April 28, 2006

Stay Tuned for One Year Blog Anniversary Announcement

Watch this space... May 2006...

Board Leadership Training Program

Program I am teaching in San Francisco May 23 & 25...

Board Leadership Training ProgramThe Bay Area’s only arts-specific training program

Want to take your skills beyond the workplace? Interested in the arts? Starting a business you want to connect to the community? Board Training is a way to set yourself apart from the crowd!

Business Arts Council’s Board Leadership Training Program is a two evening interactive learning experience offering participants the opportunity to put their business skills to good use in a nonprofit arts environment. Explore best practices in board leadership with like-minded business professionals and senior arts managers from Bay Area arts organizations.
The training features a "make believe" case study of an arts organization facing real-world challenges and a mock board meeting you’ll participate in alongside guest arts managers who not only work in the arts now, but who are also from groups currently seeking new board members.

Read what past attendees have to say
Learning Objectives:
• To provide an overview of the operations of small and midsize arts nonprofits
• To demonstrate best practices in board leadership
• To create a common understanding of the functional relationships between board and staff

Program Benefits:
• Participate in an arts-specific training program for business executives
• Explore an interactive case study that addresses actual leadership challenges
• Connect with senior staff of arts organizations seeking Board members
• Understand the state of the arts in the Bay Area and beyond

Our arts managment expert Amy Kweskin Duncan will guide you through the principles of non-profit board management and answer questions like:
- How does a non-profit operate?
- What does it really mean to join a board?
- What are the common board challenges?

2006 Board Leadership Training Schedule
- Day 1: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
- Day 2: Thursday, May 25, 2006 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.(A light dinner will be provided on both evenings)

Cost: $250 per person. Attendance at both sessions is required. If you are a paid employee of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, please contact us for pricing: 415-352-8845.Location: SF Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 235 Montgomery St., 12th floor in San Francisco (between Bush and Pine)


April 25, 2006

My Dream

Here’s my dream.

To be the Founder and Director an Arts Administration Leadership Development Institute.

Don't applaud, send money.

Cooking it up in the Classroom

Teaching my Arts Administration class at University of Houston Downtown has helped me realize that I love teaching. It is the perfect combination of cooking and stand-up comedy.

Last we took a field trip to visit with my friend Victoria who works in the Education Department at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She presented a wonderful analogy of how different teachers approach their work.

Microwave Method
Teachers who use pre-cooked lesson plans that they just pop in the oven and present.

Recipe Method
Teachers who have all the elements of their lesson prepared and then cook it up in the classroom.

Scratch Method
Teachers who wing it in the classroom and hopefully cook up a good lesson-on-the-go.

I would say that I’m in between the Recipe and Scratch methods. I work with a lesson plan and then cook it up in the classroom. Usually I work myself into a frenzy and by the end of the class I have the students in stitches. I figure if they are amused they are learning – getting their fill. Perhaps they laugh for a good grade? So much better than being on stage and hoping for a good review!

Leadership Lost?

Special note: This is post #200!

Links to articles about why leadership development and retention is the most critical issue in sustaining nonprofits.

Cultural leaders leaving
Aspen Philanthropy Letter...
Report #138: March/April 2006

Foundations seem to be a leading cause of burnout among current nonprofit leaders. According to a survey by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation of 2,000 nonprofit leaders nationwide, there is deep dissatisfaction, "even anger," with institutional funders among nonprofit leaders, who resent funder influence in everything from succession planning to program development. Only one in three of the nonprofit leaders surveyed said donors have a good understanding of what nonprofit jobs entail. The report on the study, Daring to Lead 2006 , finds the dissatisfaction so widespread that it suggests more pushback against this funder-grantee dynamic may be in the offing. Funders should be alert to the impact that their funding mechanisms, and not just their funding decisions, have on nonprofit leadership, according to the report. So in addition to increased general operating support and multi-year support - two ideas that survey respondents said would help them most - foundation representatives should listen to nonprofit leaders more closely and have candid conversations with them about what they need. They should also attempt to simplify their grant processes.

A new study adds to concerns about an impending crisis in nonprofit leadership, and offers recommendations about what foundations can do to address it. Thomas Tierney of The Bridgespan Group reports in The Nonprofit Sector's Leadership Deficit that over the next decade the nonprofit sector needs to attract and develop the equivalent of 2.4 times the number of leaders currently employed in the sector, a daunting challenge but one that this white paper says must be met to avoid wasting charitable dollars. The sector's growth and baby boomer retirement are contributing factors to the looming deficit. The sector needs to improve its development and retention of effective leaders, according to the report, which offers general ideas for improvement. A central point is that foundations need to offer more general operating support and help reduce the stigma attached to overhead costs in nonprofits, or at least award project-specific grants that include funds to address leadership capacity-building needs.

Farewell to Cherry and Envy

Okay, I'm obsessing over these mobile microcinemas but they are just so beautiful! Check out this shot my mom took of Envy at DiverseWorks on Sunday, April 23.

