystem they must be just as complicit in turning the situation around For example when I was hired to be the founding Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable foundation DDCF I was told that grants had to be of a significant size typically grants were 500 000 to 3 million this meant that the majority of organizations of color and avant garde arts organizations would not qualify for Duke support since their annual operating budgets would not adequately support receiving a grant of that size I knew however that those were the very types of organizations that Miss Duke supported while she was alive I therefore convinced DDCF leaders to support vital organizations such as the National Performance Network and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts which could justifiably receive multi million dollar awards and then re grant them in smaller chunks to deserving small to mid size organizations including artist run ensembles Further we sought out organizations of color such as the Caribbean Cultural Center and 651 ARTS in New York City and contemporary arts presenters around the country such as the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and jazz specific organizations such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation to receive multi year matching endowments that were restricted to artistic endeavors These endowments were never meant as a stabilization strategy since Miss Duke s will was about supporting individual artists but to provide reliable revenue streams for grantees to commission new work support community based residencies and other research and development efforts that directly benefit individual artists Barry At the Duke Foundation and in Los Angeles you have a long history of active involvement in supporting arts performances and touring and presenting in general Why do you think audiences continue to shrink and where do you see paths to address that decline What is at the root cause of the decline What has to change Olga There are many theories on why there has been a steep decline of audiences at our performing arts institutions I think it is an unfortunate convergence of many factors Lack of arts instruction in our schools lack of public transportation options increased competition for decreased free time costly ticket prices and the list goes on Yet sometimes I attend a performance and see how a community comes together and the excitement that is generated by witnessing a live performance That gives me hope We need to capture people s imaginations in more engaging ways and make them feel welcomed and appreciated at our venues but without numbing down the work Sometimes you see all of these factors come together and it is a joy The LA Phil for example has managed to capture this spirit and is now taking their zest for classical music to LA s disparate neighborhoods through their Youth Orchestra LA Program It is inviting young people throughout the city to learn to play and love music As their website explains through Gustavo Dudamel s Youth Orchestra LA YOLA program inspired by Venezuela s revolutionary El Sistema the LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments intensive music training and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods enabling every child to contribute using their full potential It is a model to be emulated by others in the field interested in building tomorrow s audiences Barry Do you think the arts infrastructure is overbuilt i e too many arts organizations given the demand and the available support What is the solution Olga No I think it is the lack of support available that needs to be addressed I do a lot of work with institutions and colleagues in other developed countries These countries acknowledge the role the arts and culture play in developing a national character as well as a sense of self I think we need to as a country become more attuned to how the arts and culture define us as a people and to make this work a national priority instead of an afterthought Barry What s the last big programmatic risk you took that didn t work out well for you and do you have any regrets Olga As in most communities Los Angeles arts organizations tend to cluster in specific areas of the city instead of having representation throughout the City s significant footprint Areas such as the San Fernando Valley and South LA are underserved by DCA and have scant arts nonprofits we can work with and provide support to To address this imbalance I proposed establishing an arts ombudsman in those areas The problem is that I included this in a proposed budget which due to the City s recent awareness that it was facing a 500 million deficit in FY 2008 09 was doomed to failure My regret was not getting more buy in from the elected officials representing those communities Because I was pretty new on the job and did not have the relationships I do now at City Hall it was a premature idea since I did not have the votes Of course I regret that tactical error but now that the economy is on the mend we may try to revive that concept Barry As of this writing the NEA continues without a named successor to Rocco Landesman as Chairman If the White House called you tomorrow and said the President wants you for that job walk me through the first three things you would do after your Senate confirmation Olga Kiss my husband Dr Kerry English we have only been married two years so we are still on our honeymoon who is a huge supporter of the arts convene the NEA staff which has been on a roller coaster since the culture wars of the early 90 s and celebrate their dedication to the field and begin one on one meetings with elected officials to continue getting individual buy in for the work of the agency Barry A large portion of your budget is TOT income and allocated to public art programs Would some of those funds be better spent in other kinds