Emerging Leaders Aren't Being Siloed, We're Creating a Leadership Pipeline

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jul 03, 2012

Stephanie Hanson

Stephanie Hanson

A couple of weeks ago, Barry Hessenius of Barry’s Blog posted a question and concern that caught my attention. He wondered “whether or not we are isolating [emerging leaders] by relegating them to their own niche as ‘emerging’, and whether or not by confining them to their own ‘silo’, we might be doing them, and ourselves [meaning the field]—at least in part—a disservice.”

I was pleased to see Barry post this concern, because at least a couple of times a year, arts administrators approach me with the same issues. In my role as leadership development program manager at Americans for the Arts, our Emerging Leaders program and national network is a large part of my work portfolio.

I want to thank Barry for sharing his thoughts on emerging leaders and bringing this issue, which has been bubbling under the surface for quite some time now, to wider attention. Barry also deserves quite a bit of credit for all the great work he has done on behalf of emerging leaders in California. The networks in California—thanks in large part to the James Irvine Foundation’s and the Hewlett Foundation’s leadership—are some of the most robust networks we have nationally and are consistently looked to as model programs.

I appreciate Barry’s concerns regarding sub-sectors of our field, and wanting to create an environment where those new to the field can be seen as fellow leaders by their peers. Transition and succession planning is a large issue that our field needs to address head on in a unified way. As an emerging leader myself, I personally want to avoid the existence of “artificial walls” between emerging and experienced leaders.

In my mind, one of the discerning qualities of the Emerging Leaders Network is that it is an opportunity for those new to the field to practice and workshop their leadership skills, learn fundamentals, and network with peers. Oftentimes, a new arts administrator can feel isolated in their work, and one of the largest benefits of the network to me is that it allows an individual to connect to something larger than themselves and remember that they are a part of a movement.

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Shift Happens in the Generation Gap

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jun 20, 2012

Stephanie Hanson

Stephanie Hanson

There are currently four different generations existing in the workplace and living within our communities. Each generation has unique characteristics, and preferred ways that they interact with technology, each other, and their relationship between work, life, and family.

During our Annual Convention last week, presenters for the Shift Happens in the Generation Gap session led attendees in a conversation around new approaches and strategies to promote intergenerational collaboration within the workplace. They also discussed new practices to connect with ethnically diverse audiences.

Rosetta Thurman, owner and principal of Thurman Consulting and author of the book How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar began the session by leading us through the characteristics, similarities, and differences of the four different generations:

  • Matures were born between the years 1925–1945. They are best characterized as wanting to continue contributing and providing mentorship.
  • Boomers are the largest generation with 80 million of them in the workforce today. Born between 1946–1964, they have a strong sense of optimism and tend to operate under the assumption that they will be around forever.
  • Generation X is best known as the Slacker Generation. Born between 1965–1979, they tend to be very individualistic, but are also not interested in the corporate world. They are half the size of Boomers, and often considered the “forgotten generation” in that can be passed over for leadership opportunities simply because there aren’t as many of them.
  • Millennials  were born between 1980–2000, and are growing up as the most educated generation to date, but also carry the largest amount of student debt. Once they enter the working world, they expect to be paid well not always out of entitlement but out of necessity. This generation is very technology centered and thrives in a constantly connected world.

After taking session participants through that overview, Rosetta invited us to think about our own experiences, and to highlight similarities and differences that people are seeing amongst generations in their own work. After 10 minutes of discussion, everyone came back together, and reported out from our conversations.

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Choose Your Own Adventure: Innovate or Bust (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, May 22, 2012

Stephanie Hanson

Stephanie Hanson

(Author's Note: The ArtsFwd team invited me to respond to their NextGen Quick Poll because of my knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing young leaders today gleaned in my role at Americans for the Arts.)

Pretend you have two job offers in front of you (I know, we’re just pretending here, okay?!)

  • Organization A is a respected organization that has been producing high-quality artistic work for the past 50 years. You get the sense that your role in the marketing department will be to continue business as usual to an audience who can afford the organization’s $150 per seat tickets. There is no social media campaign, something that you are very interested in starting. However, it’s unclear whether the organization’s leadership understands social media, or if they think it’s a good use of time or energy.
  • Organization B is a start-up organization that is three-years-old. The social impact is clear—Organization B is providing a safe space for children from dual income families to go after work. The children are exposed to art, music, and dance classes at an affordable rate. Your job would be to launch a social media presence, but you’d also be tasked with finding new untapped sources of revenue and creative partnerships to help sustain and grow the important work this organization is doing for the community.

