Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

New Season for No-Mind

In Author: Adam Shames, Creative Support, Creativity and Innovation, Health & Wellness on September 29, 2010 at 12:10 am

Fall is indeed here, and I am returning from my blog-break to once again rabble-rouse for innovation to reign and your creativity to blossom throughout this new season and beyond.

I’ll remember this summer as one where I worked less on business but more on my mind — specifically, on trying to detach from the addictions of mind. Creativity is the nimble dance between mind and heart, but so many of us get caught in a stranglehold of mind so that we are blocked from expressing ourselves, taking risks, seeing differently and feeling free to create (not to mention just feeling good). The mind is a powerful instrument, but, as Eckhart Tolle in his classic The Power of Now explains, “about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is harmful.” Too much of our thinking — especially in this Information Overload-Great Recession-Multi-Tasking world of ours — is spent stuck on shoulds, fears, anxiety about the future and replays of the past.

I know mine was. So I consciously broke from my normal routine, both physically and mentally, and shifted my mindset. I was lucky to spend more time than I ever have on Lake Michigan, thanks to my friend Joe and his sailboat (above). I truly was able to incubate — a key part of the creative process — in water and for more prolonged periods than I have before. I was able to leave my scolding mind with the buildings of the city and embrace the great creative principle of “Not Knowing” — seeing with fresh eyes, giving up being right and smart and an expert. My mind stopped being king, and frankly I feel much better and more ready to imagine and create a future that works for me.

In an enlightened state, according to Tolle, you still use your thinking mind when needed but otherwise there is an inner stillness. To come up with creative solutions, he explains, “you oscillate every few minutes or so between thought and stillness, between mind and no-mind…only in that way is it possible to think creatively.” You need “no-mind” — consciousness without thought — to tap into your real power. Here’s more:

The mind is essentially a survival machine. Attack and defense against other minds, gathering, storing, and analyzing information–that is what it is good at, but it is not at all creative. All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. The mind then gives form to the creative impulse or insight. Even the great scientists have reported that their creative breakthroughs came at a time of mental quietude.

~from The Power of Now, p. 19-20

I know I was extremely lucky to be able to take a partial break this summer, and that it’s hard to find the time for “mental quietude.” But you can find a way to reduce your “predominance of mind,” as Tolle would call it, both for your own sanity and to be more creative. Read The Power of Now. Learn to Meditate. Swim, run, practice Tai Chi, paint or lose yourself in a creative pursuit that gets you out of your thoughts. The key is to be aware of — and to be less enslaved by — your involuntary internal dialogue, especially the nasty, needless thoughts that create stress but little else of value.

Want more from Adam? Check out his Innovation on my Mind blog.

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The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship™ is Alive!

In Author: Jim Hart, Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness, WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 5, 2009 at 7:03 am

IAE logoIn September of 2010 The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship™ will open its doors at 3020 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. Our two year finishing program, will teach artists how to make a living from their artistry.

To learn more about IAE check out our website. Applications for early enrollment are now being accepted.

I Wanna Ride a Race Horse

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, Health & Wellness on October 30, 2009 at 4:11 am

dreamstime_5752927
I wanna ride a race horse
to see how fast she’ll go

I want an easy winner
to WIN, Place AND Show

The metaphor’s familiar
our dreams not too dissimilar

Work smart, live loud
feel the ground- come unwound

Be real, smile high, spring up, twitter, fly
Feet first, squarely planted on the ground

Were you expecting something more profound?

Culture, Crisis and Recovery

In Author: John Cimino, Creativity and Innovation, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness on October 1, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Anyone who has worked with the arts in non-traditional settings, that is, outside the more familiar spaces of our studios, galleries, theaters and concert halls, knows that there is a bit of healing magic tucked into the essence of our art forms that routinely takes people by surprise.  What’s more, no matter how many times we witness it or enter into the experience ourselves, that moment of newness, refreshment, transformation — call it what you like — is there to surprise us.   It takes many forms, to be sure.  But everyone one of them gives us a kind of lift, a deepening, an opening, a sense of something more that feels good, pretty remarkable, in fact. 

I’m heading to a conference this afternoon in New Orleans, the 10th Annual Conference of Imagining America (Artists and Scholars in Public Life) and this year it’s entitled “Culture, Crisis and Recovery”.  Representatives of a hundred universities will be on hand to join in a conversation about the sort of partnerships between unversities and organizations in their surrounding communities that can uplift both parties, even in a climate of crisis.  My own presentation will be reporting on a project we undertook in partnership with George Washington University’s Center for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management on behalf of the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  What do you do for the heroes and caregivers — the first responders, as they are called — when they themselves have become the victims of overwhelming disaster?  Our team from Creative Leaps International was able to provide an experience (a resilience retreat) steeped in the healing powers of the arts that made a remarkable difference for them.  From the depths of dispair and dysfunction, they emerged triumphant and renewed.  If you’d like to read about it, check out this link: http://www.creativeleaps.org/news/200804/NewOrleans.htm

But here’s my question for you, my colleagues in the arts, “How tuned in are you to the transformative powers of your art?   Have you explored the deeper potencies of your art form, its powers to catalyze new thinking, learning, healing and personal growth in others?   Are you actively engaged in putting that power to work in hospitals, schools, community centers, rehab centers, senior centers, centers for wellness, resilience and leadership?”  To learn more about how this is done, visit the ETA web site   (http://www.entrepreneurthearts.com/   or that of Creative Leaps International (www.creativeleaps.org) or The Learning Arts (www.learningarts.org) .   It’s time to bring your gifts more fully into the world.

I’d love to hear your stories, how you do it, what you do and what you aspire to do.  Together, we can empower one another in this important work.    The world really does need your gifts.  I cheer you in your every enedavor!

John

John Cimino, Creative Leaps International

The Great Balancing Act

In Author: Melissa Snoza, Creativity and Innovation, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Health & Wellness on September 28, 2009 at 7:02 am

In thinking about what topics might be useful for entrepreneurially-minded arts folks, I was reminded of a question that came up at a career skills roundtable that Fifth House led at the University of Northern Iowa that struck me as particularly timely, yet not frequently asked.