of support for artists and arts organizations or is the current strategy in place the right one for LA and for the times If so why Olga Just to be clear DCA is supported by three primary revenue streams from the City of Los Angeles The Transient Occupancy Tax TOT provides 1 of the 14 TOT collected by City of Los Angeles hotels The 1 allotted by ordinance to DCA which typically ranges from 9 million to 12 million These funds support our annual grants program our 25 arts centers theaters and historic properties City wide programs managed by DCA such as Music LA and various festivals and all our full time and part time salaries and fringe and overhead expenses Additionally DCA uses 1 of the Arts Development Fees ADF from private developers for our Public Art programs as well as 1 of public development fees which are also used for Public Art programs So in effect the TOT funds used by DCA through its grants programs as well as instructors fees at its arts centers directly support artists and arts institutions Public Arts Commissions which are significant in our annual budget also provide 10 to 20 of all project funds to the lead artist s making these Public Arts dollars an important support system as well The goal is to shift more of the TOT dollars to our grants program and away from staffing and overhead costs As the economy improves and TOT revenues increase we are hoping to devote said increases more and more to our grantmaking activities Barry You talked about the Broadway Arts Center project in a blog for AFTA last year Where is the project currently at How do you think it will ultimately impact the arts in LA Will the impact be limited to downtown or will it have a larger impact across a bigger geographical territory Olga We are now calling it the Downtown Arts Center DAC since the site selection process being led by our primary partners Artspace and The Actors Fund has led us to realize that finding a lot the size needed on Broadway where most properties are owned by individuals is going to be quite challenging financially especially now that the economy is improving As such we have decided that we need to expand our search to encompass all of Downtown LA We have been meeting with government officials for profit developers and non profit community development corporations trying to find the site and the financing structure that fits the needs of the DAC and our other major project expanding the Downtown footprint of CalArts These two efforts will be the anchors for the larger Downtown Cultural Quarter Creative Enterprise Project being designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects Their charge is to create a roadmap including zoning and code recommendations to the City which will result in more creative for profit companies and arts and education concerns moving to a more welcoming Downtown I believe that a strong vital and alive Downtown core will have an impact across the greater Los Angeles area and result in outcomes we cannot even imagine currently But to more directly address the second part of your question DCA just was awarded another NEA Our Town grant that will directly impact outlying areas though it will be piloted in the Downtown adjacent Arts District Our Town funds will support the Artists Affordable Housing Partnership AAHP a program to provide immediate affordable artists housing and create a replicable strategy for use in other communities in LA and beyond Though they have been around for many years 80 20 developments where 80 of rental units are market rate and 20 are designated affordable have traditionally not been accessible to the arts community due to lack of familiarity with the program In 2008 HR 3221 clarified Low Income Home Tax Credit regulations to specifically allow a preference for those involved in artistic or literary activities Many developers of affordable housing as well as the arts community however are largely unaware of this provision and its benefits have not been fully realized deliberate brokering needs to occur between affordable housing developers and the arts community The AAHP will develop resource materials to increase developers awareness of the artists provision HR 3221 as well as educate artists on how to accurately complete the needed financial qualification documents and other application materials A website will be maintained to promote affordable housing opportunities to artists and the broader creative community DCA plans to use the materials protocols and curricula developed in other City of LA regions such as Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley both of which have 80 20 projects coming on line in the next several years there is interest from cultural affairs departments in Pasadena and Santa Monica two neighboring separately incorporated cities to replicate the program Barry Management skills entrepreneurial skills listening skills fundraising skills people skills visionary skills all of these and more help arts administrators successfully navigate ever more difficult pathways in running arts organizations Which of these or other skills do you think are the most important and why Olga They should all meld together but it is rare for an individual to possess all of these skills In my case developing entrepreneurial skills along with fundraising skills but based on constant interaction listening to the field has been key These are crucial underpinnings to not only developing a vision but being able to articulate it to partners and funders and other key allies so that the vision can be turned into reality These are important elements when you are looking for true leaders Barry Having now been both a foundation and a public agency funder what advice do you have for your former foundation program officer colleagues What would you tell foundation program officers that they need to think more about Olga When I became the Program Director for the Arts at DDCF in early 1997 I set out to develop a program that I would have liked to have in place while I was working in the field as Director of Cultural Affairs for Miami Dade Community College Right before I left

