Virtual Visionaries: The Common Tone
July 6, 2020 In: Sound Bits
This summer, Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership, in collaboration with the University of Michigan EXCEL Lab, is proud to serve as a co-sponsor for the Virtual Visionaries Series. The ten-week program has now reached the half-way point, pausing for a week prior to embarking on the final five weeks of the series. Over the first five weeks, the series has engaged an incredible group of guest visionaries, including Amy Bormet, Todd Buonopane, Marcus Elliot, Tara Faircloth, Tara Kalmanovitch, Kari Landry, Matt Landry, Michael Malis, Ryan Muncy, Julie Nakagawa, and Sarah Whitney. The blog posts and Zoom sessions have been informed, reflective, and honest, with the guests offering invaluable insight into the variety of session topics. While the topics have been incredibly diverse, ranging from Budgeting to Managing the Artist Lifestyle, there have been some common themes and threads to the first five sessions of the series:
- Community and Communities: two of our most important resources. Each guest has spoken to the importance of building and nurturing our support systems in the current climate. While many of us sit in isolation, embracing and connecting with our community—or network—is important in all aspects of our professional and personal lives. Along the same lines, our art must serve and nurture the communities within which we live. Investing in our community and communities is crucial in times of crisis.
- Adversity instigates innovation. Each week our guests have offered valuable insight into how they are responding or adapting to life in the age of COVID-19. While the challenges we face are immense, the way-out is through reimagining what it means to be an artist in the twenty-first century.
- The Path of Uncertainty = A Path of Opportunity: In reading the biographies of each guest and hearing them speak about their various career paths, it is clear that being ‘an artist’ means an infinite number of career possibilities. While performing is often our primary medium, to be an artist means that one takes on many different roles or professions, from fundraiser, operations manager, marketing director, to therapist. Now, more than ever, these ‘associated skills’ are integral to helping us successfully navigate the crises we face. Investing and developing one’s skills in these various roles is key.
- The future: whether it be the fall-out from COVID-19 or the systematic racism that pervades our profession, every single aspect of our field will/must undergo significant changes to remain relevant and vibrant for future generations.
To learn more about the Virtual Visionary Series, visit: https://smtd.umich.edu/departments/virtual-visionaries/