A student raised her hand and asked, “How do you balance your professional and home lives? Do you have enough time for a marriage and family?”

Having prepped ourselves for questions about self-promotion, fundraising, organizational development, and the like, this came a little out of left field. In retrospect, I’m so glad she voiced this, because it’s a real challenge that any small business owner will face head-on.

Being in the building stages of a rapidly growing small arts organization, and being in the first decade of our professional careers individually, none of us had particularly encouraging things to say about how much time we’re able to devote to ourselves and to those we love. Starting a business can mean that you work 98% of the day, with your laptop in one hand and PDA in another. Always reachable, always on the clock.

The good part about this is that you’re spending a ton of energy and resources on the one thing that you wake up and fall asleep thinking about. It is the passion for our work that fuels our desire to strike out on our own in the first place, and to selflessly understand that the 9-5 workday doesn’t really exist in any project’s infancy.

But what about the risk of burnout, failed relationships, or medical ill-effects? Most people can’t keep up a the fevered start-up pace forever, and those that do tend to lose at other parts of their life, even as they win. As the amount and quality of the work/gigs/business you are generating grows, it’s time to begin to trim the bonsai and focus on those things that are important both in your business and at home.

This means choosing your projects and engagements more carefully, delegating wisely, scheduling your work time AND your play time, and remembering one of the wisest business lessons I ever heard: EFFICIENCY is the ability to work faster, EFFECTIVENESS is the ability to decide what to do and when. It also means beginning to outsource those parts of your business that someone else can do better and faster.

One of the members of our group has a friend who religiously kept Shabbat (the weekly day of rest that has its equivalent in many major religions) even through the most hectic parts of her college years. When he asked her how on earth she could afford to do it given the huge number of activities she was involved in, she replied, “How can you afford NOT to?” Having  one day to refresh and recharge gave her the energy she needed to tackle the week, and made her focus on working smart and meeting her deadlines in preparation for the day off.

It’s a lesson we can all learn and apply in our own way. Whether it’s scheduling an afternoon with your spouse, creating a daily ritual that includes exercise and time for reflection, or becoming involved in a group activity that has nothing to do with your professional life, the change of pace keeps the mind fresh, the body in balance, and the creativity flowing.

And now, to read this post 40 more times until it sinks in…!

Melissa is the flutist and Executive Director of the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble. Like what you read here? For more music entrepreneurship tidbits, visit www.playingclosetothebridge.wordpress.com, brought to you by members of 5HE.

The Arts and Vets: Designing a Program That Serves

In Author: John Cimino, Creativity and Innovation, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness on September 16, 2009 at 4:11 am

I’d like to tap the wisdom and creative juices of my fellow bloggers and readers in a real-time challenge.  I’m assembling a group of experienced artists from various disciplines here in the Hudson Valley of New York to participate in an on-going action seminar on the vital intersection of the arts and healthcare.  A combination of think tank and field research, the seminar’s goal is to cultivate, catalyze and use the knowledge and experience of artists to develop new approaches to programming in the arts and healthcare field, particularly in services to veterans.

The arts have always been a terrific spark for reflection and new thinking.  Also, of course, for pleasure, inspiration and refreshment.  Every one of these dividends would be a welcome experience for our young men and women returning from the conflicts overseas.   However, as we know, their needs run a good deal deeper.  Their lives have been profoundly shaken and often the last thing on their minds is taking care of themselves.  They have lived in service to others, to us and to their fellow soldiers.  Seeing a meaningful and rewarding road forward in their lives now that they are home will require a wisdom and mindset which too often does not come easily. 

So what can we do, as artists and entrepreneurs, to be of service to them?  What tools are at our disposal to be shared with our returning veterans?  Our veterans are rich in promise, talent and possibility and have probably demonstrated more courage and discipline than most of us will ever imagine.  Perhaps, some of you are veterans and can speak from experience.  The arts embody a way of thinking and exploring that we know can be helpful in problem-solving.  The arts have  nurtured, even healed our broken spirits.  What is the innovative, restorative relationship between the arts and veterans that can rightly serve them?  How is the invitation best extended?  How is the program idea marketed?  How does it find its resonance among those who may need it most?

Our action seminar will be on-going through the next several months.  Veterans and veterans services providers will also be joining in the dialogue.  Our hope is to jump-start new program ideas as early as this winter and spring.   I often say to groups of artists and entrepreneurs that the world needs your gifts.   That is certainly true in this instance.   So be encouraged and send on your thoughts.    Here’s to those who serve.

John

What kind of artistic life in the future will you live?

In Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness on September 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Lisa 2009What kind of artistic life in the future will you live? What does the rest of this year, 2010 and beyond hold for you? Can you describe it to me?

Do you see yourself becoming more involved in the creation of your artistry, do you see greater connectivity to others, what about the twisty- misty road called your creative journey finally occupying center stage?

Does your future artistic life need more time, more money, more training, more love, less self-loathing, more what… to achieve what it most needs?

I think every artist I have ever met has said, in one way or another that for them, their artistic life is about making a difference. But exactly how big of a difference were you thinking you will make and for whom? Will that difference be for you, for your immediate family, for your friends, your community, for the world?

What arts entrepreneurship training offers- that NOTHING ELSE IN LIFE that I have discovered yet does- is a way to achieve, shape, re-shape, define, re-define, refine and live the artistic life you have always wanted to live– exactly as you see it from moment to moment, day to day, week to week and year after year.

Albeit, just like most things in life, enjoying the journey to your destination is the most important part of the ride, but entrepreneurial training offers you a blank map to start and re-start until you create the perfect road to be able to. A road that feels and looks exactly right for you to take- one that you will find infectiously helps you learn how to truly enjoy looking out your window as you tavel along your way.

The trick is.. how many roads are you willing to try and create? If you keep designing, unknowingly, roads that turn out to be dead ends how much gas, time and energy are you willing to sacrifice, with an open-mind, before you simply become another believer that an artists life is a dream, a hobby or nothing more than a disjunct, disconnected, endless string of failed attempts and not a life?