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/11/exit-interview-with-olga-garay-english.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Organizational Heavy Gravity Days
    predict when you were in the zone as it were was terribly seductive the whole notion has been thoroughly debunked Yet there remains the unassailable reality for each of us that there are times when we have a lot of energy and seem to easily get things done and moving and times when we don t and that many times that reality is apart from such factors as lack of sleep or illness or anything over which we have control I go to the gym four times a week and have for decades Sometimes I think I am going to have a great workout and I end up lagging through the whole routine Other times i just want to do the minimum and get out of there but end up having a really great workout I personally chalk it up to heavy and light gravity days hey that s as good a theory as biorhythms The point is that there seems to be some cycle of when things go well and when they do not when we get things done and even create some magic and when we just can t focus no matter how hard we try even if that cycle s origins genesis and operation remains a mystery The same seems true in our work We have days that despite our best intentions or even threatening deadlines we just don t seem to be able to produce days when a systemic ennui engulfs us and keeps us from any kind of productivity let alone the spark of real creativity Writers call it writer s block The natural and commonplace response to those days is to either beat your head against the wall and work though it or to put whatever it is off until tomorrow tomorrow noun a mystical land where 99 of all human motivation productivity and achievement is stored When we plow ahead because we think we must that it is an unacceptable weakness not to be able to move forward we are as often as not left with the inescapable reality that such an approach just doesn t work The gravity is too heavy that day or week or whatever Putting things off until tomorrow is sometimes the only option And while sometimes that is the best and most logical approach and other times an impossible solution it is almost always the default option if it is available I think perhaps organizations too have periods within each stage of their development for which there are heavy gravity days weeks months when their biorhythms are not in sync periods when despite their best intentions they just can t move forward In that reality both the default option to plow ahead and the default option of postponement often has the same result things don t get better often they get worse Those periods seem more pronounced as the organization moves to maturity stagnation and old age In the early days of an organization energy and ideas abound

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/11/organizational-heavy-gravity-days.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Interview with Ken Foster
    embed the arts in the community rather than wasting time trying to figure out how to market the arts and do outreach to the community Can we stop that already Barry In your mind what are the fundamental qualities of an effective leader Ken Well I ve already mentioned courage and tenacity a few times and they are right up there at the top of the list Vision People pooh pooh that these days as being soft but that s usually because they are uncomfortable with things like feelings passion and emotion which are central to the arts experience By vision I don t mean goals I mean a comprehensive inspirational expansive vision of the world in which your organization thrives Leaders have to be savvy The world is complicated people are more complicated and there s no straight line to anything Figure out how to navigate around obstacles Know when to retreat to live to fight another day People are your lifeblood so you better be compassionate caring and tough when you need to be Couple compassion with very high expectations higher than the persons themselves believe they can achieve Expect more from them and for them Laugh a lot because it s a serious business but if you take it too seriously you ll wreck things for yourself the folks and the organization Be a good public speaker and really good writer There is SO much writing in leading an arts organization Get good at it Barry Presenters really have three basic constituent client groups to serve the public in their local communities the artists being presented and the stakeholders in the organization itself How do you balance those sometimes competing groups and needs Ken If you have the larger vision of the organization in mind at all times then in the long run you will never fail any of these constituencies In the short term someone is always unhappy and as a leader you have to understand and accept that But people will respect you and your vision if they see that you are committed to it and that you pursue it not just with passion but also with integrity It really is a compliment if someone says I disagree with you but I respect where you are coming from Getting everyone to understand and buy into the vision is the toughest part but it also appeals to peoples higher natures Work on that Barry If you were asked to advise the NEA on how to better serve the performance arts community what advice would you give them Ken Provide funding to artists to create Fuck Congressmen if they don t like it The resources for artists to create work are practically nonexistent You want a robust arts community Fund artists We fund scientists and researchers to explore ideas Do the same