Leading Arts People & Organizations

Fall 2014 Arts Leadership Digital Classroom

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The Fall Arts Leadership Digital Classroom will examine leadership principles, theories, and practices to build your capacity for creating inspired teams, flourishing organizations, and effective change. This four-part classroom will discuss fundamentals as well as provide case studies of exemplary arts leadership. Join experts, practitioners, and fellow administrators to dig deeper with case studies and readings, and connect you through phone calls and discussion forums.

Whether you are facing the everyday challenges of running an arts organization or finding yourself in a position with little authority and big ideas, learning effective leadership is crucial  to generating professional momentum to move you forward. Regardless of their years in the field, arts administrators need to stay current on new trends and also understand the foundations of leadership.

Arts administrators must have equal parts passion and skill to drive forward. The health of the arts ecosystem relies on both the heart and brain of the arts administrator, who is prepared to either innovate or adopt best practices. The capable and creative art administrator is versed in the art and science of leadership and looks to the entrepreneurs and social change agents of the field for inspiration. Developing this bird’s eye view ensures their impact reaches beyond their walls while making them an indispensible part of any organization.

The Fall Arts Leadership Classroom is generously sponsored by Drexel University Online.

Leadership by the Book: Defining & Describing Leadership for the Arts Administrator

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, October 2nd,  3:00pm - 4:30pm ET


Ramona Baker Director and Lecturer, Master of Arts in Arts Administration Goucher College

E'Vonne Coleman Cook Chief Operating Officer, Durham Convention and  Visitors Bureau

Regardless of its vision or the quality of its artistic product, a poorly lead arts organization is doomed to struggle or fail. Challenging leaders can either micro-manage staff to the edge of insanity or give too little direction leaving staff confused about what they are suppose to be doing. Effective leadership begins with inspiring one’s people and increasing job satisfaction, which ultimately creates flourishing organizations.

Understanding the different components and styles of leadership helps arts administrators handle various situations and individuals accordingly – there are times to be autocratic and times for democracy. In this class we will introduce the major leadership theories and styles and discuss how they manifest in arts administrators and organizations. We will also discuss how we can “manage up” to improve your job satisfaction.

The Art of Leadership: Leadership Traits, Skills & Intelligences

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, October 16th,  3:00pm - 4:30 ET


Camille Schenkkan Emerging Artists and Arts Professionals Program Manager, Center Theatre Group

Leslie Johnson Director of Education and Community Partnerships, Center Theatre Group

Authority or title is not synonymous with leadership. Certain individuals have a knack for inspiring and motivating us while others have a knack for deflating and alienating us. Who would you prefer to be? Individuals who have developed core leadership qualities easily navigate both challenging situations and their careers.

Understanding core leadership qualities can help you develop your own leadership qualities and increase your career prospects. In this class, we will introduce the core leadership traits, skills, and intelligences and provide you with tools to assess and develop them in yourself.

Leading Arts People: Motivation, Culture, and Memory

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, October 30th,  3:00pm – 4:30pm ET


Brea M. Heidelberg Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at Rider University

Christina Jensen Deputy Director, Hyde Park Art Center

The success of an arts organization depends upon its people.The unique challenges of arts administration range from small organizations where each employee is expected to be a “jack-of-all-trades,” to mid-sized and larger organizations where more specialized staff must work in both area groups and across the organization. These challenges often make it difficult to create a positive work culture, ensure team motivation, and maintain institutional memory.

An organization’s leaders set the organization’s tone, which can either create an inspiring and meaningful place to work or pure drudgery. Understanding how a leader shapes a workplace can help you take the initiative to assume leadership duties that will strengthen your organization. In this class, we will discuss how leaders shape work culture

Leading Art through Change

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, November 13th,  3:00pm – 4:30pm ET


Tod A. Kniazuk Executive Director, Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Inc.

Jax Deluca Executive Director at Squeaky Wheel Media Art Center in Buffalo, NY (squeaky.org).

Arts leaders must adapt their organization to changing demographics, technology, and markets. Sometimes arts administrators don’t know where to begin or don’t have the authority to initiate change. No matter what your title is, however, a good idea deserves to be discussed, analyzed, and if merited, implemented.

When old organizational systems or structures are no longer producing desirable outcomes a leader must create new ones. How can you work to ensure that you and your organization are creating the impact you envision? How should you introduce new ideas and change? In this class we will discuss the process of initiating and implementing change in your organization.


*Note: Class and call dates are subject to change based on presenter availability.