How many years will it take before you start telling yourself, and then your family and friends in so many words, ” I cannot indulge myself with this expensive addiction any longer. Who am I kidding- it needs to be controlled and limited..”

When we passionately decided we love the arts, it can happen at any age, and we naively declare our hearts intentions to our family and friends- in those following moments, days, weeks and years after, how often do we give thought to exactly how to protect our love– let alone build an artistic life that still makes our knees buckle, our hearts pound and makes us coo “After all these years I am still madly in love with you. You give me everything in life I need. If it were not for you, where would my life be?”

(Pause)

It is almost hard for me to write another word following that thought. It gives me a big lump in my throat as I let those words sit with me.

It’s an understatement for me to say that I really hope you feel this way and always do.

And yet, if I had not thought long ago carefully about what kind of artistic life I wanted to live and then developed my entrepreneurial skills as a vehicle to achieve it, I am not sure where I would be today.

I love the view from my window. How about you?

The Institute For Arts Entrepreneurship- Opening Fall 2010!

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Cooking & Food, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Marketing, Money, Music, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on August 21, 2009 at 11:07 pm

InstArtsEntrep_BoldIn the fall of 2010 The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship will open at 3020 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

As an independent but collaborative effort with Jim Hart’s Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts, IAE will be devoted to the development of the artist as entrepreneur.

Lead by my vision and passion, The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship will be seeking applicants from any artistic discipline. Requirements for enrollment will be a minimum of a 4 year degree–a bachelors degree– in an artistic discipline. The program will be a two year program that is focused on artistic venture creation and servant leadership. It will begin as a school in the fall of 2010 with full accreditation. Auditions will begin February/March of 2010 for all interested applicants.

For more information about enrollment or if you are interested in partnering with either Jim Hart or myself, in some way, please email me. Lisa@EntrepreneurTheArts.com

Batteries Included

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Cooking & Food, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Music, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on August 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm

horse
bug
viagra

While there are lots of ways to feel like your batteries are super charged in life, I think the only one that really works is following your heart.

Unlike your camera, computer, watch, or the clock you own that needs batteries to run, you are self-empowered and come with a life long battery included.

You see your heart never needs a new battery to super charge your life. Nor does it need the thrill of riding on a mechanical horse, or zooming around on the wings of a battery powered bug, or the jolt of a pill to get your juices flowing.

If you think you need any of those things to jump-start your life, your taking your one ever-lasting battery for granted. Don’t do that. It won’t stay super charged anyway for very long if you do, unless you give it the energy it really needs by fueling your life with passion.

Yeah, I know. We have talked about this a few times before: passionate pursuits are never easy. It sounds great to pursuit what you love, doesn’t it, until you find yourself riddled with moments that don’t seem passionate at all- times when you simply are grateful you do come with a battery included so you can just keep on running.

Sure we all have moments like these on the road to our adventure. But keep your eye on your vision, pursue your passions, sleigh your dragons anyway, beat back the bushes with your home made machete, and be the first to walk where only your dream can see.

After all, this is why you do come with batteries included…

Are You Relevant?

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Money, Music, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on August 17, 2009 at 4:48 am

Are you relevant? Do you define your artistic work based on its practical, economic and social applicability to satisfy the needs of those who experience what you do? And if not, then I cannot help but ask the question, why not?

I realize that we all have a need to create and experiment in life. By doing so we are offered extraordinary opportunities to not only affirm who we are but get to know ourselves better. We learn from what works and, more often, learn the most from what does not work for us– which often allows us to find new more meaningful paths to explore.

But at what point in life do we need to become more practical, more disciplined? Is it ever to early (or late) in life to do this? And when you do, or find the help to, what are the benefits you receive for doing so?

The other day I had a young talented clarinetist– a sophomore in college- in the shop. We were discussing his future career aspirations and performing was right at the top of his list- like most of my clients. When I asked him what about performing was so motivating for him, his answer was ” Well, for a long time I was not sure I could rise to the occasion and play well enough to become an orchestral musician. It is only recently that I am starting to feel I can. Now the question I am asking myself is, do I want to do this?”

I realize that as a young adult- and even as an aging adult- coming to know who we are is a very important part of our educational journey. And alongside this process of growth and development routinely we must be challenged to answer questions like: “And if you do want to perform who specifically will want what you have to offer?”

I cannot help but wonder what we are really learning about the meaning of art, not to mention effectively reaching an audience who cares about what we have to offer from our chosen artistic field of study, if we are not challenged to explore questions like these. If you excel at Music Theory from the Middle Ages, even if you get a PHD in it and can teach it at the college level– who is it relevant to– besides you?

Take a look at my dear friend Gary Beckman- Arts Entrepreneurship Educator’s Network founder. His received his PHD in musicology in 2007 from The University of Texas at Austin. During his doctoral course work, Gary realized that his course of study was not really all that relevant and went on to pursue something that he felt was not only more relevant, but also deeply motivating for him– developing arts entrepreneurship curriculum. Now don’t get me wrong. I learned a lot from my musicology courses and loved my professors who taught them. I also think it is GREAT that Gary has vision for the growth and evolution of arts entrepreneurship curriculum, but think of what he could have accomplished, and how much happier and entrepreneurial he might have become sooner, if he had been challenged to think about how relevant his field of study was, to him and for others, at an earlier point in life?

Questioning and experimenting with our relevancy through action is at the heart of WHY the arts must become a field of entrepreneurial study in addition to traditional skill building. THE ONLY WAY artists can create sustainable happy career paths for themselves is to learn how to produce a product– relevancy.

As a young clarinetist I too asked myself the same questions my young client shared with me. I remember wondering if I could become good enough, play perfectly enough, musically enough and in tune enough to win an orchestral audition and be at the top of the heap. I challenged myself to get there with no other focus than to succeed. ( And of course, without a course or educational guidance to help me think about my goals differently.)

