My thanks to David Dombrowsky of the Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon who commented on a recent entry. In response to my entry on how well things were developing for the Emerging Leadership Institute, he suggested that instead of independently inventing the wheel arts organizations like APAP, Americans for the Arts and the Southern Arts Federation which all have leadership programs combine their efforts to offer greater opportunities for learning and conversation.
He isn’t the first to express this sentiment. Andrew Taylor said the same thing two years ago when I did an entry on Southern Arts Federation’s National Arts Leadership Institute. As Andrew noted, there are many such programs throughout the country. I listed a sampling here.
Someone in my Emerging Leaders meeting at APAP suggested that it might be logical and beneficial to open a channel of communication with the American for the Arts Emerging Leaders program alumni.
I had a brief email exchange with David about causes and solutions. We generally both agreed a little bit of ego and territoriality came into play. As Andrew Taylor noted in his comment, we are often enjoined to partner and collaborate by these service organizations but they may not be providing a good example for their constituents.
One thing I mentioned to David was that change in outlook might have to come at the grassroots level and technology made such things possible where it hadn’t been before. I will make no promises or idealistic statements about success at this juncture, but I am going to talk to some people and do some research and see what develops. Given that I don’t know exactly what success will look like other than people engaging in effective communication and exchange of ideas, I can’t be more committal about what my plans are. If people have any suggestions about who to speak with or want to get involved in organizing an effort, as nebulous as it might be at this point, drop me an email.