Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quick Hit: Three Blogs to Expand Your Arts Nonprofit Universe

It's that time of year. Scrambling at work, socializing afterwards... which, if you are a torn extro/introvert like me, can involve a lot of time in the bathroom reading while everyone else is toasting the season.

Here are three blogs that I'm loving these days for breaks from the chaos. Each of them comes from the extended family of museums: close enough to be relevant, far enough to spark new thinking. These are the cool cousins I'm fascinated and energized by.
  1. Butts in the Seats. Joe Patti runs a performing arts center in Ohio. For ten years (!) he has been blogging about arts management. He does so thoughtfully, prolifically, and very frequently. He points me to resources I've vaguely heard of. He writes with an open, curious mind. His posts open up questions and ways of thinking about audiences, marketing, management, and engagement that get me thinking differently. Start with the Categories list on the right if you don't know where to start. Check it out here.
  2. Nonprofit with Balls. Vu Le is hilarious, wicked smart, and writing extremely important weekly posts about nonprofit management and organizations based in communities of color. If there's one blog that has rocked my world and made me laugh inappropriately in the bathroom, it's this one. Imagine if Buzzfeed were run by a nonprofit manager... and actually funny. Vu is surprisingly singular for his cogent, explicit posts about cultural competency, frustrations of fundraising, and challenges of nonprofit management. He is based in Seattle, but the blog is pretty universal. If you want to know more about organizations rooted in communities of color, leadership development, unicorns, or vegan analyses of Game of Thrones, start reading this blog now
  3. Grasstronaut. This is a new blog by my colleague at the MAH, Elise Granata. Grasstronaut offers long-format essays and interviews about grassroots and DIY arts spaces. Elise has opened my eyes to the world of hybrid, informal arts spaces. They operate with a completely different set of budgets, decision-making processes, and vulnerabilities than formal organizations. What does it look like when youth invent their own arts empowerment spaces? When comic book stores host comedy shows? When arts organizations get shut down and reborn over and over? Read Grasstronaut and find out
What are you reading and appreciating this season? 
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