I started out almost last chair my freshman year at Northwestern. By my sophomore year I was at the top of my class– beating out all the masters and doctorate students, some of whom were finalists at regional orchestra auditions around the country. And when I reached that goal, all of a sudden I realize I had no idea what was next. It was not the feeling of eternal bliss I thought I would have, nor was anyone beating down my doors asking me to audition for any major orchestra. Instead it was in the middle of my senior year that I realized that I did not feel relevant. I did not feel that what skills I had developed really mattered to anyone significantly, except for me.

So it was then that I asked myself “how can I use the skills I do have to be relevant?” and from that thought I tested my ideas by putting my solution into action- by opening up a clarinet shop and helping others develop their career paths by helping them find the perfect instrument for their “relevant” music making. It was only then that I actually understood what truly it felt like to become relevant. It’s kind of funny to me, right now, that I am back where I started- after a 20 year adventure building a large business- but life is funny like that. I am being given a second chance to look at how I am relevant and I, again, am figuring it out.

But you see what I realized the first time, at 17, was that what I did have that was relevant was a gift to help and connect to others. I also had a gift to play the clarinet well. I also knew that artists needed to feel better about who they are and find their own confidence, through finding their own relevance, to become kinder to themselves and to others and strong enough to trust themselves that they could actually change the world.

Don’t ask me how exactly I knew this then– call it my God given vision- other than I did not then, and often still do not now, see the kind of inspirational collaboration or connectivity amongst others I crave in the world to see. Of all places- the arts should be outstanding examples for others of both.

Finding my relevancy at 17 gave me my first glimpse into what it meant to make a difference in life. Is it ever too early or too late to find your own? (It’s ok too, btw, if you need a school and a mentor to help you. You don’t have to find your relevancy, like I did, alone.)

Finding your relevancy will give you vision to lead. It will temper your being into a refined piece of artwork that the world wants and that you will be happy to share.

Finding your relevancy means you will feel at peace- because you are valued. You are payed- because you are needed. And that you will feel confident- because when we feel connected to ourselves and to others simultaneously, life does not get any better.

“Are you relevant,” I ask? If not– it is time to learn how you can be….

The Business Community and The Arts

In Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness, WEBSITES & BLOGS on August 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Late last year, Americans for the Arts merged with Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), creating the largest-ever advocacy group for the arts in the private sector. The idea behind the merger was to create a partnership that will increased private-sector support for the arts and arts education by engaging and educating business leaders nationwide on the economic impact and value of the arts in business and community settings.

The Business Committee for the Arts, Inc. (BCA), was founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller. It is a national not-for-profit organization that brings business and the arts together. It provides businesses of all sizes with the services and resources necessary to develop and advance partnerships with the arts that benefit business, the arts and the community.

Why is BCA so important to the development of the arts? Because private-sector support for the arts from individuals, foundations, and businesses represents a critical piece of arts funding in America and yet in recent years, the larger private-sector relationship with the arts and arts organizations has changed dramatically. While business leaders continue to support the arts, recent modest gains in overall giving disguise the fact that the market share of total philanthropy devoted to the nonprofit arts has declined by nearly one-third since the early 1990’s.

As stated by Americans for The Arts “In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever for businesses to invest in the arts. This investment advances a company’s visibility and brand, improves employee morale, improves quality of life, and provides economic benefits to the entire community”.

Each year BCA recognizes 10 companies that demonstrate exceptional involvement enriching the workplace, education and the community. Here is BCA’s list for 2008:

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Houston, TX
Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, KY
Emprise Bank, Wichita, KS
First Tennessee, Memphis, TN
H&R Block, Inc., Kansas City, MO
Limited Brands, Inc., Columbus, OH
Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, WI
Sweetwater Sound, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN
Wachovia, Charlotte, NC
Zions First National Bank, Salt Lake City, UT

Want to learn more about BCA? www.bcainc.org

What Role Does Artistry Play in Creativity?

In Author: Lisa Canning, Creative Support, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk on July 26, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Last week, when I attended Columbia College’s Creative Entrepreneurship Conference, an interesting tension arose between myself and a participant of the conference.

In my panel discussion, “Creative Entrepreneurship in A Time of Change”, I raised the issue of why is it that there are not more artistic individuals becoming leaders of creativity in the 21st Century Creative Economy? Why is it that on Fast Company’s 2009– 100 most creative individuals in business list only 22% are from classical artistic disciplines and shouldn’t there be more?

It seemed the thought that artistry should be at the center of creative leadership struck a nerve with a woman who, though not an artist herself, often trains teaching artists. While I won’t name this individual, her comment back to me was that artistry “is just one of many tools and that creativity does not require it nor should it have to.” She went on to add that ” it is more important that creativity be embedded in all we do and it matters little if art is part of it or not.”

Ever since that exchange I have been thinking about her comment. I agree, creativity needs to be embedded in all we do. And I feel no shame in adding that I am sure we MUST place all of the classical art forms in artistic education at the center of teaching artists themselves, and the rest of the world, how to become more creative.

For artists development, the path is simple. Artistic development first. Creativity Training second. Synthesis into an Entrepreneurial Mindset third. For all others: realization of the value of artistry first, learning from others to expand their creative thinking through artistry second, synthesis into their chosen fields third.

For artists: Those who study the arts professionally deserve more than anyone to be taught to have the vision to lead in this area because they come to it, first and foremost, with integrity, a desire to learn the discipline and the glue– passion to do something positive with their art form to change the world. While often, through the educational process, this energy becomes misguided into ” its all about me and how I FEEL when I create art,” because of all the individual focus, private lessons, single-skill building, that often translates into a myopic view of artistry and consequently few professional opportunities resulting in low self esteem, like Jim Hart said, “We need to teach our students how to have vision. Imagine the cultural implications.”

What kind of cultural implications come immediately in mind? Take for example the amazingly creative investment bank, Goldman Sach’s. Not only did they make oodles of money from their creativity, but they did it on the kind of scale that almost destroyed the US Economy. If your into economics, the Rolling Stone article about their “creativity” is a worthy read.

And in case you are wondering what “culture has to do with this”, culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning “to cultivate”) is a term that has different meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of “culture” in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. However, the word “culture” is most commonly used in three basic senses:
~ Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture
~ An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning
~The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.