with artists Barry What have you learned over your whole career that were you to go back to the beginning would cause you to make different decisions at different points Ken My first job at a small community based arts center was both wonderful and a nightmare mostly because I didn t understand finances It taught me to be really cognizant of the finances But a lot of my jobs were of the if I knew then what I know now I would never have taken this position variety and yet I don t regret taking them Had I been more thoughtful I wouldn t have gone after them and would have missed some amazing experiences not all of which were good by the way I wish I had taken more risks earlier in my career I think sometimes I think people will get better over time and give them too much slack when I should have encouraged them to move on sooner Barry Funders are grappling with conflicting thoughts on whether to provide large grants to a few organizations vs smaller grants to many more organizations Where do you stand on that question Ken Larger grants to more organizations Seriously This is a trumped up conflict that arises because Foundations stick closely to their 5 payout as if that is a law It s a minimum folks not a maximum Want to make something happen Give larger grants to more organizations That said too many arts organizations especially in the Bay Area believe that simply because they exist they deserve Foundation support when in fact they are producing some pretty mediocre work Foundations should support the organizations that look like they are going to make the strongest impact and support them often and with significant sums of money Barry Your successor Deborah Cullinan in an interview I did with her last month suggested that there needs to be an increased role for people to participate in the curatorial structure of a presenting organization First what do you think is the curatorial role of a presenting organization and second how can that role be opened up to more of those the presenting organization serves Ken First let me say how absolutely delighted I am that the Board hired Deborah She s one of a very few close colleague friends that I have in the Bay area and will make a mark during her tenure at YBCA that I know will be significant I couldn t be happier Re public curating well this is not an all or nothing Remember my library metaphor I like best sellers I love Hollywood movies and I cry at sentimental songs These public curated events i e give em what they want are an important part of our culture But I also know from experience that people know what they like and like what they know and if they don t ever get to see something outside their comfort zone they won t grow they won t develop and they won t develop the joy of an ever increasing deep engagement with art So curators have the responsibility to seek that stuff out and bring it in and say hey I know you don t know about this and you don t think you ll like it but if you give it a chance you might be surprised People LIKE to be surprised not always and not at a prohibitive cost but they do have a curiosity about the world All of our lives have been shaped by teachers mentors and others who introduced us to stuff we had no idea existed and had no idea would make us happy That s what curators do It s not a matter of taste it s a matter of the curator s extensive deep knowledge and her his dedication to searching out and finding the best the most interesting the most provocative and sharing it with our community We d be lost without them Barry Facilities like YBCA have only so many dates available for the organizations in their community that covet those dates How do you balance that local demand with the value of presenting established artists from beyond the local community as a service to the local public Ken You gotta love SF The little known fact is that more than 70 of the time in the two theaters at YBCA in any given year has been devoted to local artists and there were still dates available and I don t mean Christmas Day But everyone wants the second week in October and gets PISSED if they can t have it And if they are prevented by a touring company from Africa or New Zealand then they say well YBCA doesn t care about local artists That s the biggest fiction out there It made me crazy for a while and then I just accepted that people were never going to be happy It s in the mission and it s in the actual programming that YBCA is a site for local artists and national and international artists For SF to be a vibrant arts community it needs both And it s not like we were presenting musicals or circuses or comedians in order to just make money We are talking about serious artists from around the world who have something to say to and for our community and by the way no one else in the Bay Area would present them so we did And I think we made the right choice every time Barry Both UCLA and Golden Gate University had Arts Administration degree programs Both are gone now However Claremont College now has such a program and you are joining the faculty at USC and chairing a graduate Arts Leadership program Can you please describe that program and what you hope for it in the future How will you grow this new program Ken When USC recruited me to head this program I was very clear that I was interested in Arts Leadership and not Arts Administration There s big difference I ll admit to being old school and believing that arts administration is learned on the job more and in the classroom less I started my career as a high school teacher and I feel the same way about education I learned how to teach by teaching not by the case studies in my education textbook My belief and what I told USC and what resonated with them is that we are in a fundamentally changed world and that in fact teaching arts administration as it is generally taught these days teaches you