Saturday, April 21, 2012

Taking Risks!


On Monday I attended 'Risky Business: What does it mean to take risks in the arts? Making the best decisions for your organization.' This was a panel discussion on taking risk in your art organization. It was from the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium.

It was a great talk moderated by Thomas Mulready (founder of Cool Cleveland), and the panel: James Krouse (Director of Programming, Ingenuity Fest), Megan Lykins Reich (Director of Programs/Associate Curator, MOCA Cleveland), Liz Maugans (Managing Direcotr and Co-founder, Zygote Press), Scott Spence (Artistic Director, Beck Center for the Arts) and Mary Verdi-Fletcher (President, The Dancing Wheels Company and School.)

Here are several things, that were said, that caught my attention:

Have a clear overall goal so you know who you are as an organization and that will help you know whether to say yes or no to an opportunity.

Sometimes you need to know when to call it quits on a project that isn't panning out.

When marketing the arts you need to communicate expectations to the audience.

You still learn a lot from failures that will help you in the future.

When you do something risky, it's scary in the moment but in a year or two you'll look back and realize it wasn't that big of a deal.

Someone in the audience said she is motivated by the risks she didnt' take. It motivates her because she didn't take the opportunity then and the outcome could have been great. She doesn't want to miss out now.

Keep in mind no matter how this works out I'll have a great story to tell!

(The picture above is from our trip last fall to Thailand. It was a ceremonial swing in the middle of a town. Years ago the swing had to be removed because some drunk people got hurt using it. Turns out I had my facts wrong, upper class Hindu's would try to swing as high as possible to show their devotion to the Gods but that resulted in some of them flying off of the swing. So the swing was taken down. I love swinging on park swings and this one would have been great! I would have said yes to this risk if it were an option!)

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