It seems unlikely that anyone in leadership at Goldman Sach’s learned their “culture” of creativity from a school trained dancer, poet, actor or film maker, but, clearly, for better or worse, they are, and continue to be, a creative culture. But what if they had? What if artistic expression had been embedded at the core of their “creativity training” as an organization? Might it have changed what kind of company they built?

Certainly “creativity” does not depend on dance, music, writing, theater or film to exist, but one’s heart is purest when the passion of well honed creative expression through a classic art form is expressed. There is nothing like feeling connected to yourself and to others through the expression of artistry. This is a very different sensation that the expression of creativity that does not necessarily create this kind of connectivity to heart and mind.

I believe artistry, unlike creativity brings a higher purpose, a need for self reflection and examination, a connection to other that can transcend words or ideas and an openness of thought that creative training alone, side swipes, at best.

And yet, artistry quickly becomes short sided and littered with dead end signs professionally without being fueled by creativity. Artistry needs to transcend itself into a creative profession, just like Alex Beauchamp writes about in her blog Girl at Play.

Artists need to develop their creativity to offer others their gifts. Creative individuals needs artistry to give their employees, companies and communities a sense of higher purpose and connectivity to their lives and the lives of others.

Artists can change the world. We simply need vision AND creative skills to embed our artistry into the cultural learning of an organization, and humanity, to become the next generation of leaders our world needs.

Serendipity’s Role in Entrepreneurial Development

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Marketing, Networking, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, WEBSITES & BLOGS on June 23, 2009 at 6:46 am

In the last three months I have been working with a new client-Dr. Julia Rahn, the owner of Flourish Studios www.ICanFlourish.com.

Flourish is a self and family development center located at 3020 N Lincoln Avenue here in Chicago. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Julia’s experience lead her to combining art, retail, individual therapy and support groups in one glorious space. While Flourish has many ways it can contribute to helping change lives, its initial offerings to the public are in the areas of parenting, self development and wellness with the sole mission of creating positive change in the lives of all who come in contact with Flourish Studios.

The mission of Flourish Studios is fabulous. Julia’s vision to help others Live. Learn. Love. could not be any stronger. Yet 14 months into her venture her vision had begun to get fuzzy as to where she was headed. Getting any business started, let alone one in the beginning of hard economic times, often can lead you away from your core mission- your “tag line”- the reason you started doing what you are doing and for whom.

This happens because reaching your target market always takes longer than we think and at some point it is easy to begin to take “whatever we can get” instead of holding true to our vision to find who we really need to serve. While Julia had done a better job than most, as evident by the fact that her business was surviving through such rough times, her business seemed to be lethargic and not doing as well as she expected.

Coincidentally, at about the same time Julia was coming to realize this fact, Arianne Votasmeets entered the Entrepreneur The Arts Round I competition. Arianne’s art work was currently being hung in the gallery of Flourish Studio’s when she entered. After reading her entry and learning about Flourish I went to see her exhibit and meet Dr. Julia.

Within the hour I spent at Flourish Studios, Dr. Julia and I hit it off so well she asked me, more or less on the spot, if I would consider working with her and her staff to refocus their efforts and realign her vision to help her business continue to grow through this tough economy. How could I resist such a wonderful opportunity. And so my work with Flourish Studios began.

For the past three months I have been going to Flourish at least once a week and working individually with Dr. Julia and her three full time employees. Each one of her staff needed focus and clarity as to how to better do their jobs selling and marketing the service Flourish offers. In the time I have been there we have shifted the focus of Flourish to hosting ONLY events that fulfill their mission to Live, Learn and Love, Increased Vendor participation in their mission by asking vendors to sponsor workshops for their buyers, retail stores or do training at Flourish, developed group programming in the initial three areas of Focus for Flourish of parenting, self development and wellness, and provided more time, structure and support for employees and Julia to devote to cultivating relationships to continue to find the target market they need to provide their wonderful services to.

Not only has our work together already significantly improved Flourish’s bottom line, but the staff and Julia are feeling more at ease, clearer about their roles and feeling more optimistic about their future. While I recognize the role I am playing to help Flourish Studios to “flourish”, none of the help I have offered would have made any difference at all if they were not willing and eager to act on what I am teaching them.

The joy in teaching entrepreneurs about sales and marketing, for me, is watching a world of possibility open to them when they act on what I am teaching them to do. Truthfully, I am not sure that a single one of Julia’s staff, at first, really believed the behavioral changes I was asking each of them to make in the way the communicated to clients would work. But they tried it anyway and agreed to being open minded and to continuing to do, consistently, the work I asked of them.

It is only now- three months later- that they are becoming believers in their own individual abilities to develop as entrepreneurs for Flourish Studios. When we learn how to express our care and nurturing to others through the services and products we believe in, we too, can begin to flourish, just like Flourish Studios.

And lastly, you never know, when you become an entrepreneur, who will cross your path that can change the course of your venture in positive ways. Thanks to the ETA competition Heartbeat of America and I created, Arianne Votasmeets desire to try her hand as a new artist and Dr. Julia Rahn’s passion to help others flourish, something amazing happened when our paths collided.

What amazing opportunities will your entrepreneurial efforts create? How will you flourish?

Don’t bother me, Just pay me

In Author: Lisa Canning, Customer Service, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness on June 5, 2009 at 2:31 am

The past few months I have been seriously trying to get to the bottom of some long term issues with my health. While I have always had a lot of energy and eat healthy ( no greasy food, limit the sweets and white flour opting for salads, whole grains, lean proteins and fish), I have, since I was ten, struggled with my weight. One of my 2009 new years resolutions ( remember those you made back in Dec/Jan?) was to try and take whatever steps were necessary to make the lifestyle changes I need to reduce my weight to improve my health.

So to honor that resolution I have been working out with a body builder for the past three months three times a week for an hour and a half, mixing weight lifting up with cardio, as well as making the changes to my diet the body builder is encouraging, hoping to get my metabolism moving.