yesterday s skills for tomorrow s world I m not interested in that Instead I want to work with folks who realize this and have the courage to take some risks and develop the kind of new thinking and new ideas that will save the arts from oblivion I have some degree of wisdom and experience from 30 years of LEADING arts organizations that I want to share But I also want to work with students who want to try new ideas explore options create new organizational models figure out new ways to fund the arts figure out how to use the creative process to make the arts vital and viable in ways I have never experienced I m not at all interested in best practices or creating a safe space two phrases I detest Best practices are from yesterday and safe spaces are all about fear of the unknown I want to work with folks who want to innovate take risks and be unsafe in their practices because that s where the juice is We have a fantastic entrepreneurial moment just now and I want to do everything I can to support and aid those folks who see that and want to jump into the fray That s what this program is all about The program launched this fall with a one year graduate certificate and a two year Master in Public Administration that we offer in collaboration with the Public Policy School at USC I m developing other programs in collaboration with the USC Schools of music theater visual arts and dance that will offer an MA with an emphasis in the area of your choice Because we are in Los Angeles we draw from the amazing artists in that city who are remarkably generous and share my vision of a richly diverse arts world Barry On the general topic of providing professional development opportunities for our managers in the field what do you see as the major challenges and how are University programs such as the one you will head at USC in a position to be part of addressing those challenges apart from the service they provide to students enrolled in their institution Ken In addition to the academic departments we are working on developing collaborations with national service organizations to address this issue I m well on the way to creating a partnership with APAP and there are a couple of others in the works as well that I can t really talk about yet The challenge here as you rightly point out is that we are dealing with people who are working professionals who can t always drop out for a couple of year to earn a degree But at the same time I don t want to create a lame program that is thin with content because we want to make it cheap fast and easy There s already too much of that in the arts world That s what I like about being at USC we they are committed to rigor and demanding excellence but within a framework that makes it possible for working professionals to take on the challenge I had three different experiences in my life through NYU through Berkeley and through Stanford that were critical life changing I would say to my professional development as an arts leader and they all had rigorous content in a format that made it possible for me to attend and learn without quitting my job That s what we are working on Barry And while University programs across the country are providing excellent training and education in arts administration for a new generation of leaders there is a whole cohort of entry and middle level managers already working within the field who because of cost time and other factors have little to no opportunity to increase their skills levels How does the field address this unmet need for easily accessible low cost convenient professional development opportunities for middle and entry level mangers already in their jobs Ken See above Barry Isn t part of the problem for the arts field providing better professional development opportunities that almost no arts organizations have a line item in their budgets for such training and education And with those that do have such provision more often than not it is in practice reserved for the more senior leadership How do we get more organizations to budget for professional development and include junior managers Ken That s a good question and symptomatic of something I see all the time at nonprofit organizations which is the focus on the immediate and the tactical and almost a disdain for the long term how can I think about training staff when we barely have the money to keep the doors open Strategic thinking demands a much larger perspective than that We can easily get caught up in the day to day activities of putting on the show and lose sight of the longer vision For arts leaders that s disaster we have to have the long view because no one else does That said even at YBCA this was usually dealt with as we need money to send people to workshops and conferences rather than as part of a systematic plan to strengthen the organization by investing in the people Working at a nonprofit arts organization ought to be an ongoing process of professional development not a class that we take every now and again on how to be a good supervisor Leaders need to integrate staff development into the daily work of the organization Mentorship Cross departmental training Executives spending some time on the floor Reading groups Shared arts experiences outside our organization When I was at Penn State we took a field trip to Pittsburgh so the staff could meet colleagues in other arts organizations It doesn t take that much time and money but it does require commitment and a certain amount of creativity on the part of the leader Barry What one big problem facing the nonprofit arts field worries you most about our future Ken Oddly enough I worry most about whether we will be able to exercise the creativity necessary to remake the field in the face of so many enormous and important environmental shifts changing demographics outdated business models environmentalism new technologies etc If we