We had to give these beauties back to Scion on Monday. It really did break my heart to see them go.

Slave to corporate America? One to make something of it?

April 20, 2006

Loving the Logogoogle

Have you seen the ever-changing Google logo? I have visions of that place being a really cool work environment. Maybe the designers are able to sit around all day and think about funky ways to update their logo: Olympics, Braille, Happy Birthday Michelangelo, Earthday and today's Miro inspired logo.

They are not afraid to be playful and to push their brand image. The playfullness becomes their brand - at least for those of us who utilize their search engine thousands of times a day. It is a little wink that makes you look up and take notice when you're moving through the business day and open up their search engine page.

Here's what Google says about their logo:

Who is behind the artful Google Logo creations?
Google not only made a huge difference with their business model and the way they conduct business. The largest search engine and related internet search services provider eases many business patterns. Including the way they handle their logos and brands.
In order to put a creative and attractive spin to their logo creations and to everyone's daily routines while searching the web, Google's Dennis Hwang puts his very creative brain to work whenever there is something to celebrate or to remember.

April 17, 2006

The Exterminator

After freaking out last week and trapping two of the “Palmetto” bugs under bins in the kitchen I had to call the exterminator. When he arrived he told me that the bugs were accidentally in the house – probably entering through an open window. “They are harmless, although they have been known to chew on babies.” He told me. Reassuring.

I had him spray the house’s foundation and each room just in case other beasts “accidentally” entered the house. Sure enough, within the next 48 hours there were about ten carcasses in the garage and maybe four or five more around the house. Let’s be real, these are cockroaches on steroids. But I won!

Since Stephen was away I didn’t much care to pick up the carcasses from their various resting spots inside the house. Being a neat-y he would have picked them up, but not me. I just avoided those areas. One carcass went missing and I was sure that either the house was haunted or his family came to take away the carnage. Today I discovered the curled up crustacean in Tika’s litter box. Did the ghost put it in there?

I’m still never eating at home again.

Note from my brother Matthew:
"They aren't crustaceans, they're arthropods."

April 14, 2006

Dipping with Pleasure for the Holidays

Yes, Easter and Passover are religious celebrations but lets be honest, it’s all about the eats. Both give us the chance to eat junk and be proud of it. Two key ingredients are vital to both holidays – chocolate and marshmallows. Combining these two sugary treats into one item is key, but not essential.

At last night’s Sedar my mother maximized the pleasure by introducing a chocolate fountain into which guests dipped all kinds of treats. The choice dipping tool was marshmallows. This fountain of pleasure was a sure test for finding the chocoholics in the crowd. Ladies, let it be known that there was a gaggle of giddy men encircling the fountain. Rabbis, lawyers, elementary school students, engineers, the fountain had the same result – total bliss.

My mother noted that the floor was covered in chocolate drips - evidence of true pleasure.

April 9, 2006

Get Out and Art Vote

My peeps in Oakland have morphed Spokes of a Hub our grassroots arts vote initiative into Art Vote.

"Welcome to the Art Vote, an initiative to galvanize Oakland artists, arts educators, arts organizations, and their audiences to make the arts a priority in Oakland’s June 6 election.
Art Vote seeks to raise awareness of cultural activism throughout Oakland, expose challenges and opportunities, engage candidates with our community, and show our strength and creativity at the polls on June 6. "

Suki O'Kane keeps the initiative alive! I suspect Lori Zook is there too. Two women with an idea.

Rock on ladies!

April 8, 2006

Aurora Picture Show Mobile Microcinemas

Check out these Aurora Picture Show Mobile Microcinemas that Scion created for us. The wrap design was created by Chris Lockwood, one of Aurora's board members. Design goes over the top - literally he created images for the top of the cars.

The xBs are not only equipped with internal DVD players (ceiling and headrests) but also have all the bling bling you can imagine. Undercarriage lighting, internal black lighting, HUGE sound system, jewelled foot pedals and more that we haven't yet discovered.

We'll be showing sample works from our upcoming festival Media Archeology: Software Cinema, April 19-23 both on the internal DVDs but also projecting the works onto the back window. The ultimate Mobile Microcinema. Could it get any more fun? These beauties will be roaming Houston, run by our Street Team (captain Kweskin here) April 8-24. Visit the Auorora blog Behind the Screens for sightings and schedules.

Inspired by my own little Scion George I collaborated with my associate Melissa Sonzala and her Husband Matt Sonzala of Houston So Real to pitch Scion. It was a perfect fit considering that we have the market the Scion targets.

Photos: Envy and Cherry, Guy in Envy, Amy and Carlos looking dazed and confused, Andrea in Cherry, Carlos and Gigi in front of Envy, Guy checking out Cherry's Sound System and Amy showing her colors.

April 6, 2006

Mother Theresa and Paris Hilton Separated at Birth?

