May 30, 2009
Dining last night in SOMA (South of Market) with Naomi we had the pleasure of witnessing Critical Mass cyclists from our restaurant window. Ike the Bike was locked up outside just hoping and waiting for me to jump on and join the group.
May 29, 2009
The pieces ranged from delicately choreographed to agressive homoerotic wrestling. Very San Francisco in terms of pushing the gender boundaries. There is something so wonderful about the male form in dance. Often I find modern dance difficult to watch with the tendancy to use a jagged dance vocabulary. With this work I was enthralled by the fluidity of movement.
Last week, following my visit to the SFMOMA Rooftop Sculpture Garden with Megan, I posted about the excursion. What I didn't mention in that post is that I am on a Task Force with the Garden's architect Mark Jensen. This morning we had a Task Force meeting and I was approaching Mark to say that I had seen the beautiful garden and at the same moment he said, "so, you visited the Rooftop Sculpture Garden at SFMOMA?" Huh? Did I already mention my visit? How did he know? Then it hit me, the blog.
Turns out Mark uses Google Alerts to track posts about the garden and my post showed up. Of course, now this post will too. How's that for living out loud?
May 28, 2009
Here's the best part - you can link into people playing their iPhone Ocarinas all over the world. They can hear your music and you hear theirs. Now to get in tune!
May 26, 2009
May 21, 2009
We snuck a peak at the cottage which was now being used as an arts center. As we exited the property and closed the gate I suddenly heard a familiar little jingle. Re-opening the gate I saw the source of the sound and my heart did a flip flop. This set of bells were ones I had put there when I lived in the little cottage eight years earlier.
The bells remind me of Tika the cat.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day working at Headlands Center for the Arts in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. The day was spent mostly in their kitchen as I interviewed various staff members including the Chef, Baker and Caterer. Here are some of the images.
May 20, 2009
good. To be able to make a career in the arts is a dream. I consult
with dynamic individuals who inspire me daily and believe that my
approach to strategic planning allows them to reach their goals by
My provides me access to arts and cultural events every day of the
week. Plus, I can take mini-excursions any day of the week and
consider them work-related research without bending the truth.
Beyond the arts management consulting I am also able to keep connected
with my extended consulting team in the UK. Leah and I are starting a
new consulting job with Martin who is working with the UN.
Nurturing my inner-artist is also on the radar screen. One of my felt
pieces has been accepted into a show called The Many Faces of Frida
which opens July in Oakland. Now to get more photography into the
May 19, 2009
So, three giant storage containers are being reduced to one. The items I'm keeping are all my kitchen stuff, books, CDs, art, photography equipment, and some favorite pieces of furniture. These items are going into immediate storage here in the Bay Area since I don't have room for them in my current housing. But just knowing that my favorite cookbook is a quick City Car Share ride away eases my mind.
All this stuff has been in storage since June 2006 when I relocated to Connecticut, then London, followed by DC and then back here to San Francisco (Alameda Island to be specific). Whenever I thought about this stuff my reaction was, "throw it over a cliff." But now I am excited to have it back. Perhaps I am reclaiming my history and am ready to get back in sync. As my friend Lucy says, life is a series of chapters in your œuvre and the items/experiences you carry along are the stanzas.
May 18, 2009
May 17, 2009
Oliver band saw
The story of each of these machines is intertwined with the history of the men (and women?) who inherited them and are now in need of liquidity. As we meet these "sellers" we hear their stories which reflect the bittersweet legacies attached to the machines now moving out the door.
Yesterday we journeyed to Van Nuys, CA to meet a guy selling a band saw. At first he really just was a "guy" who was late for our meeting and who, when he finally did arrive, had forgotten his keys. After climbing over the security gate to let us in, the guy guided us to the saw which was berried amongst other sleeping iron giants.
As Rene explored the saw's inner workings the seller began a spontaneous monologue about his grandfather and father who had started the family business he was now regretfully closing. He whispered under his breath "this shop use to be filled with men."