So, which position would you choose? (By the way—we’re also pretending the pay scale, benefits, and title level of both positions is the same, although we know that in reality, this would not be the case).

If you choose Organization B (which we’re defining as the highly-innovative organization), then according to ArtsFwd and EmcArts recent NextGen QuickPoll, you may find yourself feeling 80 percent more likely to want to “move up” in the organization. Granted, this is not a scientific study, nor was it intended to be. Also, I made up those above case organizations. But, the survey and exercise itself brings up some very interesting questions and illuminates some issues in our field that I believe need addressing.

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Capturing the World of an Emerging Arts Leader

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Apr 06, 2012

Stephanie Hanson

Stephanie Hanson

I am consistently inspired by the innovation that comes out of the Emerging Leaders Network, and this week’s blog salon was no exception.

We heard from representatives of 11 Emerging Leaders Networks, and gained some insight into what was happening in their communities. This week, bloggers have questioned and affirmed why they continue to dedicate their careers to the arts; wrote about examples of artists and arts organizations leading authentic community engagement; questioned the social inequity of unpaid interns; and shared a list of Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us at 25.

We gave ourselves permission to fail, permission to have multiple interests outside of the arts that may or may not intersect with the field, and reminded ourselves not to get stuck in a structure that no longer works for us as individuals or organizations.

It’s clear that emerging arts leaders are looking at their careers, organizations, and neighborhoods in a different way than arts administrators who have come before them. I believe it’s important that we honor the hard work of those who started in the field before us. Without them, we wouldn’t have the National Endowment for the Arts, the structure of public funding support, or the diversity of arts, cultural, and community engagement organizations that exist today.

There are four generations currently working and leading in the workforce, and we must find ways to work with one another, share our strengths, and support each other’s weaknesses at all levels of the generation spectrum.

To me, this blog salon demonstrated how many mini ripple effects of change are taking place in communities across the country at the same time. This is change at a very fundamental level that has the potential to reform our field in the way that Diane Ragsdale envisions in her post (and is our muse for this salon).

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Emerging Leaders Networks: Leveraging Impact for the Future

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Apr 02, 2012

Stephanie Hanson

Stephanie Hanson

Coming up with the theme for a blog salon is always a challenge.

For the past few years that I’ve been working with our Emerging Leaders Council committee to develop our blog salons, we usually have a kernel of an idea for what to focus on. It’s ideal when the initial inspiration comes from the council, because then it’s truly coming from the field. After all, the point of our blog is to facilitate online discussion about big picture issues in the arts that we feel need to be addressed.

When thinking about this year’s salon, the council knew they wanted to feature the Local Emerging Leaders Networks around the country. Great. Love it. Easy. Done.

But what should we have them talk about?

We already talked about emerging ideas in the field last year. What’s next?

We began to think about HOW those emerging ideas get implemented. In many cases, in order for a new idea to thrive, we as individuals, organizations, the community, and the field as a whole may need to change at a very fundamental level.

Perhaps we need to change our definition of success; how our organizations are structured; how we interact with our communities; and how we make art.

Then, we read Diane Ragsdale’s February 14 blog post; If Our Goal is Simply to Preserve Our Current Reality, Why Pursue It?, where she writes about innovation and arts sector reform.  Diane’s thesis can be summed up in these sentences:

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New Year’s Resolutions: Checklists versus Commitments

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jan 05, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions for the Arts Administrator:

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Stephanie Evans Hanson

•    Participate in one arts and culture activity or lecture per week (okay, realistically – maybe two per month)
•    Finally read the pile of field related books and articles that I’ve been collecting on my desk
•    Volunteer for another arts organization and/or join a board
•    Take a class or workshop totally unrelated to my job
•    Give more public speeches
•    Write more blogs

Do those sound familiar? Are any of my New Year’s career goals similar to yours? Does writing or reading your own professional or personal list of goals for the year feel as exhausting to you as reading mine does to me?

