1. Introduction: Hang on to your hat.
On March 11, 2020, I started a blog article.
I put it aside to finish the next day. Within 24 hours, the level of understatement those first paragraphs captured. Well, it had become comical.
As I watched yesterday unfold, I became more and more convinced that the world was fundamentally changing. We’ve seen it plenty of times before – Enron, 9/11, the Great Recession – events that cause immediate response across sectors and industries. The cost of change is suddenly not relevant because there is no choice. We build new skills, create new structures, and invest in new systems. Once that happens there are new costs to changing back.
If all of this stops within a couple of weeks, we will likely revert back with a new appreciation of risk and our resilience. But if it continues for a month, two months, or more? We kid ourselves in thinking that we will revert back. This feels like one of those moments when seas change, new normals emerge – pick your business cliché. This feels different, maybe.
Like everyone else, I started canceling retreats, shifting meetings online, and helping clients gather resources re emergency funding and the like. Now, just over two months later, we are reopening -- scrambling to find reliable answers to yet-unanswered questions, investing in changes that may or may not be permanent, trying our best to do what our sector does...
Go Forth. Do good.
As a once-and-future musician, the arts sector is always in my heart. At least half of my work over 20+ years has been in that sector, including everything from not-yet-organizations through state arts agencies. This toolkit is an educational and planning resource for arts and culture organization leaders.
It is an attempt to cut through the noise of help that has flooded all of our inboxes. It is also an attempt to shift from the lists of funding sources and emergency response to a safe, smart, creative reopening and future. So...
Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope.
And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.
E. B. White