Trickle Up Innovation

In this very first ArtsFwd podcast, Richard Evans talks with Ken Foster, Executive Director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Sheila Pressley, Director of Education at the DeYoung Museum, about how innovation started small and grew to the heart of their very different organizations.

In this 30-minute podcast, Richard, Sheila, and Ken talk about their projects’ humble – and sometimes contentious – beginnings and how the right mix of leadership, staff enrollment, experimentation, and risk-taking have enable innovative strategies to take root.

Since 2009, Ken Foster has been spearheading the Immersive Visitor Project, which radically reshaped the visitor experience from a transactional experience of “Come, look, leave.” to an immersive one.   In just over three years, the culture of innovation has gone from wary of innovation to naming “Risk and Innovation” one of their core values.  Read more about the Immersive Visitor Experience.

As the Director of Education, Sheila Pressley has been a key member of the team that has grown the deYoung’s Cultural Encounters program from a disconnected series of Friday night events to a year-round organization-wide enterprise.  She brings a unique perspective, having acted often as the bridge between the programming department, which plans and executes highly innovative programming, and the executive leadership of the deYoung.

Duration: 30 minutes

Richard Evans is the President Emeritus of EmcArts, where he directs program design, research, and strategic partnerships that place a particular emphasis on innovation, adaptive organization change, and effective ways that the arts and culture field can respond to the demands of a new era.