Speaking, Writing and a little Arts Marketing Haiku

SouthwestI can rub my tummy and pat my head.

I always thought that the list of things I can do simultaneously was vast. Chew gum and walk?  Yes. Watch Netflix on my iPhone while jogging on the treadmill at the gym?  Sure did – for the entire administration of Jed Bartlet, no less!  Play a round of Facebook Scrabble while doing just about anything else (except DRIVING, of course) – Absolutely!

So, I was shocked and dismayed to discover that I do not possess the capacity simultaneously SPEAK and WRITE.

If this blog has been a little sparse, know that for the last 8 months, know that I’ve been on a speaking tour in which I presented my Audiences Everywhere™ workshop 23 times in cities all across the US and Canada.

Crisscrossing the continent multiple times – and having the precious opportunity to visit with more than 2,000 leaders of arts & cultural organizations – my plan was to use the ample travel time (i.e. waiting in airports & traveling on airplanes) to reflect on the conversations engaged and the discoveries made – and immediately share those thoughts on this blog.

In retrospect, I hadn’t quite considered the significance of these factors:  fatigue, hunger, the stress of making tight flight connections, leg room (i.e. the lack thereof), the paucity of electrical outlets plus and, once on board, a dread phobia that my seatmate (or I) will spill his/her (my) beverage all over my laptop.

So, SPEAKING and WRITING – nope, I just can’t do them both at the same time.

Fortunately, I wasn’t just accumulating frequent flyer miles (and about 12 lbs from airport food).  I’ve gathered a wealth of insights, examples and connections and now that my travels have paused (for just for a little while) I’m really looking forward to WRITING about them here.

As you might imagine, there are challenges & frustrations aplenty out there among organizations facing dire challenges in marketing and audience development.  Yet, there are also numerous bright spots – people who are reinventing themselves and their organizations in profound and exciting ways.

Last February, I wrote that “The Great Hibernation is Over” and that “possibilities are again in season.”    I return from my travels more convinced of this than ever and I look forward to sharing insights, highlighting innovators and, most of all, helping YOU find the strength and resources to advance YOUR organization’s greatest ambitions.

More soon!

One more thing…   Occasionally stuck in a middle seat, I found solace deep within my iPhone – meditating on the kinds of things that arts marketers think about in their deepest souls.  With a nod to Yogi Berra for the first one, I offer a selection of Arts Marketing Haiku:

Hear the audience.
Nobody’s gonna stop them.
They don’t want to come.

The only thing worse
than having nobody come:
The wrong audience.

The virtue of art,
Sacred and unbend-able.
Except for cash flow.

After the applause
One experience lingers:
Achieving Budget.

Nobody’s coming.
Your new website contains a
Hyperlink Typo.

The sum of culture
and creative achievement:
The Season Brochure.

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