While my physical strength is improving daily, my weight has not budged. Being born into a family with horrible genetics ( obesity rules in greek families) I decide it might be a good idea to go to the doctor and rule out a thyroid problem being at the root of my difficulty.

So I went to see my general practitioner and had a number of blood tests. The tests indicated my insulin levels were higher than they should be for sure, but not high enough to label me diabetic.The doctor put me on pre-diabetic medicine and asked me to make an appointment with an endocrinologist. (Hypothyroid can look a lot like a pre-diabetic condition.) Eager to address my problem, and hoping it would help me improve my health, I called the referral my doctor gave me.

Quickly I discovered where my eagerness to consult with an “expert” about my health fit into the value system of both of the endocrinologists I was referred to by my physician.

The first I tried calling 4 different times. It seems they rarely keep office hours and never answer the phone. Each time I called this was the message I heard: ” Dr. XXX is currently not available. Our office is now closed. Don’t page the doctor, Don’t ask us when we are not open for a refill or an appointment and Don’t leave us a message unless you are willing to wait 24-48 hours for a return call. If this is an emergency call 911. Beep.”

The second endocrinologist I called won’t see me at all until I send over my blood tests and they decide if THEY are willing to set up an appointment to see me.

It seems endocrinologists are in such demand, according to my general practitioner, that they feel they don’t need to be bothered– unless they feel like it. Of course when you go to see them, they will not let you past the front office until you have signed a waiver guaranteeing to pay them and/or providing them with insurance information they accept.

It seems that these doctors have forgotten that the services they provide is a business. They have forgotten that where there is demand lies opportunity and that customers (or in this case patients) have a choice about who they see and what they tell others about their experiences.

Every profession is a business and every business has an opportunity to recognize opportunity to provide superior service that translates into a thriving enterprise and happy repeat customers.

What Does Authenticity Have To Do with Entrepreneurship Anyway?

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, The Idea on May 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm

What does it mean to you to be authentic? Do you have days where you feel really connected to who you are and others where it feels like you cannot find the “switch” to flip on your authenticity? I know I certainly do!

Being authentic is what brings to center stage the Real You and Me, our true Self. By definition when we are authentic we are tapping into “those qualities that establish truth and correctness; Genuineness; originality, sincerity, and not a copy or forgery.” And it is our true self that is required to be fully present if we ever hope to begin to discover the entrepreneur within each of us. This is why our state of mind so quickly must become an integral part of evaluating our entrepreneurial readiness.

I know that it is only when I am in touch with the real me that I actually am able to truly be my creative best and expand my thinking and views of what my world can hold. In those moments where I am afraid, upset or withdrawn I have distanced myself from my authentic self and have lost sight of what it is that is really amazing about me. It is only when I am in touch with my uniqueness, and am myself experiencing it, that the highest level of ideas flow through my mind that begin to shape my entrepreneurial vision.

Do you know what those moments or hours of your authenticity looks like?

For me I know I am being authentic when I feel calm, clear headed, speak with authority and ease, feel playful yet curious all at the same time. When I am authentic my feelings and behaviors are consistent with one another and I feel the most content and at peace with life. This is when I usually am able to say ” Thank God I am alive” and “What a wonderful day today is” as well as ” I have a great idea!”

So, how do we reach this level of fulfilment and possibility? According to Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist whose theories have been influential in 20th century thought, we reach fulfilment, or the expression of our full potential, through reaching a state of self-actualization.

According to Abraham Maslow, we have a hierarchy of needs that must be fulfilled in the following order to be able to reach our own self-actualization, which we must reach to achieve to successfully begin an entrepreneurial venture.

These needs beginning with (I) basic needs for food, shelter, then (II) needs for safety and security, (III) needs for love and belonging, (IV) the need for self esteem, and (V) the need for self-actualisation. We cannot meet the higher-order needs until the lower ones are met.

maslows-hierarchy

How do we characterise Self-Actualised (SA) people?

SA people are realistically oriented with an efficient perception of reality extending into all areas of their life.

SA persons are unthreatened and unfrightened by the unknown. They usually have a superior ability to reason, to see the truth.

SA people accept themselves, others the way the are. They have rid themselves of crippling guilt or shame and enjoy themselves without regret or apology, and have no unnecessary inhibitions.

SA people are spontaneous in their inner life, thoughts and impulses and are motivated towards continual improvement.

SA individuals focus on problems outside themselves. SA people tend to have a mission in life requiring much energy, and their mission is their reason for existence. They are usually serene and worry-free as they pursue their mission with unshakeable determination.

SA individuals have a need for detachment, the need for privacy. Alone but not lonely. SA people are self starters, responsible for themselves, own their behaviour.

SA’s rely on inner self for satisfaction. Resilient and stable in the face of hard knocks, they are self contained, independent from love and respect of others.

SA’s have a fresh rather than stereotyped appreciation of people and things, living the present moment to the fullest. SA’s experience what Maslow described as peak experiences. “Feelings of limitless horizons opening up to the vision, the feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and also more helpless than one ever was before, the feeling of ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placement in time and space with, finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valuable had happened, so that the subject was to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences.” Abraham Maslow.

Here are Eight Ways to Work Towards Self Actualization:

#1 Work towards meeting and satisfying the lower-order needs (food, shelter, then safety and security, then love and belonging, and then self esteem). Once you have done this, and I acknowledge that it may be difficult and time-consuming, you will be able to make progress with the following:

#2. Life is a moment-by-moment choice between safety (out of fear and need for defence) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth): Consciously make the growth choice many times a day.

#3. Let your true self emerge. Try to go beyond socially-defined modes of thinking and feeling, let your inner experience tell you what you truly feel.

#4. When in doubt, be honest. It may take some courage, but look honestly at yourself and take responsibility for who you are and what happens to you. Self-delusion or self avoidance is the enemy of self-actualisation.

#5. Listen to your own tastes. Be prepared to be unpopular if necessary.

#6. Use your intelligence, work to do well the things you want to do, no matter how insignificant they seem.
Make peak experiencing more likely: learn what you are good at and conversely what you are not good at.