don t or can t then we risk becoming just a niche product available to and the province of a diminishing elite class That would be a tragedy I come from a working class background in which attending performances or art museums was not part of my experience My life has been so vastly enriched by the chance to participate in the arts How can we deny this to others like I was Barry In your address to the APAP Conference in 2010 from your paper Thriving in an Uncertain World Arts Presenting and the New Realities you advised presenters to embrace resilience thinking making our organizations able to better absorb the shock of changing times and recalibrate and continue existing and moving without substantially changing the underlying purpose of the organization You opined that rather than cutting back and streamlining operations in response to diminishing resources we needed to move away from certain business values and embrace our own arts values more as part of our organizational values including risk taking chaos less smoothly functioning but better able to absorb the inevitable blows of the times without damaging the core of the organization How do you feel the field has done in adapting to that kind of approach and what do you think of that position today Ken First I am even more convinced than ever that this is the way to go and increasingly view the economic collapse of 2009 as simply the ringing of a bell that needed to be rung for a long time The economic collapse gave us the impetus and the rationale to make change but it didn t create that need That need was created by many other trends that have been happening over the last decade or so most importantly demographic shifts and the technological innovation that is remaking the fundamental rules of the world I believe in the environmental model of resilience thinking because it springs from the natural world and therefore is organically generated and understood it s not some crazy idea I thought up one day while ruminating about the state

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/11/interview-with-ken-foster.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Bryce Merrill reports from the Social Theory, Politics and the Arts Conference
    to code on an Atari100 in KMart while his mom shopped for blue light specials explaining that he considers his business philosophy to be the love child of Ayn Rand and Ralph Nader and jabbing at many nonprofits who appear to be allergic to making money Louise K Stevens ArtsMarketing Inc presented a paper on big data and charitable giving arguing that new highly localized data sets and data management strategies are making census level data collection approaches more viable than sampling and modeling strategies The paper was compelling and rich with detailed data but the larger argument that the big data project she is engaged in is easily scalable and will replace sampling was less so Chantal Rodier Ottawa and Serge Poisson De Haro Montreal explored the impact of web 2 0 technologies on performing arts festivals in Canada illustrating empirically the differences in web 2 0 social media and marketing strategies of small medium and large performing arts festivals Walter Van Andel Belgium used the concept of effectuation to explain an entrepreneurial project by the Netherlands Bach Society to build an online platform for all 1 126 compositions by Bach Principles of effectuation Van Andel explained could guide a successful business model for the project in ways that models based on causality could not A graduate student of at The Ohio State University Yifan Xu presented a paper on online interactional differences in American and Chinese users of music platform s such as Spotify or China s Douban Yifan suggested that deep cultural ideologies American Individualism and Confucianism might help explain differing use behaviors on these platforms with Chinese users favoring active interactions chatting over passive ones liking music or referring songs In a little under 8 hours I saw 9 presentations and cannot say I was disappointed by any of them This is a rare compliment for an academic conference but I also did not stay for the second day As always the off the record conversations were lively and rich Perhaps echoing Norman Bradburn s recent paper on establishing an arts and culture research network there were many discussions about solidifying the field s research and policy infrastructure The diversity of participants was remarkable as was the strong international presence Seattle University was a comfortable and accommodating conference location with only one noticeable glitch in the conference set up The organizers Kevin Maifield and Woong Jo Chang did an outstanding job putting the event together and special thanks are owed to the many students and staff members that ensured the event run smoothly I ll look forward to attending the next one perhaps at an international location It would only be fitting Thanks Bryce Have a good week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 4 29 PM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/bryce-merrill-reports-from-social.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Aaron Dworkin on Diversity Inclusion / Final GIA thoughts
