4 Perspectives on What Organizations Can Learn From Artists

We took a moment to dig into the ArtsFwd archives and revisit four posts from the past two years that focus on the artistic process.

Ruby Lerner at EmcArts’ National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture in October 2013.

This post is part of this month’s in-depth exploration of what organizations can learn from the artistic process

To explore our April topic, I dug back into the ArtsFwd archives to revisit four posts from the past two years that focus on the artistic process and how it can inform organizational change.

In returning to these pieces, I was reminded that it is important for arts organizations to practice openness to artists and their perspectives — whether through creating a residency program or actively recognizing the artist identities of those on staff — even though it can be especially challenging to the “way things are done.”

Check out these 4 posts to provoke your thinking:

  • Why Aren’t More Organizations Bringing Artists into the Office?, by James Carter (April 2013). Many artists have administrative skills in addition to creative power. Why aren’t more arts organizations tapping those skills for their own teams?
  • Policy, Prisons, and Pranks: Artists Collide with the World, a Talk by Ruby Lerner at the National Innovation Summit (October 2013). Artists are working at the intersections of science, technology, community organizing, entrepreneurship and the media. In this talk, Lerner highlights trends and lessons learned from these hybrid artists, and how the field can and should adapt to support this critical work. Watch this video at the top of this post.
  • Shifting the Ground at Geva Theatre Center, by Jenni Werner (July 2013). The team behind Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York, learned that it’s important to bring everyone on your team along on your journey — especially artists — when building new relationships and implementing a new engagement structure.
  • Artist Residencies, a podcast with Richard Evans, Jean Davidson, and Marlène Ramírez-Cancio (November 2013). In this podcast, host Richard Evans explores two stories of artist residencies that are highly rewarding for the artist, the presenter, and the public.

Share your experience

We are eager to hear about how the artistic process has influenced your own organizational work. We’re gathering your responses to better understand what organizations might learn from individual artists and the artistic process.

  1. How can an organization embed artistic process into its practice?
  2. How can organizations create space for artists?
  3. What can organizations learn from the practices of artists who work directly with, for, and in their own communities?

To share your own experiences in response to these questions you can respond publicly in the comments of our April Topic post (or on this post), or click here to share your responses with us privately.

Kendra Danowski is the former ArtsFwd Editor & Engagement Coordinator at EmcArts.