#7. Know who you are, what you are and what is good and bad for you. Where you are going, what is your mission? Opening yourself up to yourself in this way means letting go of your judgement and accepting who you are as you are. Self love is true mastery of self!

#8 Step up to the opportunities that present themselves by embracing your courage to evolve and grow.

I hope this post has helped you better understand what needs must be met in your life to develop the level of emotional intelligence you need to thrive. Life can be an amazing adventure or a nightmare depending on how committed you are to reaching your own level of self-actualization. Adding Entrepreneurship into your self-actualized life will transform your 2D adventure into 3D! I could not live my life without this level of dimension.

I hope you come to feel the same way too.

I am an addict and a gambler

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Health & Wellness, The Idea on April 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I am an addict and a gambler. Addicted to my crazy world of creativity and ideas, I gamble every day trying to get what’s inside my head into the outside world to be seen.

I love to see ideas come alive. It is what I was put on this earth to help others do. Some days I am better at it than others.

I live for ideas to bring life enhancing progress, growth and evolutionary change. I live to innovate my life, and the lives of others, with my artistic gifts. What can our tomorrow bring?

You might be thinking, Who are you kidding? But to live this life– I will risk it all.

What about you?

From your friend, the addict and gambler…

What Happened, President Obama, to the Idea of an Art Czar?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Current Events, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Interesting Articles, Leadership, Music, Theater/Film, Writing on March 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

The following updates appeared on Judith H. Dobrzynski’s blog, Real Clear Arts

I know we all want to believe that the Obama Administration will do wonders for the arts and humanities. But so far, the news is not so good.

Yes, the $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the stimulus bill was great news. But while we wait for appointments to head the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the appointment of Kareem Dale (below) as mini-czar — which is now likely to be temporary — and two lesser appointments suggest politics-as-usual.

Yes, you heard right- late last week, the White House seems to have appointed an arts czar — but no one seems to have noticed. His name is Kareem Dale, according to a short item in Saturday’s New York Times. As of 1 p.m. on Monday, there’s no press release on WhiteHouse.gov and no reports of the appointment at the Associated Press or Reuters.

I don’t know Mr. Dale, a lawyer from Chicago who is partially blind, but he doesn’t seem to have much of a profile. Searches on Google and Kosmix and in Factiva (which has articles from most major newspapers and many minor ones) turned up very little.

According to published reports, Dale hails from Chicago, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and stayed there to earn a law degree and an MBA, which he received in 1999. He founded and is CEO of The Dale Law Group, which has no website. Campaign finance records show that Dale contributed $2,300 to Obama’s campaign in 2008 (and about the same during the primary season); then he volunteered for it. At some point, he became the campaign’s Disability Vote Director. The only mention of arts I could find was during his campaign volunteer days, when Dale was a member of the campaign Arts Policy Committee, plus service on the board of Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater.

I can’t help but think this is not what many people in the cultural world had in mind when they asked President Obama to appoint a powerful person in the White House to raise the profile of the arts in the U.S.

Another oddity: in mid-February, the White House announced that it had named Dale to the post of Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. He still seems to hold that post.

Last night, The Daily Beast published my report on this and his appointment is not likely to last very long. It’s sad that his name was discovered by, or leaked to, The New York Times in the first place.

The most disappointing element of the story, however, is the appointment of Hollywood fundraiser Jeremy Bernard as the NEH’s White House and Congressional liaison; it’s an important job. Bernard claims a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College on his website, but Hunter says he did not graduate. When queried, the NEH said the degree is not in his documentation for the appointment. But the whole thing, not just the resume inflation, makes him a bit of an odd fit for the scholarly NEH.

I am pretty sure, by the way, that the White House has recognized this whole situation as a personnel snafu that has to be fixed. And it will — the question now is how and when.

The Daffodil Principle

In Author: Lisa Canning, Health & Wellness, Risk on March 23, 2009 at 6:47 am

Thank you Julia M. Rahn, creator of Flourish Studios, for passing this along! It is a wonderful story to start the first week of spring!

The Daffodil Principle

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

“I will come next Tuesday”, I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.
“Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!” My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.” “Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her. “But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.” “Carolyn,” I said sternly, “Please turn around.” “It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”

daffodile-3After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden .”   We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

daffodileIt looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and  butter yellow. Each different coloured variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

daffodile-2“Who did this?” I asked Carolyn.  “Just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept small A-frame house, modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house.   On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”, was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, almost fifty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things.

We can change the world .

“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn.

“What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!” My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said. She was right. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning, a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is only to ask, “How can I put this to use today?”

Use the Daffodil Principle.
Stop waiting…..   Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die…

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don’t need money. Love like you’ve never been hurt, and,   Dance like no one’s watching.

Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day! Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Barbara’s Life Flies High Like a Kite

In Health & Wellness, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS on February 6, 2009 at 7:42 am

dreamstime_6326490There is nothing more enjoyable than on a windy beautiful clear day flying a kite high up in the sky. I have a feeling Barbara Kite would agree.

If you are looking to discover how to share with others your uniqueness through acting and speech, be warned: Barbara might help you feel like a kid in the park again, on that windy day, with a kite flying high of your very own. Oh, and did I mention to you, dear reader, that you might also learn something in this interview about how niche produces thrive?

Barbara, tell us about you?
I am someone who is passionate about, and totally committed to, coaching actors and speakers in mastering the art of communication through acting skills. I am someone who has created a safe and challenging environment where all can grow.

I’m a New York trained actress and I have worked as a professional actor, director and acting coach in Toronto, New York and Portland for over 30 years. It has been a very rewarding experience helping speakers, actors, writers, film-makers, directors and singers to grow in their art and their life.

My professional work includes over 300 movies, television series, soaps, commercials, industrials and voice-overs – some of which I wish I hadn’t done. Oh well, – learning through mistakes.

