Inside Arts Based Interventions

Michael GoldWritten by Michael Gold

For any individual or culture to change it has to want to change.

Arts based interventions that have the potential to affect real change are engaged when someone inside the corporate culture sees the need and the potential. It is essential that such interventions be very carefully designed.

There must be a thorough and agreed upon understanding of the client’s “pain” and how an art based intervention can be applied to catalyze that pain into specific productive results. A good starting place for practitioners is Giovanni Schuima’s book The Value of Arts for Business.

The only thing that will convince corporate interests that its management needs the resource of the artistic perspective is word of mouth based on experiential results. One cannot blame Chief Learning Officers and CEOs for being skeptical.

In my role as designer and facilitator of arts based initiatives, I have to work with musicians who can articulate their ideas across disciplines, otherwise they bring no value to the interaction with people in business.

There has to be viable product in the marketplace for corporations to be convinced of the value of arts based learning. If academic institutions from arts departments to MBA programs were to start training artists of all types in cross-disciplinary facilitation then a new and competitive field of management development — one that truly deserves the moniker of Human Resource Development — would enter the market. It would be relatively easy to create curricula designed give artists these skills.|

It is unfortunate that the world of the arts is not as prepared as it could be for this unique opportunity to recalibrate the one-sided relationship of the artist as dependent upon patrons.

In the movie Field of Dreams, while walking in his cornfield, novice farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice that whispers, “If you build it, he will come,” and sees a baseball diamond. If we, as educators and educational institutions, build a theoretical base of expertise around this emerging field…they will come. They are already here…asking.


About Michael Gold

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Michael Gold is the founder and president of Jazz Impact, where he develops and conducts interactive seminars that bring together the two worlds of jazz and business. Gold’s expertise is in creating customized training sessions that reinforce team-building, problem solving and other management skills by drawing upon the lessons of jazz. Gold’s extensive background in music, academia and business was essential in developing Jazz Impact. He held senior management positions in the real estate and financial services industries, holds a Ph.D. in jazz performance and created and ran Vassar College’s first jazz program. He has spent nearly two decades as a jazz bassist in New York having performed with such greats as Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, Tal Farlow, Sheila Jordan, and Warne Marsh. Gold is an ongoing lecturer for The Executive MBA and Leadership Development Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The MBA Program at Loyola University in New Orleans and The University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

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