2011 Fall Public Meeting

Leadership Issues in the Arts:
Leadership Succession and Developing
the Next Generation of Arts Leaders

November 1, 2011 | Z Space

Grants for the Arts dedicated its 2011 Fall Public Meeting to the vital area of leadership. Specifically, we brought together a panel of experts to discuss two closely related issues:

  • Leadership Succession - What should arts organizations be doing today to prepare for a future leadership transition? How should you approach this subject with your board and staff? Who should lead the charge? What are some best practices in this area?

  • Developing the Next Generation of Arts Leaders - Where are tomorrow's arts leaders coming from? Is there such a thing as a "career track" in the arts? What are some successful strategies for individuals looking to move into arts leadership careers? What should organizations be doing to encourage and support next generation leaders?

A distinguished panel of experts was on hand to delve into these issues and provide insight from their own experience. The panel included:

Panelist Bios

Adam Fong has worked as a composer, performer, and producer of new music since completing his MFA at California Institute of the Arts (Music Composition). As Associate Director of Other Minds, Fong has since 2006 produced the annual Other Minds Festival, dubbed the “premier new music festival on the West Coast” (Los Angeles Times), and many special projects. His own compositions have been performed internationally and throughout the U.S. and California. In 2008, Adam co-founded Emerging Arts Professionals / San Francisco Bay Area, a network dedicated to the development and growth of next generation arts and culture workers; he was Chair of Business Development in 2010-11 and became Director in 2011. Adam also holds a master’s degree from Stanford University (English), and serves on advisory boards, panels, and committees at the local and national level.

Patricia Taylor Lee is Professor Emerita of Music at San Francisco State University where she chaired the Music Department for fourteen years. Prior to moving to San Francisco she was for ten years Professor of Keyboard Music at West Chester University in Pennsylvania where she also served as chair of the Keyboard Department, Acting Dean of Graduate Studies, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies, and Acting Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs.  She established the piano program at the University of California at Davis and taught there for six years. She is Artistic Director of the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition in Palm Desert, California, and has performed throughout the country. She is President of the board of the San Francisco Community Music Center, is a trustee of the Ross McKee Foundation, and serves on the program advisory boards of San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and San Francisco Performances.

Jo-Ellen Pozner is an Assistant Professor in the Management of Organizations Group at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.   Her research focuses on two of the central questions in organizational theory: how practices and actors are deemed either acceptable (and therefore taken for granted) or illegitimate (and thus condemned); and how definitions of legitimacy can be exploited strategically to improve firm and individual outcomes.  Specifically, she  focus on how the question of legitimacy is resolved through the interaction of multiple stakeholders, how the definitions of what is condemned and what is taken for granted change over time, as well as the processes through which both positive and negative consequences of such definitions are apportioned to individuals and organizations.   She teaches courses in organizational behavior and leadership.

Marc Vogl is the Executive Director of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), the nation's largest noncommercial media arts center. Marc joined BAVC in 2011 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where he served as a Program Officer in the Performing Arts. At The Hewlett Foundation Marc led the Foundation's work to promote next generation leadership in the arts sector. Earlier in his career Marc co-founded the sketch comedy group Killing My Lobster and the Hi/Lo Film Festival and served as Executive Director of the Lobster Theater Project. Marc has served as a member of the San Francisco Arts Task Force, on the Barack Obama Campaign’s National Arts Policy Committee and is currently co-chair of the Funding Advisory Committee to Oakland’s Cultural Commission. In 2010 Marc won the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader award. Marc has History and English Literature degrees from Brown University and a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Michael Warr is a San Francisco-based poet, arts educator, Principal at WarrConsulting, and Associate Consultant at Helicon Collaborative. He assists nonprofits in executive transition and succession, organizational assessment, strategic planning, cultural competency, audience development, and other forms of capacity building. His clients include Bowery Arts and Science, San Francisco Pride, the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Wallace Foundation, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, The City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, House of World Cultures/Berlin, and others. He is author of “Experiences of an Ex” in About Face – A Guide to Founder Transition, published by the New York State Council on the Arts, and co-author of  “Leveraging Assets: How Small Budget Arts Activities Benefit Neighborhoods,” commissioned by the John T. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation. Michael co-founded and directed several nonprofits, including the Guild Literary Complex, Englewood Community Cultural Planning Council and DanceAfrica Chicago. He is also an award-winning performing and published poet. His new book of poems is The Armageddon of Funk.

For more information on the issues discussed at the 2011 Fall Public Meeting, we recommend these readings:

  • Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership, by Frances Kunreuther, Helen Kim, and Robby Rodriguez, 2008.

  • Nurturing California’s Next Generation Arts and Cultural Leaders, by Ann Markusen, for the Center for Cultural Innovation, 2011. Available for free online at: http://cciarts.org/ccf/pdfs/NextGenReportMay2011.pdf