It’s common to consider our brains as reactive – receiving sensory information from our bodies and our environments, making sense of that inbound information, and directing our response thereafter. It’s also common to consider that much or even most of this reaction happens at a conscious level – there’s a tiger-like rustling in the weeds, […]
It’s a surprising and sobering truth that, after centuries of scientific inquiry, we only understand a tiny fraction of what makes up our universe. Everything we can see and name and touch – including ourselves, the objects around us, the Earth, the sun, all the other stars, and all the galaxies – adds up to five percent of the mass that evidence suggests is there.
I’m thrilled to announce the publication of The Artful Manager: Field Notes on the Business of Arts and Culture. This book gathers 50 posts from the first 18 years of The Artful Manager blog.
The approaching summer is showing glimpses and glimmers of return to live performance in shared settings. Many theater, dance, and music companies are relaunching or reconfiguring themselves to be outdoors. Others, like The Shed, are threading the needle of audience readiness/reticence, pubic health regulations, and labor union requirements to design indoor performances. And many of […]
This story may sound like a metaphor. But it’s actually a case-in-point: When preparing to launch the Navigation Technology Satellite 2 (NTS-2) in 1977, the NAVSTAR GPS engineering team was in a bit of a pickle. The satellite contained the first cesium atomic clocks to be sent into orbit. That highly accurate timing device would […]
As the chaos and confusion of the global pandemic shows distant glimpses of something less chaotic (by Fall, or Winter, or Spring, or…), the question of “strategy” is emerging once again. In the freefall and free-for-all of the past eleven months, arts organizations necessarily spent most available time on survival and rapid innovation. Long looks […]
While most performing arts organizations are still in the midst of emergency action around their current reality (safety, solvency, and immediate service, as mentioned in a previous post), most are also looking toward the still-unknowable fall and spring, when their performance seasons and tours would normally begin. The questions aren’t just around whether or when […]
These past few weeks, a whole world of arts organizations have been searching for, revisiting, or assembling-on-the-fly their emergency readiness plans as the pandemic turns that world upside down. Many are finding that “pandemic” wasn’t among the expected disasters in their plans, if they had a plan at all, so they’re diving into the many waves of action as best they can.
When we “go to work” in the arts, we often mean actually going to an official and shared physical workspace. There are desks and phones and (sometimes) doors and walls where groups of us work with each other, or at least perform a sort of parallel play.
When we talk about organizations, or other forms of collective action by groups of people, we often speak as if we have dominantly conscious control. We talk about designing the business, developing the policies, arranging the office, and building relationships. In short, we talk like architects or construction workers — agents with autonomy, attention, and […]