Gearing up... Preparing for the Unknown


The other night I had the opportunity to participate in a convening in the 2010 Bravo Forum. A program of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, the Forum's theme was Empowering Educators as Advocates for Arts Education.

A room of 60 Bravo nominees assembled to learn what they can do to better advocate for the arts in their school, district and community. This dedicated and talented pool of teachers, parents, and school administrators discussed effective and innovative approaches to advocacy from the legislative, community as well as district perspective. But it all began with the personal story.

Connecting with our personal narratives provided a common ground for each of us, regardless of the particular role we play in moving the arts forward. This set the tone for an inspired conversation around critical issues and possible strategies to overcome obstacles.

Reflecting on the forum, I am reminded once again by the power of the personal narrative. The act of listening and sharing creates an environment of mutual respect and empathy. The art of storytelling is a critical tool in advocating for the arts and arts education.

From here, we break down the opposition and align ourselves with decision makers. From here, we can begin to develop solutions to the challenges we face at the local, state and federal level.

As we gear up for what is sure to be an extremely busy advocacy season, remember how the arts changed your life and share that story far and wide. The more we tell the story, the more it will become part of our collective value. All of us need to not only tell our story, but provide the opportunity for others to share theirs as well.

This final 2010 edition of the Arts for LA monthly e-blast includes an update on our past success and a look toward what our collective advocacy focus will be in the coming months. From participating in a candidate survey, to joining an advocacy team, to becoming a member, to attending one of our upcoming member meetings, to taking action when prompted, there are many ways to advocate for the arts and arts education.

They say effective leadership is not how we lead, but how we follow... how we show by example and how we create opportunities for others to engage in our vision. As you plan your opening night receptions, fundraisers, and special events, remember to invite those who may needed to connect with their story in order to value yours.


Leadership and LA re: Gearing Up... Preparing for the Unknown

To Danielle Brazell-

I totally agree with you Danielle, regarding your letter "Gearing Up... Preparing for the Unknown".  Empathy is a product of communication and understanding.  Once we gain the information about lives and how the arts can effectively change individual’s lives and entire communities, as leaders, we have to put ourselves out there and stand tall in issues concerning not only keeping creative education alive, but also building creative venues into our communities for all of us to learn from and enjoy outside educational institutions. Within the act of standing tall as good representatives of cities even in feeling sometimes awkward in our acts, is the only way we'll gain our own effective communication tools to lead with truly educated and empowered voices.

It is within our failure and our successes which most effectively fuel our most effective means of communication for great leadership – may L.A. for the ARTS be empowered by all the individual stories and the greatest leadership in the world.


Happy 2010 Winter Holiday to You and Everyone at L.A. for the ARTS

Artist / Educator TRACEE PICKETT

I like you're thinking

Thanks for your comments Tracee! 

I like what you said about owning our success. Lets keep creating opportunities for those who infulence and/or make policy to connect with their story.  I think we'll find some interesting common ground and give them the support they need to make good policy.

The arts

Arts are not just arts but the activation of the power of the human imagination... The  human imaginantion can do anything we imagine but we are limited by the investment of our energy and intention in the known  world of finance and money... We must allow the arts to lead us into the infintie world of our imaginaition and let the arts teach us how to create a world we would really want  to live in.The miond of the child is embued with infinite imagination and creativity. IT is the responsivility of the adult to keep this alive this is our greatest assest... Right now our cuture is killling the imagination of our children. We need more arts to nuture thier imaginiation.. Thier imagination can grow us out to the dead world we are currently creating.

Ruth Gould- Goodman 310-392-3612

You said it Ruth!

You are so right! The human imagination can do anything we envision.  We are only limited by our own thinking.  The more we voice our support, vision and hope for the future, the more folks will align with it. We have to share this vision, broadly and unabashedly. 


Leaders need to be surrounded with people who understand the challenges, and can stand behind tough policy decisions.  Now more than ever, a budget reflects not just numbers, but a value statement.