I come to this discussion and to this work as a product of the arts establishment in the United States. My early arts experiences were in children’s choirs in church, private piano and trumpet lessons, and, later, public school arts–music and theatre–in the Midwest of the 1960’s. This led me to pursue a career in music and, as I am continually telling workshop attendees, colleagues, friends, and strangers on the street, I am as over-educated as a musician can be. I have a Ph.D. in composition from the Eastman School of Music. I do not say that with any sense of pride or superiority. To be honest, as may become clear later in this blog, my feeling is at least somewhat to the contrary. My reason for laying that particular card on the table is to head off any argument that I do not understand the arts.
For nearly thirty years I was an educator serving as Director of the Arts Management Program and, more recently, the Not-for-Profit Management Program, at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. I have served as President of the Board of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, an international coalition of college and university programs (2010-2012), and as Chair of the Board of the ECHO Network (2011), a group dedicated to fostering bridging social capital in Forsyth County (NC). I am author and editor of Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S. and Engage Now! A Guide to Making the Arts Indispensable.