Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Guiding Principles and Manifestos

Kira Corser sent me this interesting email about an organization in St. Paul, Minn that has just completed a handbook for Artist Working with the Community. Springboard for the Arts impressed me with this handbook and with their guiding principles so I am stating them here. Such good words to live by if you are involved with any organization for the arts. Contact to get a copy of their handbook. 

I also listened to a conversation about how entrepreneurs need to play a deciding role in the future of our planet. A Conversation about the Changemaking Mindset We Need Now is an interview of Jacqueline Novogratz author of  Manifesto for a Moral Revolution and CEO of Acumen in conversation with Jean Case, Chair of National Geographic and CEO of the Case Foundation  My summary notes are below. 

SPRINGBOARD FOR THE ARTS GUIDING PRINCIPLES Our way of working is equally important as what we do. There are 9 key principles that drive our work. 

Artists are assets
Artists exist in every community, and art is inseparable from the communities in which it is made. Our work helps illuminate the social and economic value of art and creativity.

By artists for artists
Everyone who works at Springboard is an artist. We recognize the expertise and experience of artists and incorporate that into creating effective, relevant programs to meet artists’ needs. 

The broadest definition of who is an artist
Everyone has creative capacity and there are many different ways to be an artist. We also know that there are many kinds of success for an artist, and we help artists define success for themselves – financial success, recognition, a supportive community, respect, social change, and more. 

More is more 
We make and share tools designed to benefit as many artists as possible. We believe interconnected communities of artists create an impact in ways that single interventions do not. By freely sharing our work and creating connections among artists and communities, we work to make substantial, system-wide change. 

Equity is a precondition for vibrant communities
Beyond accessibility, our programs address systemic and structural inequities and seek to build equity, agency and power in communities, neighborhoods and systems. 

Reciprocal relationships
We seek mutual respect, trust, commitment, and reciprocity with all our partners. We don’t go it alone. We create and customize programs with partners based on mutual goals, and we invite partners to strengthen and change our work. 

Cross-sector collaborations that last
We help artists collaborate with existing resources and systems, both because there is abundant potential in those resources, and because we believe they will be strengthened by artists’ contributions. We focus on building bridges and mechanisms that help relationships continue to thrive without us. 

Boldness and creativity
Our work is characterized by optimism that change is possible, and belief that the boldness and creativity of artists can address the challenges facing our communities. We also know that in order to engage people, this movement has to be fun. 

Hospitality and welcome
We value an attitude of abundance over scarcity. Our goal is always to create an environment, real or virtual, that is welcoming to newcomers and existing partners and friends alike. Hot coffee and tea with all the fixins is something we always have available – a symbol of offering the best of what we have to our guests and our staff.

Summary Notes by Patricia Frischer from a Conversation about the Changemaking Mindset We Need Now

You can now see the entire presentation at this link.

Jacqueline Novogratz author of  Manifesto for a Moral Revolution and CEO of Acumen in conversation with Jean Case, Chair of National Geographic and CEO of the Case Foundation 

Manifesto must be based on our own passions. It should be a calling to see every human being as worth investing in. We don’t aim for win/lose. We want Win/Win.

Entrepreneurs are seekers. There powers will solve our problems. But they can’t use their conventional tools to create an ecosystem for change. Besides investment capital they need social capitol. Plus, they need the character willing to change the world to make it fully equal.

Problems in the USA are not just ideological. We can come together to solve problems of inequity, poverty, discrimination. How this happens is the subject of her book.

JUST START: People in hard places have learned you just have to start. This is a good lesson for America which was not perceived to be a hard place but is now. We must walk toward a problem with courage and see what each next step is.

LISTEN: Entrepreneurs solve problems.  But you need to listen to know what the problems actually are. You need the vision of other peoples’ eyes. Listening can be a super power. Put aside your bias and even your excitement. Find out what are the needs of those you are trying to help.

COURAGE: Changing takes courage. Speaking up takes courage. Painful decisions take courage. Standing up to bullies takes courage. It takes courage to keep going. Courage is a muscle that you need to build up. Exercise and practice courage.

Celebrate FAILURE: Face the struggle and the failures and don’t hide those. Discomfort is a part of the process. Failing early is helpful. Leverage your success by using failures as opportunities.

MANIFESTO:  Committing publicly to your principles. The template for human rights is a model.

HOLDING OPPOSING VALUES: The job of the moral leader to stand for what is positive and possible and not to tear down. Try not to go to polar extremes. Pivot to a conversation about shared values. All of us have the potential to be good and bad people. We all have the possibility of doing bad things if we are afraid or threatened. Don’t polarize an argument, but seek common ground.

MARGINALIZED PEOPLE:  Equity lens needs to be clear about who is being left out and what they need. Example: creating an app for Spanish only speakers who need to communicate with English speaking only doctors. Private sector corporations can partner with the public sector to provide needs of the community. Changing the mission from only making a profit to the more rewarding mission of serving people.