Suddenly the seller had become Andrew and for the remainder of our journey we have been discussing his mixed messages of wanting to sell yet setting up every possible barrier to completing the transaction. As we parted ways, leaving the saw behind, Andrew's reluctance to close the doors was reflected in his lifeless stance. It was obvious to us that he was hearing the buzz of men and machines now gone.
Again, sharing his inner dialogue, Andrew told us that he was the only one remaining to close the doors and wasn't certain the he himself would continue his craft.
May 16, 2009
Reach your goals by Leading-Together
Follow Amy at http://thekweskinreport.blogspot.com
May 14, 2009
May 13, 2009
Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day and I am a member of the Fruitvale BART BRATz team. We are competing with other Bay Area teams to accumulate points, based on how many miles we bike, throughout the month of May.
For the big day tomorrow I will be riding to BART, taking Ike the bike into the City, riding to meetings, take Ike back on BART and then ride to a board meeting in Alameda.
Recently an IT consultant friend of mine told me about a "Community of Practice" she established with several fellow consultants. Members are able to tap into these benefits:
* Develop new capabilities and knowledge across the sector
* Advance and standardize best practices
* Collaborate on consulting engagements
* Create a pipeline of clients
* Establish a "brand value" and qualification for members
* Influence public policy and funding priorities within the sector
* Publish best practice articles and guides
I believe that establishing a community of practice amongst independent arts management consultants, beginning with those serving the Bay Area, is a powerful opportunity to pursue the above-mentioned benefits. Each of us has our own subject matter expertise and collectively we touch nearly every arts and culture organization in the Bay Area. In coming together as a community of practice we can establish an influential voice in the field – locally, nationally and internationally.
To begin I suggest a meeting to discuss this opportunity. Please let me know by June 1st if you are interested in getting involved. The next step will be creating a face-to-face meeting at which we can explore this concept and begin moving forward. Also, please pass this email along to other consultants who you believe should be involved.
Amy: Hi, I'm Amy Kweskin, an arts management consultant.
Michael: Nice to meet you.
Amy: I wanted to tell you that you have totally re-inspired my passion for arts administration.
Amy: I was burnt out and after reading your book I realized that this is a valid career path.
Michael: That's exactly what I want to hear!
Amy: Will you sign my book?
Here's what he wrote: "Amy, the arts need you!" Michael Kaiser
Feeling the love.
May 12, 2009
Well, time for a new crackberry. However, I have to pay full price because I still have many months left on my current one. Suddenly I had a brainstorm - why not get an iphone (aka icrack) instead? It would synch with my Mac computer and be so super hip and cool.
I packed up all the little bits and pieces from my poor crackberry, that now has a hole in its head like it had a lobotomy, and treked into the City to get an iphone. The guy at the store was nice enough, of course since he was selling me a hugely expensive vanity phone product, but he didn't seem to get the phone setup correctly - or even at all. I had to run to facilitate a client board meeting so I figured I would get back to the icrack later in the evening.
Here I am, later in the evening and I can't get my Mac to talk to the iphone. Are they in disagreement? One jelous of the other? Plus, I can't scroll through my crackberry to get phone numbers and check my calendar because the bloody rollerball is out. To top it off I can't find hte little bag that I put the roller ball into to save all its itsy bitsy parts.
So sorry Mr. Crackberry that I poked your eye and was disloyal in quickly replacing you with an icrack that is spiteful. Ah, another technology meltdown.
May 11, 2009
May 10, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 8, 2009
Not sure what changed. It may be that so many of my peeps are also 40 and some are many moons past the milestone. We're a wonderful vintage, living life to the fullest, clear about our intentions and moving towards our goals.
Breathing easier and deeper.
May 5, 2009
Next, Economics. Waiting until July to register for another course. That's when I am a California resident and am eligible for State pricing instead.
