Episode 84: Boston Ballet’s Business Plan Competition

Max Hodges, Executive Director of the Boston Ballet, shares the story of a business plan competition (à la “Shark Tank”) for new revenue that engaged the Ballet’s entire organization of more than 500 people, including staff, dancers, musicians, and board members.

Meredith (Max) Hodges. Photo by Liza Voll; courtesy of Boston Ballet.Meredith Max Hodges—who goes by Max—joined Boston Ballet as Executive Director in 2014, and leads the company in partnership with Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen As an arts leader, Hodges has a passion for bringing a business approach to building audiences, broadening access, and supporting the creative process. Continue reading “Episode 84: Boston Ballet’s Business Plan Competition”

Episode 83: Engaging Diverse Artists

Rosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director of Art for the Soul Gallery in Springfield, MA, discusses how artists can plug into their local arts community and how a community’s efforts to engage local artists can be more inclusive, and ultimately more representative of all the people they serve.

Rosemary Tracy WoodsRosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director of Art for the Soul Gallery, strives to embody the intersection of art and social justice. Growing up the only girl in a Philadelphia family with eight brothers, one of whom was the late R&B singer, Harold Melvin of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Woods was immersed in art from a young age. Continue reading “Episode 83: Engaging Diverse Artists”

Episode 82: The ART of Taking Risks

The American Repertory Theater’s Diane Paulus and Diane Borger share how they think about risk, and what it means to have “high tolerance for disequilibrium” that permeates the entire culture of an organization. By experimenting with doing things differently, they say artists and arts organizations actually develop muscle and an ability to stay afloat in “risky water.”

Photos of A.R.T. Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus (r) and A.R.T. Executive Producer Diane Borger (l). Paulus' image by Susan Lapides.Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University. A.R.T. directing credits include ExtraOrdinary, Jagged Little Pill (beginning on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in November 2019), The White Card, In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, on US national tour, and in London’s West End), Crossing, Finding Neverland, Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director; opening June 2019 in Tokyo, Japan), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival; NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, and The Donkey Show. Continue reading “Episode 82: The ART of Taking Risks”

Episode 81: Adapting to Change, Not Just Fighting It

Boston’s Fort Point is home to over 300 artists who produce work in a wide array of media. Jennifer Mecca, President of Fort Point Artist Community, discusses the huge changes this neighborhood has seen over the years. She shares how the artists’ community (one of New England’s largest) has evolved from being in “SOS” mode around artist space issues to becoming strategic and proactive in creating partnerships and projects to increase artist visibility and influence.

Jennifer MeccaJennifer Mecca is President of the Fort Point Artists Community. Her textile art has been recognized by the Mass Cultural Council, and has been shown nationally, and at local venues including the Fuller Craft Museum and the Providence Art Club. Since moving to the neighborhood in 2003, Jennifer has been a strong advocate for preserving Fort Point’s artist studios and for the role of the arts community and the creative economy in the growing Fort Point/ Seaport area. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Midway Artist Collective, Boston’s largest artist live-work studio building.

Continue reading “Episode 81: Adapting to Change, Not Just Fighting It”

Episode 80: Partnering with New Immigrants

Greg Jenkins, Executive Director of the Somerville Arts Council, shares how he and his colleagues build relationships with Somerville’s diverse new immigrant populations as both arts audience members and programming partners. This type of community engagement identifies new sources of cultural energy and assets, he says, and a willingness to enter a world that may be unfamiliar.

Greg Jenkins. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Journal.Since 2001,  has been the Executive Director of the Somerville Arts Council. His professional experience includes arts education, public folklore and community-based programming. Since 2005 he has spearheaded cultural economic development initiatives within Somerville. Jenkins holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Folklore.

Continue reading “Episode 80: Partnering with New Immigrants”