arts axis llc
random thoughts

arts axis llc founder and president Andrew Taylor writes a weblog on ArtsJournal.com. The Artful Manager explores both deep and fluffy issues surrounding arts and cultural management, marketing, and support.

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Four functions/dysfunctions of managers
Posted on Wednesday June 28, 2017

A former professor of mine used to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into kinds of people, and those who don’t. Now as a professor myself, I would add a third kind: those who cautiously categorize, but feel bad about it. That would be me. […]

Disinterest, distance, and the artist-manager
Posted on Monday June 19, 2017

One of the core actions of aesthetic/artistic attention is to step back – to make a little space between yourself and the object of your attention, so you can see it as it is, rather than see it as you are. Stephen Sondheim captures this imperative (and its implications) in “Finishing the Hat” from Sunday in […]

The problem with problems
Posted on Wednesday June 07, 2017

If you work in the arts in higher education (or any education, for that matter), you are likely talking or hearing more about “complex problems,” or perhaps “wicked problems.” These are shorthand for a wide range of messy, persistent, usually negative aspects of civil or global society — hunger, inequity, racism, terrorism, climate change, sectarianism, […]

Belonging gone bad
Posted on Thursday June 01, 2017

The idea of “belonging” has long been a key point of aspiration and advocacy for the arts. Art builds empathy. Art builds community. Art infuses a sense of belonging into a world so desperate for it. In these conversations, the problem is framed as a “lack of belonging,” and arts experiences are the solution. But […]

A new lens on ‘excellence’
Posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017

Arts initiatives that seek social change often face an identity crisis: They are driven by passion, purpose, meaning, and making, but they are generally described and evaluated by more traditional measures. Worse than the challenge of a square peg in a round hole, “arts for change” projects aren’t pegs at all, but multi-dimensional efforts that […]

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