According to msnbc film director T. Rajeevnath has short listed Paris Hilton as a possible actresses to portray Mother Theresa in his upcoming film. Yes, Paris Hilton.

Why, you may ask, is Paris Hilton, who some may believe is the moral opposite of Mother Theresa, being considered for the role? Rajeevnath has two reasons. The first, Hilton shares a close "facial resemblance" with Mother Teresa and the second is because he respects Hilton’s choice to not pose nude for Playboy. Well heck, those are valid reasons.

Photos: In case you are confused, Mother Theresa is the top photo and Paris Hilton is on the bottom. This refers to photo positioning and nothing else.

April 4, 2006

Katie Holmes Prematurely Jumps the Shark

Jump the Shark, the pop culture expression used to describe when something, usually a television show such as a sitcom, has hit its lifespan and then goes beyond. It is based on the Happy Days episode in which Fonzy jumps over the sharks on waterskis. There is an entire website dedicated to determining when shows jump the shark.

Stephen and I use this term to describe many things that have gone beyond their useful lifespan. It could be used to describe a restaurant that use to be great and for some reason isn’t any more, or, a car that was cool and has now become un-cool for some reason. Almost always it describes a form of entertainment or leisure.

Katie Holmes, the actress who is now preggers with Tom Cruise’s “love child” has most certainly jumped the shark. Holmes, who I have never seen in television or film until tonight when I saw Thank You for Smoking, has effectively managed to jump the shark with her life and career.

In the darkened theater, when the few early-evening film-goers, myself one of them, saw Holmes’ name in the opening credits, there was a audible sigh of disgust. Like myself, the other audience members were probably thinking, “gosh, I thought this was supposed to be a good film, but look who I have to see, yet again, in my face. Well, at least William. H. Macy makes up for her presence."

Unfortunately, her role in the film was painful to watch considering her current life situation. Often I’ve thought of her as the victim of Cruise’s mid-life crisis but in this film she is portrayed as a spineless temptress who uses sex to get what she needs. In nearly every scene she is humping, aggressively, repeatedly, Nick the protagonist/antagonist of Thank You for Smoking.

Poor Katie. Her manager, agent, publicist and entourage probably wince every time the film is aligned with her name. Here she is, a young, smart woman who has to use her body to get ahead in her career. All you can picture is her and Tom Cruise going at it like fanatical bunnies trying to re-populate the earth. Let’s face it folks, Katie isn’t innocent. Let’s just hope she doesn’t hump the shark.

I just googled Katie Holmes Jumps the Shark and found a blog posting on Sic Semper Tyrannis by the exact same name. Spin doctors be alert - Katie needs a serious image makeover.

Image of Fonzy from Wikipedia.
Image of Tom Cruise - did he steal Fonzy's motorcycle?
Katie Holmes - get in touch with your inner alien.

April 3, 2006

The Inauguration of Epicenter Arts

Congratulations to my friends John, Nicole, Raman and Grant on the launch of Epicenter Arts in San Francisco!

Mission of Epicenter: is to produce provocative events that foster arts dialogue, accessible to the entire community.

Their first panel is on Thursday, April 6 in partnership with GenArt.

Success or Selling Out: Idealism in the Music Industry

In this day and age, most musicians dream of making it big by landing that fat record deal and playing to sold-out arenas. Mainstream Rock / Pop culture has been packaged by media outlets like MTV, commercial radio, television commercials, etc... The perception of making it "BIG" is that it's easy, and that there's lots of money to make. With this topic, we will discuss why a musician chases their dream...

For the love of music? Money? Fame? Sex? What are the temptations a musician encounters in the midst of this process? We will have an emerging artist, established artist, industry producer, and academics discuss.

Moderated by Hooman of Alice (97.3 FM)

Established Artist:
Victor Krummenacher of
Camper Van Beethoven

In addition to working with Camper Van Beethoven
(since 1983) and other well-known bands,
Krummenacher has recorded 4 solo albums for his own
label, Magnetic, and is in the process of a fifth.

Emerging Artist:
May Pole

May Pole delivers a surreal sound emphasizing romantic
guitars, airy keys, melodic bass, and upbeat rock

Music Producer:
John Lucasey of Studio 880

Producer of Green Day, Blackalicious, Iggy Pop,
Robert Cray, Chris Isaac, Smashmouth, Swithfoot and
the Killers.

David Conte of the San Francisco

Professor of Composition and Theory. Conte has
worked with Aaron Copland.

Mark Applebaum of Stanford University

Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at
Stanford University where he is director of the Stanford
Improvisation Collective.

April 2, 2006

Figured Out What's Not Working in Big Love

Episode four of Big Love and I've figured out what isn't working. It doesn't feel like these people have been living together as a family longer than a month. The kids have no connections. There is no family history. Wives argue over issues that should have been recognized long ago. The wolves of the evil father-in-law prophet Roman feel too new. Everything appears very superficial and make-believe.

This is all in stark contrast to the Sopranos.