…. It is more about the courage of imagination and the plural

About Roberto Bedoya

Roberto Bedoya has written 2 posts in this blog. #

Roberto Bedoya has served as the Executive Director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council since November of 2006. He is also a writer and arts consultant who works in the area of support systems for artists. As an arts consultant he has worked on projects for the Creative Capital Foundation; The Ford Foundation; The Rockefeller Foundations and the Urban Institute: He is the author of the monograph U.S. Cultural Policy: Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential and The Color Line and US Cultural Policy: An Essay with Dialogue #



  1. yes and yes and yes…thank you for this response…for your vigor and your rigor…the plural IS more fun and as a student, I can say that you are a force that has contributed greatly to my ideas about aesthetic possibility and the meaning and methods of leadership.

  2. Roberto Bedoya says:

    thank you for your very kind words. Roberto

  3. This is a very interesting sentence, “In our process of deliberation about the projects supported, the debates were not about lead or follow but about ethics and aesthetics.”
    When we debate questions of ethics and aesthetics, does this not lead to decisions that create leading and following?

    It is interesting how different the public practices of ethnic identity are between Arizona and New Mexico. (I was born and raised in NM and still live there part-time.) New Mexicans deeply celebrate the state’s Hispanic identity, while Arizona all but suppresses it. For cities like Santa Fe and Taos, their Hispanic identities are one of their greatest assets – in both cultural and financial terms. New Mexico and Arizona have made decisions about ethics and aesthetics that strongly influenced cultural leadership. And we see what major differences have been created between the two states. We see the stark, social and political realities that cultural leadership can create.

  4. Roberto: you say this at the end of your post: “I have not answered that question directly because the nature of audiences eludes this question and cultural work is more nuanced and complicated than an either/or characteristic. Instead my thoughts on the courage of imagination and the plural as meaningful references to one’s work is what I sit with, because it asks for rigor and vigor in thinking and actions which is fun, but most importantly because of their dynamism – a force the feeds aesthetic possibilities and prompts leadership.”

    Hear, hear! But this seems to me an argument for following. Not following in the subordinate sense, but following in the best tradition of being true to the grass roots. Why do we equate following with something lesser? Following is really another way of saying listening, paying attention, being responsive. Out of such behavior can come great leadership.

    • Roberto Bedoya says:

      I agree and I struggled when I was asked to choose where to post my remarks – either under the Lead or Follow categories. I choose Lead because I believe leadership is about following through the acts of listening to, looking at and learning from the community you serve. And after i posted my blog I found myself thinking of good old love songs about falling in love and then the Ricky Nelson’s song “I Will Follow You” ( I hope this link work) – Roberto