Yes, all of the above tasks and goals I outlined for myself are important to me, and they are things that I’d like to do. But lately, I’ve found myself wanting to unplug more and do less. I’m finding that when I allow myself to disconnect from daily tasks, to do lists, Twitter, and Facebook feeds, a funny thing happens: I’m actually more productive.

During the holiday break, I really did take a break. From everything. When I came back to the office yesterday, my head felt clear. I moved through projects and tasks with lightning speed, and left feeling energized and excited about what I worked on.

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Creative Conversation Run-Down

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Oct 26, 2010

Stephanie Evans

It’s the last week of Creative Conversations and National Arts & Humanities Month!  Since starting work at Americans for the Arts two years ago, I have had a goal that we reach an event total of at least 50 Creative Conversations happening in communities across the country.  This year, we did it!  Thank you to everyone who hosted, attended, and participated in this exciting program for Emerging Leaders.

I’m also thrilled that people are blogging about the events that they host and attend.  Check out two great posts by Emerging Leader Network Members David Zoltan from Chicago, and Gina Harrison from Pittsboro, NC.

And now – this week’s Creative Conversation Events…

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The Creative Economy Has Our Attention. Now It Needs a United Voice. (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Sep 29, 2010

Stephanie Evans

There has been a lot of talk about the creative economy coming out of Washington, DC, lately—from the NEA’s recent panel discussion last week on Creative Placemaking, to the Center for American Progress’ panel which discussed The Creative Economy:  How to Keep the Fuel of Creation and Innovation Burning (If you have an hour and a half, I highly recommend watching the video of this panel). Also last week, Partners for Livable Communities hosted a forum on Building Livable Communities:  Creating a Common Agenda. 

I was lucky to have snagged a seat at the sold-out and standing-room-only Center for American Progress Creative Economy panel, which took place on September 21. There were some key takeaways and important points that are worth repeating and sharing.

It’s also interesting that within the span of less than two weeks, three separate organizations (a federal government agency, a progressive think tank, and a national nonprofit) felt it important to invest the time and energy into the topics of creative economy and livability. I believe this is a reflection of the years of hard work and advocacy put in by many artists, arts administrators, advocates, journalists, and citizens who have pushed to get arts and culture to the center of the discussion around how we can begin to solve the economic and social challenges that are plaguing our country.  It’s uplifting to note that in some corners of our world (and U.S. government) that there are those who “get it.”

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Thinking About Nominations to Advisory Councils? Here are a Few Reasons Why You Should

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Sep 28, 2010

Each year when we announce the opportunity to nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on an Americans for the Arts advisory council, the staff liaisons to those councils tend to get a wide variety of great questions from the field.  Questions such as:

  • Do I have to be a member of Americans for the Arts to be on a council? Answer:  Yes
  • How large are your councils?  Answer:  15 members
  • What time commitment is expected from council members?  Answer:  Click Here
  • If I’m elected to an advisory council, can I tell Bob Lynch what to do?  Answer:  No (okay, just kidding, we’ve never received that question)

A question we rarely get, and would love to answer, is:  Why should I nominate myself or someone else for an advisory council?  Here are a few thoughts to consider if you’re contemplating this opportunity:

  • Community Leadership

Being on a national council is a great way to be able to provide resources and in depth knowledge to your community.  Americans for the Arts council members work on issues that affect the field as a whole.  This work can help spark ideas for solutions that you can bring back to your own organizations and communities.  

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It’s Time We Get Creative with Our Professional Development (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jul 07, 2010

A week and a half ago, Americans for the Arts staff were in trains, planes, and loaded down automobiles, headed for Charm City, aka Baltimore, MD, for our Half-Century Summit. Since I work directly with Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders network and our leadership development programs, I spent time participating in Goucher College’s Leadership Symposium, and many of the leadership themed sessions at the Summit.

At the Summit, a recurring conversation in our sessions centered on how we as individuals and organizations could make professional development for our field a larger priority. And by priority, we don’t mean a larger piece of our dwindling budgets. The majority of arts organizations are struggling to figure out how to do more with less, and we need to develop ways to continue making professional development a priority during this tough economy.

In the results from the 2009 Survey to the field of Emerging Arts Leaders, I was shocked to discover that while 70 percent of our current emerging leaders consider arts administration their long term career, only 28.5 percent either strongly agree or agree that there is room for career advancement within their organization.

