Author: Guest Blogger

The ETA friends and extended family of bloggers.

I recently served on a panel focusing on Entrepreneurship “for Artists and Creative Professionals.”  During the discussion, we addressed various exciting ways that creative professionals solve problems in our communities, businesses, government, and schools. We celebrated their potential to lead, innovate, and serve as catalysts for change. The talk was undoubtedly inspiring. But I was particularly stuck by the phrase “Artists and Creative Professionals.” After all, there are two ways to interpret this statement: 1)      Artists (one category) and creative professionals (a separate category) 2)      Artists and other creative professionals Of course, the intent was clear.  There exists an assumption…

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The man who has no inner life is a slave to his surroundings. ~Henri-Frederic Amiel (Amiel was a Swiss philosopher, poet, and critic, who in 1849 was appointed professor of aesthetics at the academy of Geneva, among other positions.) Wow!  Meditate on this quote for a moment…. If you are not inward, you are outward.  Outside of ourselves is our surroundings–the physical world.  If we are controlled by the outer world we are like the reed that bends in the wind, constantly reacting to the things (often out of our control) around us. PAINTING & creative activity develop your life within. …

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All artists, and especially entrepreneurial ones, are presented with many opportunities throughout the course of their artistic life.  When a gig or other opportunity comes your way, you will be confronted with whether or not to take it.  Some offers are clearly too good to pass up, while others are riddled with problems and not worth your while.  But sometimes the choice is not so clear.  Perhaps the opportunity would require you to refocus energy in a completely new direction.  Does it have the potential to unlock new doors in the future, or will it just be a distraction from…

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In his research investigating what helps drive economic growth in cities, Richard Florida discovered that the concentration of certain groups of people in geographical areas is clearly correlated to economic success. One of those groups he calls “Bohemians”–the artists, hippies, non-conformists and those “open to experience” who have generally lost favor among our MBA nation of the last few decades. Florida’s Bohemian Index (learn more in this interview) is much higher in the regions and cities whose innovation and economy are thriving. So where are these very important Bohemians? Seek out more about Burning Man and ye shall find. Unbeknownst…

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Preliminary Observations to the Creative Act After almost a year of working with opiate addicts as a counselor, I had heard what I felt to be almost every conceivable story. Even before this point, it was possible to see that there were similar story lines that characterized the population’s history despite the fact that the people, and some aspects of their stories, were so diverse. However, similar or different, the people coming to the clinic shared a common chapter of addiction and coming into recovery. Still, many of the people appeared to tell their stories as though they thought that…

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We tend to think of a peak performance as something we view as transformative from our own perspective, but are we the only ones in the room?

 I recently attended two workshops presented by the Arts Engagement Exchange which addressed the concept of psychographics as applied to marketing and programming in the arts. The first was a lecture by Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre, California’s largest boutique hotel company. He recently wrote a book titled PEAK, in which he applied Maslow’s heirarchy of needs pyramid to multiple facets of an organization (customers, employees, etc.). He also explained how…

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“IT AIN’T WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW THAT GETS YOU IN TROUBLE. IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW FOR SURE THAT JUST AIN’T SO.” -Mark Twain Jazz is predicated on a very unique type of listening. It’s a listening style that isn’t new but one that requires some explanation. It is kind of listening that is open rather than closed. Closed listening? That seems like an oxymoron but actually most of the listening we do is listening for what we think we know and once that notion is satisfied we stop listening. But the type of listening in which we are willing to…

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Using Jazz music as a platform for conversations about organizational improvisation has the power to bring about a fusion in “ways of knowing.” In much the same way that the polyrhythm combines two rhythmic entities sustaining the integrity of each identity while forming a new entity of richer complexity and possibility, the jazz ensemble engages its process in a similar fashion. At the level of the individual there is a constant shift of awareness between intellectual understanding and somatic understanding resulting in the integration of both states. This fusion creates a third way of knowing that allows for response to…

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Two books in my current stack, having a conversation with each other: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by educator par excellence, Sir Ken Robinson, PhD; and poet David Whyte’s Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity. Robinson advocates for finding your Element: that place where your natural talent and passion lie. Whyte’s sea is the metaphorical setting for the voyage we take through our working lives. I have been reading Robinson cover to cover, as research for a creativity and innovation program I’ve helped to develop. For Whyte’s poetic meditation, I tend to page…

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