May 4, 2009
The chair was eventually returned to its place as the hora continued and my dad, brother and dad's friend Len joined the group of 30 or so women. Then the honorees moved into the center and danced with their families swinging each other around in two's. My brother really gained momentum with me and we were practically flying.
Our family dancing spontaneously became a circle inside the circle. My mom, dad, sister, brother and I danced as fast as we could holding hands in a circle. It was so amazing to be looking at their smiling faces as we screamed with laughter. Suddenly we were just five of us again. The circle was so small without Rachel, Mandeep and Sam. But it felt really amazing like we were back in time at one of our Bar/Bat Mitzvas whooping up a storm. It was transcendental.
May 3, 2009
I am the person I've always wanted to be, even recognizing the bumps and bruises of figuring it all out. So many friendships and deep connections with my peeps across the planet.
All kinds of sparks have been rekindled including my passion for arts management which was squelched for several years. Now I am celebrating my expertise instead of running from it.
Meditation has been the key factor in my happiness. In moments of confusion I am able to find that strong foundation of calm. This has been tested by the various opportunities I have had to stand on the 35th floor of buildings in the UK and US, without fear and with strength, over the past 12 months. These triumphs have really a metaphor for my successful journey.
I believe that I can catch any curveball life has to pitch. In fact, I'm the coach and player of my own game.
May 2, 2009
I feel a bit sorry that my sister-in-law Rachel keeps hearing us say how much baby Sam looks like a Kweskin or a Plotkin. However, as the first grandchild we are all finding our direct links to him.
This evening we had the opportunity to look at videos of our first cousins. And realized how much they look and act like us - even at 18 years younger.
I like these connections. Living out in CA I keep feeling adrift - far from my kin. Luckily I have a few close cousins who keep me connected via California. But there is something so unique and special about being around your sibs and first cousins that I miss.
Hopefully one day I will have a family of my own but for now I am all loved-up with my nephew who is so much like us. This must be what it is like to have a growing tribe.
Through all this talking, which some may consider chatter and others perceive as monologues, (is that not what this blog really is?) a new expectation for communications has been set. You put the word out...and you expect something back, immediately. Ping. Pong.
But then there are those who receive and do not return. Perhaps that's the majority of folks. Those who observe, absorb, consume and navigate the chatter. Is this a dysfunctional yet symbiotic relationship between the extras and intros?
As you can imagine, my circle of close peeps likes to ping and pong all day long. We can carry on a conversation, or email thread, for weeks. A single word back and forth keeps us in-the-know.
Chatting, in real-time and in-person with Leah during our Sacramento road trip, we realized that we are similar when it comes to getting to know someone. When we meet a person that catches our fancy we want to "know all". Romantic, platonic, professional...we are intrigued and invested in building resonance towards shared understanding. We're communicators and connectors. I'm really noticing this in the Bay Area. So many interesting people and so easy to stay linked-in, met-up, face-booked, blogged, emailed, text-ed and twittered.
So when you send out a communication and the ping goes un-ponged, you hit a black hole of communications. Confusion. Is this how our lives use to be? Face-to-face, letters, phone conversations? That was so 2006.
Electronic "Hellooooo....." Silence.
Is this a zen silence? A living in the moment? Sometimes I believe that the crackberry and icrack (my new term for iphone) are living in the moment. But is electronic communications really being "present" or the complete opposite? Are we passively-actively hiding behind these devices when we could be connecting in real-time? How often are we in a room filled with people who aren't talking or interacting with each other but are actively chatting on their devices? Where is the receiver? They could be sitting at the desk next to you or far off in the UK.
We've created a universe in which we are chatting in real time across the planet. It is a new "class" of people. You are hearing it here first, the "Chattering Class."
Are we replacing the cool touch of plastic instead of the warm touch of flesh? The linearity of letters making words instead of the spark of eye contact and reading lips? The sounds of clicking keys instead of hearing someone else breathing?