How will the remaining 41.5 percent of those who want to stay in the field realistically do so when they don’t feel they can grow?

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Moving from Arts Leadership to Community Leadership (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Feb 02, 2011

Stephanie Evans

Stephanie Evans

In January, most of the Americans for the Arts network councils gathered in Washington, DC, to participate in their annual Winter Meetings to share information and develop work plans for the year.

During the two-day Emerging Leaders Council meeting, we had a valuable discussion around connecting more deeply to the 32 Local Emerging Leader Networks that are currently in existence, while also providing resources and services to the individual emerging arts leader who does not have access to regular professional development or a local network.

In my two years of working with the Emerging Leaders Council, I have been excited about the evolution of their conversations as they develop strategies and ideas to reach out to the field, providing resources for growth and professional development.

Meanwhile, back at our offices in DC, one of our focuses within the Local Arts Advancement department at Americans for the Arts is the idea of moving from arts leadership to community leadership.  How does your job as the marketing associate at a local theater change when you begin to think of yourself as a community leader, now in the position of being able to connect with your community, and invite them to participate in an art performances that are relevant to them?

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Becoming Entrepreneurial About Our Professional Development

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Nov 19, 2010

Stephanie Evans

The other day I was standing in the check-out line at my local grocery store, when I glanced at the bright yellow cover of GOOD Magazine.  Coincidentally, the fall issue is subtitled The Work Issue, which you can read online as well.  Since Americans for the Arts and the Emerging Leaders Council just released our 2009 Emerging Leader Survey Results & Analysis report last week, I thought the magazine would be a good read, so I picked it up.

In the Emerging Leader Survey Analysis, our most surprising finding demonstrated that while the majority of survey participants expressed a strong desire to make arts administration their long term career, a much smaller percentage of them feels they have the opportunities for advancement within their current jobs.  This means the following needs to happen:  arts organizations need to make professional development for their employees a priority. (Some are already doing this really well)  Simultaneously, individual arts administrators need to begin creating their own opportunities to learn the skills they need to either move up in their current organization or move on to a higher position in another arts organization.  If neither of these happens, the arts sector stands to lose skilled leaders to take the field into the next generation.

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Sending the Elevator Back Down (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Apr 06, 2011

Stephanie Evans

Stephanie Evans

On Sunday, April 3, I was excited to participate in the 4th Annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium hosted by American University.

This event is timed each year to correspond with Arts Advocacy Day, and it’s a fantastic way for emerging arts leaders across the country to come together, network, and participate in professional development prior to the advocacy activities taking place.

This year, I spoke on the What Makes a Good Arts Leader panel, along with Ian David Moss (Fractured Atlas and Createquity.com), Jamie Bennett (National Endowment for the Arts), and Michael Bobbitt (Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD), and moderated by Michael Wilkerson (American University).

As a 2008 graduate of American University’s Arts Management program, and the staff liaison at Americans for the Arts to the national Emerging Leaders Network and Council, I was excited to be part of this conversation.

At the beginning of the panel, I spoke very briefly on what I’ve learned about leadership since I graduated from American University, and I wanted to expand a bit on those ideas in this blog post.  

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Consider Creating a Conversation this October

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Aug 19, 2011

Since Americans for the Arts started the Creative Conversations program in 2004, in response to the feedback and initiative of the Emerging Leaders Council, the program has grown to serve over 50 communities and about 2000 individuals each year. Through Creative Conversations, we have witnessed the creation of strong local emerging leaders networks that still exist today, observed communities start a cultural or strategic planning process, and helped unify groups of people engaged in arts and culture to help spark dialogue, spur advocacy efforts, and create networking opportunities.

While the Creative Conversations program was initially created by and for the Emerging Leaders Network, we have seen and welcomed interest in the program from other networks and individuals as well. Having the structure of a national movement connected to a community’s grassroots initiatives can provide a framework and timeline for enacting a new project or bringing different groups of people together around a single issue.

This year, we are officially expanding the Creative Conversations program to invite and encourage individuals, organizations, and networks of all types to host an event, and engage their community around a cultural topic or issue that is of importance to them locally. You can view ideas for previous Creative Conversations here.

