Anyone with more than a handful of time working in this field has encountered one of several progress roadblocks in the form of hearing about why something can’t be done.
Recently, Ceci Dadisman published a bit of an arts admin rant at Medium about three of the more frustrating examples that are practically mantra in this field: “We’ve always done it that way,” “We don’t have the budget for that,” and “We don’t have time for that.”
It’s a cathartic read (to say the least) and you would have to be blind not to notice the overarching theme of negativity.
Consequently, the article reinforced just how important it is for the field as a whole to launch a conscious effort to begin pushing aback against those old habits. One excellent way to go about that is using Kelly Leonard’s Yes, and… approach to planning and creative problem solving.
Leonard has written a book about the process and has a great TEDx talk.
Violinist Holly Mulcahy has written about how she’s applied his approach to several successful endeavors, not the least of which led to the founding of her nonprofit, Arts Capacity, which helps people in need through the power of art, culture, communication, and live music to cope with challenges and develop the capacity to experience change for good.
I’ve also watched her wield those tools when collaborating with composer George S. Clinton for her new violin concerto, which premiers this April (more on that in a future article).
But what about you? I would be shocked if you haven’t encountered those negativity roadblocks from Dadisman’s article. How do you deal with them?