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Be a Good Beginner by John McCann

As leaders, there is an ongoing tension between the need to create certainty and exacting processes while also allowing for imagination, flexibility, and adaptation. Both are valuable, but, as John McCann, leadership expert and core faculty for the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI), suggests, moving from the former to the latter requires learning how to be a “good beginner.”

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A Call for Hope: Building Hope in Yourself and Others by Ronnie Brooks

Looking back over the past year, it may seem that hope for the future is clouded over by uncertainty. More than ever, our organizations and communities are unsure about what social and political climate will materialize, so how can we continue to feel hopeful about what the future will hold? We recently spoke with Ronnie Brooks, founding director of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute and faculty for CAELI, about what it means to generate and sustain hope.

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People of Color in Arts Education Leadership by Lara Davis and Kwayera Archer Cunningham

The community arts education field engages many diverse communities, and people of color (POC) contribute significantly to the work, yet a majority of arts administrators are white. In this article, Kwayera Archer Cunningham, founder and president emerita of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, and Lara Davis, arts education manager for the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, offer their perspectives on opportunities for advancing POC leadership through anti-racist practices at the organizational level, a rethinking of professional development and leadership training, new mechanisms for building one-on-one mentoring among leaders of color, and increased funding for collaboration and convening on the subject of racial justice.

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Practicing the Art of Productive Conversation interview with Phil McArthur

Ask a typical community arts education leader about the challenges she faces when she comes to work every day. After she describes the surprise roof leak in the dance studio or the lackluster attendance at a student performance, she’s likely to talk about the bigger picture: motivating the board, engaging teaching artists in the life of the organization, communicating with parents, making hard decisions about keeping or eliminating programs. Like all leaders in this field, she juggles many different kinds of relationships, says Phil McArthur, an executive coach and organizational consultant and former faculty member of CAELI.

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Toward a More Conscious Leader by Ama Codjoe

Today, successful leaders in arts education recognize their role amounts to more than the management of tasks. Increasingly, effective leaders are those who understand how power impacts organizations and take transparent steps to build a culture of equity. Ama Codjoe, former director of DreamYard Art Center and faculty member for CAELI, argues that anti-oppression practices and compelling leadership are inextricably linked.

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This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. www.nationalguild.org