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Blog Salon Wrap-Up: Leading Through Innovation

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jul 29, 2011

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Innovation happens at the local level. Despite budget cuts and debt ceiling debates that currently seem to take over our news media, we have seen strong examples of impactful innovation in our field through the projects profiled this week on ARTSBlog. I use the term “impactful innovation” because if a great project or idea is created and doesn’t have impact, what was the point? Ryan Hurley gives a great example of an innovation that may not have resulted in lasting impact or change.

This week we have learned about innovative fundraising strategies that leveraged more dollars for youth in an underserved community, a theater experience that is engaging communities in a new way, and a dance company that serves not only the community at large, but builds the career capacity of the dancers and choreographers themselves.

We’ve also discussed some of the challenges in finding the resources to support innovative work, learned about a local arts agency that is partnering with the healthcare industry to serve a wider community, and we’ve got proof that innovation doesn’t just happen in big cities on the coasts. We also celebrated the curators of our field whose job it is to seek out innovative ideas and develop strategies for supporting them.

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Conversation and Innovation

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jul 25, 2011

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Innovation, change, and new ideas start with a conversation. Your new idea may come from a conversation you overhear in a coffee shop, from a television interview you watch, or from a panel discussion or keynote you listen to at a conference.

Or, it may come from a discussion you are actively taking part in. Innovation can also come from a conversation you first have with yourself, which you reflect on over time, and possibly discuss with family, friends, or colleagues.

It can be easy to overlook the value of a conversation when brainstorming an innovative idea. It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t have time to go to the next meeting, or listen to that podcast, or read blogs, or…the list goes on and on.

But in actuality, we can no longer afford to continue the status quo in our field. The organizations that are innovative with business models, marketing, fundraising, programming, and reaching new audiences are the ones that will survive in this economy. If innovation starts with a conversation, we must allow ourselves the time for discussing, listening, reading, and reflecting. 

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Innovating Locally, Thinking Globally (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jul 20, 2011

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Earlier today, I had the chance to listen in on a talk by National Endowment for the Arts Local Arts Agencies & Challenge America Director Michael Killoren as he was speaking to a group of Americans for the Arts and NEA interns.

As he spoke about his career path and what he’s learned thus far, one thing he said stood out to me: Most innovation is happening at the local level.

We spend a lot of time, energy, and resources advocating for increased dollars for the arts at the federal and state level, which is important and that work should continue. However, I believe a focus on what’s happening culturally at the local level in what we estimate to be 19,000 cities is equally important to pay attention to. This is one reason why I am very excited about the upcoming Emerging Leader blog salon, titled Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation, taking place July 25-29 on ARTSblog.

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What About Those Who Simply Don’t Know What They Don’t Know?

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jun 18, 2011

Stephanie Evans

Stephanie Evans

I like structure. It helps me think clearly, feel organized and productive about my day, and create balance in my life. Then I entered the field of arts management: a sector that by it’s very nature and design is possibly one of the most unstructured career paths you could enter into.

Yesterday, I co-facilitated the discussion session "Demystifying Professional Development: Benefits of Classroom vs. on the Job Learning" with Ramona Baker (Principal at Ramona Baker Consulting and Director of the Masters Program in Arts Administration at Goucher College) and Letitia Ivins (Assistant Director of Civic Art at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission).

The idea for this session came out of the 2009 Emerging Leader Survey, where we asked survey participants what their concentration of study was. The 554 responses broke out as follows: 37%  - Arts; 15% - Arts Administration; 8% - Business; 40% - Other. 40% - Other? 

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Whose Responsibility is it to Provide Access to Art and Culture? (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Nov 11, 2009

Last week, I read in Arts Watch that the arts in my hometown of Fairfax County, VA, are threatened due to significant budget cuts. When I was in high school, the public schools in Fairfax County were ranked among the top in the country. We had access to band, orchestra, a great theater department, and many visual art courses to choose from. I took music theory, a course that put me ahead of my classmates when I started college as a freshman music major.

The news about Fairfax County saddened me, because I know that without access to the arts, my career would be very different then what it is today. It also led me to ask a question—if it’s not the public school system’s responsibility to provide a quality arts education for students, then whose is it? Is it the responsibility of non-profit arts organizations? Government? Parents?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot, and also reminiscing about my own experience in the arts as a young child. While I recognize that the answer to my questions may differ depending on who is answering, when I ask myself again whose responsibility it is to provide quality arts education to children my answer is—it is everyone’s responsibility.