ACUMEN: We don’t choose what happens to us, but we get to choose how we respond. Challenging times are opportunities. Always look for the possible. Re-imagine partnership, technologies, business opportunities.  ACUMEN Manifesto: It’s the radical idea of creating hope in a cynical world. Changing the way the world tackles poverty and building a world based on dignity.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

San Diego + Imperial counties Regional Conversation Summary

San Diego County Regional Conversation – Aug 14, 2020

Victoria Hamilton, California for the Arts was the moderator of this conversation with about 40 participants in zoom attendance.

Matt Carney, SD Ballet and SD Regional Arts and Culture Coalition SDRACC reported on the push to educate the November candidates and public about the arts. Equity and Inclusion are priorities of the issues that will be raised.  SDRACC is organizing this in four parts: Education of candidates, an open forum, follow up with short answers to written questions and finally a survey. Elected official and the candidates for the City of San Diego are being held now, but the County Supervisors candidates will be coming soon.

Susanna Pereda Swap also representing SDRACC reported on the progress of the SD Challenge Fund with a goal stabilize the creative sector. In Phase One, 32 grants between $3000 to $10,000 totaling $250,000 were given out to moderate sized organizations with paid staff. Phase 2 will be Relief funds for critical needs of individual artists in program called #SDArtistFund with money raised from a Go Fund Me effort. BLPOC ARTISTS for black artist who are in need is part of that push.  It was suggested that a partnership with Synergy Arts Foundation who is the only local arts organization to give out grants to artist in need might be advantageous.

Jonathon Glus, SD Commission for Arts and Culture has goals including sustainability for both large and small organization but particularly for individual artist. They have $1 million for individual visual artists for acquiring art work, plus they are commissioning 18-20 artist to create art in the parks. The work force has to be supported. They are working with UCSD to do a deep dive assessment about how the orgs are pivoting and restructuring to come out leaner and stronger during the lockdown.  They are also working with the Performing Arts to find better alliances and efficiencies.

Leticia Gomez Franco also of the SD Commission for Arts and Culture spoke strongly about equity and social justice. The Commission is trying hard to be flexible for example with contract extensions and making funds available without delay. They are making assessment to look at past distributions with a priority for building community access and reducing barriers to access to funds.

Julie Baker – Californian for the Arts and American from the Arts is concentrating on arts jobs and the arts as second responder. So much money is distributed through COVID funds so she asked us how can we be of service to the health industry. How do we get recognized for seeing the contribution that the arts make to mental health? Looks for grants in social services and try to create jobs around public health issues. This is a listing of grants for non-profits: . Make connections to our elected official and make sure they know the value of the arts in supplying jobs in all sorts of fields, not just entertainment.

Jason Schmeltzer told us that in Sacramento there is a big deficit and the state government is struggling. So, we must make sure and put arts into the budget conversation or we will lose out. Stimulus money should go to small non-profits because they are small business and they help the economy.

Larry Baza from California Art Council asked how do we raise money for orgs at all levels.  Online fundraising is not as successful as we would like. CAC has a remit to serve all of California including rural areas. CAC does not want to continue administering 18 grants and instead wants to spread the money throughout the state as one of their big goals has always been to try to create a level playing field. He was very grateful to California for the Arts for its lobbying efforts for the arts. They saved the arts budget for CA. We also need federal funds to come to the state and there are none of those except the Heroes Act*.  He reminded us that CAC Administrators of Color Fellowship Program Grants are due soon.

A poll showed that the biggest percentage of those in attendance were from the non-profit sector and their biggest concern was funding. There was then lengthy discussion from the others in attendance. One of the most interesting discussions was about co-creating and co-funding to work better and smarter. This applied especially for outreach to social service organizations. Two examples were given  and Reaching out to organization that you have never partnered with was encouraged to expand funding and audiences.

The chat line also allowed us to register topics for further discussion. A Virtual Presentation Toolkit was mentioned as was the need for the capacity for a unified mailing list of arts leaders and press perhaps as part of a centralized directory and events calendar.

This presentation and live chat was recorded and will be available on at Questions can be directed to  Julie Baker, Executive Director: Californian for the Arts

* The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or HEROES Act is proposed legislation acting as a $3 trillion stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is intended to supplement the earlier CARES Act stimulus package. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

2020 Brain Candy: A Virtual Salon Series – The Curators

Vanguard Culture gathered curators to speak about how they were Dealing with the Pandemic and thoughts about the future of their exhibition spaces. You can now watch the two hour video or here are my notes from that virtual meeting. Susanna Peredo Swap was the moderator.