Tell us about your work?
Some of my credits include (TV – movies, series, soaps) All My Children, As the World Turns, So the Story Goes, Duplicates, Without Warning: Terror in the Towers, Praying Mantis, Under Suspicion and Nowhere Man.
My Theatre credits (New York and Toronto) include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Beau Strategem, Hay Fever, Round and Round the Garden, A Little Night Music, The Cat and the Canary, Icarus’s Mother and Trojan Women. I have to admit theatre is truly my first love. Film and TV are all about “hurry up” and “wait” and theatre affords one a real exchange between people and a real sense of the character’s growth.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY) where I had the best time exploring acting. Just to put the icing on the cake I received the Jehlingher Award when I graduated the AADA. I graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and received a scholarship to study in Poland at the Grotowski workshop as well as at the Film Institute in Lublin (Polanski’s alma mater).

I understand you wrote a play specifically for women?
I had an exciting time collaborating with poet/playwright Victoria Sullivan as Co-artistic Director of the Women’s Production Company in New York City where I got to direct and act in plays specifically written for and about women.

What are some of your other passion projects?
I am proud of the work I’ve done with Teen actors in helping them present important works to their community dealing with teen immigrants (Border Crossings) and Portland’s remaining holocaust survivors (NAKT: Stories from the Holocaust).

What are you working on currently?
Currently – as a director I am honored to have been the acting coach/director on TANGOING WITH TORNADOES a wonderful play written by award winning Oregonian journalist, S. Renee Mitchell.

Together with Renee I have created a one woman show for her that has toured Guam, Talahassee and New Orleans. Plans are being made for touring more cities and countries now.

I enjoyed my work as Acting Coach on the movie, WELCOME TO MY SCENE (about a punk rock group from PORTLAND in the 80’s).

What organizations do you belong to?
I am a member of NSA (National Speakers Association), AFTRA (American Federation of Television Artists), SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild). AEA (Actors’ Equity Association), ACTRA, (Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists), NWBN (Northwest Business Network), and the NWCA (North West Coaches Association), BDI ( Business Development Network) and Portland Connect. I am also a member of itafari, a very special foundation that helps the people of Rwanda rebuild their country after the genocide.
masthead1
Why are you so passionate about being a speaking coach?
I DEDICATE MY WORK TO SUPPORTING THE DANGEROUS ACTOR and THE AUTHENTIC SPEAKER as they are the ones I learn the most from; the ones that really speak to me, giving me new perspectives, expanding my universe and teaching me about humanity.

I challenge you to try something distinctly NEW and more fully embrace untapped areas of your creativity.
I know you are far more creative and capable than you can possibly imagine, and I can prove it to you.

Here are some of Barbara’s favorite quotes:
“ACTING IS NOT A PUTTING ON OF A MASK TO BECOME THE CHARACTER. IT IS A TAKING OFF OF THE MASK. AND THE CHARACTER IS ALWAYS YOU.” Peter Brook, An Empty Space

“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” R. Allen

“The real actor has a direct line to the collective heart.” — Bette Davis

“Always work from inside out; if you work from the outside in, all you have is a dry husk.” — Meryl Streep

“All things are difficult before they get easy.” Thomas Fuller.

I must say, Barbara these quotes are excellent and all so true! And, dear reader, if you wish to reach out and say hello to Barbara you can at bmkite@aol.com or check our her website at:www.barbarakite.com

Who Owns Ideas?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Music, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on January 21, 2009 at 11:28 am

This interesting article about intellectual property rights was written by Linda Naiman and appeared on The Creativity at Work Blog Jan 6, 2009 Besides providing arts based consulting, coaching and training to corporations, higher education, and governmental agencies, Linda is also an accomplished artist and sells her work online. The image just below is one Linda painted. For more of Linda’s art work click here.
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lightbulb-target120A friend offered to download movies free from the internet for our viewing pleasure, and at first I thought that was dandy, but then I thought of all the creatives who wouldn’t be paid a royalty, so I opted instead to rent.

CBC Radio has produced a show on the subject of copyright and the debate on who owns ideas. Jim Lebans, a producer with CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, looks at the tangled world of intellectual property and how the digital age is challenging ideas about who owns our culture:

In the era of the Internet we’re facing a crisis around the new reality of intellectual property and copyright. These legal rights were established over hundreds of years to reward creators of ideas, but at the same time preserve and protect the public’s right to access and make use of the expression of ideas.

But slow expansion of the laws of intellectual property through the 20th century, and more recently the emergence of new digital technologies, the Internet in particular, have upset the delicate balance between the rights of creators and the rights of the public.

Copyright law has been changed, again and again, in what many perceive as an expansion of the rights and control of the emerging “content industries.” Copyright law today covers more kinds of expression, lasts considerably longer, and comes with considerably more stringent enforcement than it has in the past.

The challenges to Intellectual property rights have expanded as well. While in the past the tools of copyright infringement were industrial – printing presses or record-pressing facilities, today they’re available on every desktop. Writing, music, movies, television, indeed every form of communication and expression can be digitized, and perfect copies distributed without limit. As a result the digital revolution has been perceived as a nightmare to the owners of creative property.

This might seem to clearly justify an expansion of IP law and its enforcement, but many critics of the direction IP law has taken disagree. They suggest that the opportunities that digital technologies present, and the abilities they give to ordinary people to make use of cultural material creatively is too valuable to be sacrificed.

This tension has become known as the copyfight, and it’s ultimately a dispute about who owns ideas.

What Services Does Creativity at Work Provide?
Creativity at Work (TM) is a consulting, coaching and training alliance at the forefront of transformational change, through creativity and innovation.

Creativity at Work is a consulting, coaching and training alliance at the forefront of transformational change. We help organizations accelerate business performance through arts-based training, coaching and research-based consulting. Associates include experts from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia to provide you with world-class resources for keynotes, corporate retreats, conference presentations, and consulting.

About Linda Naiman
ln06sm1Linda Naiman is founder of CreativityatWork.com, co-author of Orchestrating Collaboration at Work, and an associate business coach at the University of British Columbia. She is recognized internationally for pioneering arts-based learning for business, using of art as a catalyst for developing creativity, innovation, and collaborative leadership in organizations. She has been featured in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, Profitguide.com, and Canadian Business Magazine. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, public sector organizations and boutique consultancies in North America, Europe and Asia.