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Sustaining and Growing Leadership Development

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Apr 05, 2010

Stephanie Evans

In June 2009, at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Seattle, I met Marc Vogl from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for the first time.  Marc gave me a copy of a study commissioned by the Hewlett Foundation, titled Focus Group on Next Generation Leadership.  I came back to DC after convention, and spent a few hours on my back porch at home reading the study cover to cover.  The study, which is actually the second part of a 2-Phase Hewlett initiative, was conducted through the use of eight focus groups – six composed of Millenials and Gen Xers, and two composed of Boomers.

The conclusions of the study shed light on the wide ranging generational attitudes towards issues of work in the nonprofit arts sector.  It demonstrated a lack of understanding one another on the sides of both emerging and seasoned leaders.  The end of the study includes a list of recommendations for individual organizations and funders on how to manage the “generational divide” taking place in our sector.

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What do We Need to Know About Supervising Staff? (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Mar 17, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner with some colleagues and friends. We are all emerging leaders who work in the nonprofit arts field, for very different types of organizations and at various job levels within our organizations. During the course of our dinner, one of my friends brought up the subject of supervising staff. She had a question related to her personal experience supervising her own staff, and wanted to get our input. After we had all discussed my friend’s question, and gave a few tidbits of advice, I thought the conversation may morph into a different subject. However, I was surprised to find out that ALL of us had a story related to supervising staff—some good experiences, some not so good experiences. 

The next week, my colleague sat down in my office and said he was out to dinner with some arts friends, and the same subject of supervising staff came up.

Therefore—the seed for this blog post had been planted.

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Host a Creative Conversation in Your Community

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Aug 28, 2009

It’s that time of year again!  Creative Conversations and National Arts and Humanities Month are right around the corner.  Every October, in honor of National Arts & Humanities Month, Americans for the Arts partners with emerging leaders from across the country to host Creative Conversations—local gatherings and discussions that focus on pertinent topics from arts leadership to arts advocacy.  Last year, more than 1,500 emerging arts leaders participated in 43 locally hosted Creative Conversations throughout the country, and those leaders continue to be engaged at the national level.  In celebration of 2009 being the 5th Anniversary of Creative Conversations, the 10th Anniversary of the Emerging Leader Network and the 50th Anniversary of Americans for the Arts, our goal is to support communities in hosting at least 50 Creative Conversations this year.

Is someone in your community planning to host a Creative Conversation?  Are you considering it?  If so, there are a few easy steps to follow:

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Have You Found Your Voice Today?

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Aug 24, 2009

I’m writing this blog post immediately after reading Edward Clapp’s Open Letter to Young Arts P九龙高手水心论坛精选, titled This is Our Emergency.  Edward is the editor and project director for 20UNDER40, “an anthology of critical discourse that aims to collect twenty essays about the future of the arts and arts education – each written by a young arts professional under the age of forty.”

While the 20UNDER40 project has received strong support and praise, there has also been an undercurrent of criticism (as Edward references in his letter).  However, what is more surprising – are the number of letters Edward has received from young arts p九龙高手水心论坛精选 who have something to say and contribute – but do not feel they have the authority or courage to do so.  Is it possible that so many members of the Gen X and Gen Y generation are afraid to speak out?  What is it that we are worried about – Failure?  Criticism and judgment from our peers?  Losing our jobs?  Engaging in a debate? 

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Gen Y Workers Disappoint? Really?

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Aug 21, 2009

Lets face it:  Young leaders in the arts are not always considered valuable by senior managers at arts organizations.  Sound like a generalization?  Well, it is.  There are some opinions to help back that statement up, but not enough to make a wide assumption about a manager's level of appreciation for his or her younger employees.

That's why I (and many other Emerging Leaders) were surprised when we read this article published by The New York Enterprise Report - scroll down to the section Gen Y Workers Disappoint.  (Courtesy of Emily Peck, Program Manager - Business Committee for the Arts).  The article is reporting survey results of small business owners, and referencing in part the level of satisfaction that business owners have with their Generation Y employees.  In my opinion (and take this for what it's worth), reports such as this are incredibly misleading and damaging. 

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