    We have made great strides in this area but have a long way to go before we are anywhere near leveraging our collective power This is not an easy area in which to make advances because virtually all funders are islands unto themselves and that isolation and territoriality is very difficult to change But we are not having the collective impact we might by continuing to act as independently as we do I have faith movement is afoot and smarter people than I are moving mountains to come to terms with all of this and more It will take time but one can hope not an unreasonable amount of time Have a great rest of the week Dinnervention Video coming very soon Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 7 59 PM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner Subscribe via Reader Subscribe in a reader Barry s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation WESTAF The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of WESTAF Followers Buy Barry s Book HARDBALL LOBBYING FOR NONPROFITS Barry learned political advocacy the hard way convincing the California legislature to multiply many fold its investment in arts funding In his new book Barry extracts the lessons of his long experience into a readable and impassioned tutorial that has broad application throughout the nonprofit sector John Kriedler former President Community Initiative Fund This is a powerful provocative and daring look at the ups and downs of fighting for beliefs The book straightforwardly mixes together simple clear definitions strong opinions new ideas and in your face strategies all designed to help the good guys win Robert L Lynch President CEO Americans for the Arts Hardball Lobbying is an essential tool for every nonprofit leader who wants to see systems change and public dollars flow to the causes they care about Tim Wolfred Psy D Director of Leadership Services CompassPoint For those who want to begin a nonprofit I can think of no better guide and toolkit that Hardball Government students should read this as an insight into decision making as Barry explains how government and groups interact with one another at all levels Hardball is definitely not a book to collect dust but one to get dog eared highlighted debated and used Representative Adam Schiff U S Congress 29 th District California Click here http amzn to d1whZU HIRE BARRY TO SPEAK AT YOUR CONFERENCE email barryarts comcast net HIRE BARRY TO LEAD WORKSHOPS in Advocacy full and half day sessions customized to your situation Managing the Generational Divide in the Workplace The Business Side of the Music Industry email barryarts comcast net Popular Posts Widget by Blogger Buster Blog Archive 2016 11 April 1 March 4 February 3 January 3 2015 57 December 2 November 4 October 6

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/aaron-dworkin-on-diversity-inclusion.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: GIA Day 3
    music business model I wonder if the rough equivalent of Napster for the nonprofit arts is somewhere out there lurking and that the proverbial bus for us is leaving the station And whether or not we are perilously close to missing that bus as our model is morphing into something we don t yet see and from which we may not recover The new media stars are former bloggers Twenty year olds the new generation that Zuckerman calls the digital natives have already decided what actions they will and won t take to affect change For example this group doesn t look to Congress or government as the place to make change happen They are suspicious of institutions They live in a high tech social world and cherish a participatory world and if there is no participation then they aren t interested Moreover that world is seen through a pointilist lens wherein the impact desired and having impact is a highly desired outcome is achieved by small increments not big movements There is in this group the tendency to gravitate to small known groups which inclination is most pronounced online where the digital natives live Thus creativity is an import export business not a solo endeavor Participation is based on passion for this cohort and the questions for the arts are 1 How can the arts be a cultural bridge and 2 how can the arts support institutions in a pointilist world IV The offsite session Challenges Opportunities and Impacts at the Intersection of Art and Science One of many off site afternoon long sessions this one was held at the URBN Center at Drexel University SEAD is a network for Sciences Engineering Arts and Design and interested in new forms of collaboration among SEAD constituencies They did a study to identify issues that must be addressed in order to create an ecology of networked knowledge and innovation among these groups Such a program needs to attend to the following issues Translation of the SEAD constituencies preferred language objectives modus operandi assumptions and more among academic commercial and civil societies Convening overcoming trans disciplinary thresholds Enabling sustaining balanced SEAD relationships i e establishing safe places within academia for hybrid individual practices Including dynamic varied communities Global communities with local diversity Embedding public engagement and negotiation Situating engaging ecologies of creative and alternate spaces Sense making of the multi ways modals of knowing Integration of understandings through the varied SEAD perspectives Documentary Capturing publishing curating and archiving new forms Learning Tapping into life long learning and creativity and sharing of blended experiences Collaborating methodologies across disciplines and institutions Partnerships across organizational boundaries Thriving ethical values including well being and joyfulness Two things struck me from this session First there is a lot more science art cross disciplinary conversation and interaction going on at least at the academic university level than we realize In touring the Drexel schools there is a wealth of intersections going on crossing the art design and science

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/gia-day-3.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: GIA Conference - Day #2 Breakout Sessions