Megan Dickerson, Director of Exhibitions at The New Children’s Museum:
Website Link:
The New Children’s Museum deals with play as work and work as play.  Child will play anywhere. Their mission is not just to present a display but to work that display in an interactive way with the children and parents.  Megan found that you need the right people in the room for virtual events. Who is doing the story telling and how are they identified is vital. Think of museums as a collection of relationships and not a set of buildings. Go where the people are. She praised ArtReach which sent out pieces of a mural right to the kids and then brought it back to assemble it. You have to have some kayaks if you are a steamboat. There is a “stumble upon” nature of being together in a real space that we are missing.

Gaidi Finnie, Executive Director at The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art:
Website Link:
The SDAAM of Fine Art has always had a Motivational attempt as one of the goals from the beginning and not just educational and not just one voice. The new virtual components are expanding its audience. With no bricks and mortar, the collaboration with different institutions is an advantage.  More young people are being motivated.

Christine Knoke Heitbrink, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at Mingei International Museum:
Website Link: Silver lining, they were already shut down for renovations so will be open in Spring/Summer of 2021. They are able to stay on course but will be able to add touch-free doors, anti-microbial surfaces etc. They already have people working on remote locations with pop up shows. The transformed space is their new exciting project. Art of the People will be the new theme and the permanent collection will be the main feature. They are giving voice to multiple sources and being careful to be culturally aware.

Michael Lawrence, Assistant Director for Exhibitions at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.:
Website Link:
Certain things you can plan for and others you can’t. Staff resources are paramount. Security and members services are hit hard by virus. There is a caring for co-workers. Crowd control will be difficult. Only 5 people per thousand square feet feels much like the least visited days. They are using junior staff in T-shirts instead of uniforms for security. Their audience wants guidance and information. There might be a breakdown in who that authority is and an attempt to bring in a variety of truths and voices. There is a fine line between scaring the public and enlightening them.  People are very resilient. They can be more resilient when they make connections together. The Zoom format is very democratizing.

Lauren Lockhart, Art Program Manager at San Diego International Airport:
Website Link:  
Airports are stressful and this is even a more stressful experience, so the arts are there to help eliminate that stress. The Arts are now seen as second responders. People need time to accommodate new ideas and develop them. Conceptual ideas should be encouraged. They are working more with a wider arena via the internet.

Adriana Martinez, Chief Curator at La Caja Galeria - Tijuana B.C.:
Website Link:
Zoom and other virtual technology has increased participation which are much more open because of the platforms. Art is about those conversations and now the conversations are much wider. They help to define a viewpoint and now several viewpoints are possible. Going out into the streets has become the agenda. Individuals are in the forefront instead of institutions. Social Justice is an active pursuit. Seeing people in their homes on zoom does reveal another side to us.

Andrew Ütt, Executive Director at Lux Art Institute:
Website Link:
There are dichotomies: Education vs community and Physical vs Virtual. Zoom makes us quiet as an audience as we listen in and we go straight to education.  But we don’t have that loose exchange of community communication.  Curators roles can be lessened with virtual events if we let the audience define the experience. So, the question is: How much can the audience be engaged? If you are not failing, you are not learning, so you must build in the possibility of failure. Use incremental changes and be prepared to eliminate projects that don’t work. Change encourages us to be more creative. We question more than ever. The pandemic has made us more aware that we are one family as an institution.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Power of Art: Part Two George Floyd

I thought another set of protest images was important to join part one. These powerful visual messages are so important to convey our emotions (highs and lows). They document this time in history and more than that, they can help bring about change. It is appalling that some of these images have been destroyed. 

SHAME on those who would destroy and deface these images. They desecrate the memory of the man and they have no right to limit our freedom of speech. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Power of Art

From a man that nobody knew, to an image that is now etched into our historical consciousness, the power of art to broadcast and jump start change is integral to our evolution. With thanks to Neil Shigley for the first image on this page and to the untold millions who have created, used and seen these images over the last days.

Neil Shigley - San Diego artist.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

It's Not Easy, Being Difficult

Image: Patricia Frischer, It's Not Easy, Being Difficult

I feel that I am in phase 3 of the pandemic. Phase one was sheer terror and disorientation. Phase two was organizing survival. Phase 3 is still undefined but some things are coming to mind that I will share.

This is not a time to be selling me anything or for me to sell anything to you.  It is not a time to act as if I know what people will need or how the world will be different. I am sorry, but this is not a time when I feel that knowing we are all in this together helps me in any real way.

This is a time for me to be asking if you are OK. It is a time for me to donate my money, my skills, my time.  This could be a time for re-evaluation of what I want to be.

It is a time where I am so grateful for the support of our arts community. I am so proud of the job that our artists and arts leaders are doing to sort out the myriad of problems that are thrown at us every day from grant application to conditions for safe re-openings.

It is a time when I am disappointed and ashamed of the way minorities are being treated. It is a time that I am amazed and humbled by peaceful demonstrations. I am heartened by the way that people want to continue to be engaged in the arts. It is truly my belief that the arts can help bring about social change for the better.

I am lucky to be able to find things for which I am grateful.  I hope I can always be authentic and true to myself while having respect for others.

I send the same wish to you.