Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders Network

Connecting emerging arts managers with skill-building and leadership development resources.

Creative Conversation: Cultivating Diversity

Does anyone else think we’re a little crazy for broaching this topic?

Cause it’s tough–real tough. One, you have to define what diversity means. Two, you have to have an honest conversation about it in order to reach any conclusions, but do so without being insensitive. Three, you have to create a safe space to allow this conversation to happen. Four, you have to be willing to look at what you and your organization are (and are not) doing to cultivate diversity. And five, it’s a real hot button issue, especially in Pittsburgh.

Tall order, isn’t it? But with our lineup of panelists and facilitator, we know we’re gonna make this creative conversation successfully happen. And we hope that you’re going to be there to share in the experience with us!

So join us on Monday, October 22 from 7-9 pm at the Union Project (801 N. Negley Avenue) for drinks, light food, and stimulating conversation.

Facilitating the evening will be K. Chase Patterson, President and CEO of Corporate Diversity Associates LLC a consulting firm that specializes in corporate training and talent acquisition services.

He’ll be leading the audience and our panelists–Joseph Hall, Alyssa Herzog Melby, Alecia Shipman, and Bee Schindler (read the full bios here)–through the following questions and more:

  • How do we define diversity as arts professionals?
  • How can arts organizations cultivate diverse audiences?
  • How do we break down traditional barriers and stereotypes found in the arts?
  • How do the challenges of fostering diversity change based on the art form, the size, and the history of organizations?
  • What role can arts education and audience engagement play in fostering diversity in the arts?

Intrigued yet? But maybe you’re worried about how the event will be handled and whether or not you’ll feel comfortable asking questions? Don’t worry. Here’s the agenda for the night–and there’s plenty of opportunities to let down your guard and help us ask and talk about these tough questions:

7:00-7:30 Drinks, light refreshments, networking
*Everything always gets easier to talk about after a drink*
7:30-8:15 Panel discussion
8:15-8:30 Break for reflection (audience members will be invited to submit questions via note cards)
8:30-9:00 Audience and panel conversation
So what are you waiting for? This whole event is FREE, but we do ask that you take one minute to register today. Because we need to know how many drinks to buy, and you surely wouldn’t want us running out, would you? Thought not.
In all seriousness, though, this is one conversation that you’re not going to want to miss!  And to get us started, feel free to leave a comment on the blog or facebook about how you define and/or cultivate diversity.
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