Placemaking: It’s About Addressing the Disconnect

This week continues our conversation on creative placemaking where we asked our Creative Community Fellows to talk about creative placemaking and what their role is as community-engaged artists. We discovered that for many of our Fellows, the work they do is about addressing the disconnect that exists not only within the communities in which they are currently working but across sectors and social boundaries. We found that many Fellows see their work as a means to bridge these divides. In their conversation, Rachel Reynolds Luster and Laurelin … [Read more...]

Nicolle Bennett & Sifiso Maposa: A Conversation

This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Nicolle Bennett, is currently working with an arts education and advocacy organization called Feel the Music! She is developing a technology platform for artists, community-based organizations and policymakers to connect in a more meaningful way. Sifiso Maposa is a social entrepreneur working in the culture and creative industries. Based in South Africa, she is creating a digital platform that connects the creative industries of Africa to each other and to global … [Read more...]

Julie Rada & Chris Webb: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Julie Rada is a contemporary performance director using art to create enrichment opportunities for prisoners in Arizona. Chris Webb, originally from Cleveland, Ohio is currently working as a poet, actor and public speaker in LA. Both are Creative Community Fellows. The following is a recounting of what they learned from their conversation. City with a C By Julie Rada I hold an image: of artists and neighbors painting their anger and resentment into a wall … [Read more...]

Placemaking: Bringing People Together

Connect. Connected. Connecting. Connection. Connector. This is what we heard when we asked our Creative Community Fellows and you to talk about creative placemaking. Many saw themselves as connectors of people, across divides and within them – sharing experiences to inspire and motivate. The idea of connection was frequently brought up when defining “community.” For many, and I know certainly for myself, community feels personal, it is almost synonymous with identity. It is a place where we feel we belong. We choose to identify in … [Read more...]

The Case for Cultural Fluency

WDET Cultural Fluency

In this excerpt from "The Case for Cultural Fluency," Mikel Ellcessor introduces the concept of Cultural Fluency as it can be applied by arts and culture leaders. You can read and download his full white paper here.  It’s déjà vu all over again. Picture this: you are in a meeting and you have been in this meeting many times. After another detailed mapping of the problem, someone takes a stab at a solution and says it: “We have to move beyond the current audience and into new audiences and communities.” This feels like success, right? … [Read more...]

A Framework for Meaningful Engagement

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Editor’s note: As part of our blog event for The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, John Wetenhall poses a series of questions for thinking about the problem: Engage users/customers/stakeholders as true collaborators in shaping an institution's agenda. Beyond any fiscal challenges that cultural organizations may face, the core of what we do involves a meaningful, resonant and personal relationship with every human being who engages with our form of … [Read more...]

Relinquishing Control

photo: Keith Winsten

Editor’s note: As part of our blog event for The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, Keith Winsten takes on the problem: Engage users/customers/stakeholders as true collaborators in shaping an institution's agenda. Across many types of experiences, from retail to food to leisure, consumers are demanding more and more customization.  And the rise of smart phones and other handheld digital media devices have made this customization available in real time. … [Read more...]

Committing to Engagement

Engagement Ring

Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll feature posts around the final convening of our Chief Executive Program, The Summit at Sundance. We invite you to participate in an online discussion of four major issues facing the cultural field. In this post, Theresa Remick introduces the third problem statement. Problem to solve: Engage users/customers/stakeholders as true collaborators in shaping an institution’s agenda. Customers are shifting from passive consumers to active collaborators, and many desire experiences designed for and … [Read more...]

Defining Our Value

Battersea

The recent flurry of articles around the “failure” of the creative class to save our cities—as Richard Florida’s writings have been characterized as promising—and the challenges of measuring the value of “creative placemaking” has me wondering if we are nearing the end of the road for all of the instrumental arguments we have been making for the nonprofit arts over the past 30 years.  Or perhaps we ran out of road a while back but just didn’t notice. One of our most beloved arguments for support of the arts has been the idea that they … [Read more...]

What does it mean to be a cultural leader?

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders

The experience of being in a place for five days with an amazingly diverse and talented group of individuals through the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders has left me completely changed. I have to admit that all the conversations that took place floated and tumbled around my head when I was there, and I kept struggling with what this meant for me in my day-to-day reality. As an arts administrator working with education and community partnerships, and specifically advocating for engagement with the most at-risk, I tried to flesh … [Read more...]