    By the year 2050 for the first time in history seniors older than 60 will outnumber children younger than 15 I have long thought that the relationship between the arts and healing and aging is potentially a goldmine for us The problem of aging and the attendant health care issues is going to be a major priority across the planet and governments everywhere will be looking for help in addressing the problems of their aging populations The arts are one of the answers to any number of those problems We can form new alliances with governments and be part of the response to this challenge In the process we can improve those relationships and our chances for across the board support This session provided clear and convincing evidence based on case studies of how the arts can help with Alzheimer s to Parkinson s Disease how storytelling and dance can help senior s long term conditions how the arts can de medicalize those conditions and help aging populations better their situations and improve their life styles And I think we have barely scratched the surface of the value of the arts in addressing these issues Every local arts community ought to get involved in this area The last session I went to today was a sharing of some of the progress GIA has made in its effort to move the nation s arts organizations to embrace adequate Capitalization as a cornerstone of their operations Here s what the data they have amassed in a score of workshops shows The field is largely undercapitalized Too many arts organizations have little to no working capital inadequate facilities reserves and virtually no available risk change capital And too many other organizations are incorrectly capitalized They are trapped by poorly conceived endowments over invested in buildings and ill prepared to manage unplanned growth All of which is straining their capacity to make ends meet They also found that size matters Smaller organizations have less cash flow but greater flexibility Larger organizations attract most of the money but are less flexible Past funder behavior has played a roll in this situation Funders inadvertently created funding approaches that punished surpluses were inadequate to cover costs and were often too restrictive And funders priorities shaped organizational behaviors They also found that often grantees spent money on operations despite the money being allocated for other purposes and that grantees were often not completely honest with their grantors And if that is true and I have no doubt to an extent it is then that in my opinion is a major issue If grantees aren t able to be honest with their grantors how can there be any kind of real working relationship Evidence from three funders approaching the challenge suggests funders are adopting a variety of approaches to help arts organizations get to the point of moving towards adequate capitalization workshops trainings grants et al The question that looms is that if adequate capitalization is a core value

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/gia-conference-day-2-breakout-sessions.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: GIA Arts Education Pre-Conference - Common Core Standards
    bow to shoot any of those arrows The second half of the GIA Common Core PreConference centered on the politics policy and advocacy efforts necessary to move forward on all the arts education fronts Richard Kessler discussed how our focus on practice on programs rather than policy has limited our reach and success in getting arts education in the schools One example of the cost of that approach is the STEM paradigm We weren t at that table when it was created and so we have ever since played catch up in trying to move STEM to STEAM We need to both recognize where the tables at which we need to be seated are at before decisions are made and we need to figure out how to wrangle invitations to those tables Richard suggested that but for David Coleman inserting the arts into the fabric of the content envisioned for the CCSS in an architectural way CCSS might not be much of an opportunity at all for us I agree it may be folly to count on the David Colemans being there so fortuitously And if Mr Coleman really wants to help the arts might I humbly suggest that in his new position as President of the College Board he makes sure knowledge of and some experience with the arts is one of the requirements for passing SAT tests that determine college aspiring students of their future admission to the college of their choice One of the problems we face in the advocacy arena is that our own best potential advocates and lobbyists our cultural institutions especially the larger ones with powerful Boards are principally interested in their own self interest They save their efforts to feather their own nests That s completely understandable but not helpful to the sector as a whole and certainly not helpful to furthering arts education K 12 efforts My own opinion is that powerful Board members of major cultural institutions are first and foremost interested in spending their political chips on access that benefits their own personal business interests and only after that expenditure are they interested next in pushing the interests of the arts organization with which they are affiliated There is little to no room left to push for sector wide advantages and that includes arts education The question is what might funders do that will influence and impact how we organize and leverage whatever clout we may have in the arts to efforts life arts education that benefit all of us That is a very difficult question politically and gets made if at all on an individual case by case basis What else can funders do to enable arts organizations and arts administrators to engage in effective policy work The remainder of the afternoon included a number of entreaties urging the funding community to get involved and stay involved in helping to promote advocacy for arts education at all levels Good advice we have heard before but again where is the

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/gia-arts-education-pre-conference.html (2016-05-01)
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