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  • benjaminnewman01

Mod. 5.0 - Creative Leadership Praxis / Philosophy & Practice / Commitments / Manifesto

Please submit a digital version of your Commitment Poster (if possible) and the longer Commitment Statement, which is comprised of your Statement of Commitment followed by thoughtful, well-written reflections in response to the following questions:

  • How will I know if I am moving toward this commitment?

  • What gets in the way?

  • What actions will I take?

  • What will be my practices?

  • Who is offering support & accountability?

  • What else is important to say?

The last prompt is an invitation to elaborate in a way that is valuable to you in terms of holding yourself accountable to your commitment and reminding yourself why you have made this commitment.


How will I know if I am moving toward this commitment?

Much of my life is focused in one form or another around music. I chose to make this my commitment for the next chapter of my leadership journey because without the MACL program, I would not have the language, perspective, resources, or tools to successfully apply this commitment to myself long term. This program asked me to go beyond the surface level of my passion for music, and truly consider the core of why this work is so important to me. Music connects me to my creative self, it connects me to my Armenian and Jewish cultural roots, it has saved my life on numerous occasions and provided emotional catharsis when words proved insufficient, and it has inspired me to consider how music has inspired millions of people around the world to dream of worlds far beyond themselves and their circumstances.

What gets in the way?

The arts and performing arts are largely not prioritized by legislative and business leaders in the United States. The arts are often the first category of expenses to be cut in budgets and in our current time of mass social injustice and wealth inequality, many foundations and philanthropists have changed their giving priorities to support causes that provide life-sustaining resources. And while food and shelter are essential to everyone, I believe artists can play a central and leading role in connecting communities in need with wealthy foundations and donors to create a landscape of holistic care that not only include essential services, but work to make the definition of essential services more holistic and account for individuals’ emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.

What actions will I take?

To meet this commitment, I will advocate and fight for artists in my personal and professional life. The unbalanced structure of many performing arts groups places artists and their creative output as commodities, instead of as sources of creative, personal, and social good. By using my position as a leader in the arts, I will be an instrument of change to see artists valued as leaders and ambassadors for good.

What will be my practices?

To ensure I follow through on my commitment, I will use my position to support artists in all of the areas and ways afforded to me. I will give artists a platform to share their experiences, I will actively listen to the recommendations and requests artists share with me personally and over their individual social media platforms. I will analyze and actively seek to change the systems and structures that prevent artists from advancing and achieving sustainable careers, and I will point to the talents, strengths, and skills of artists as a pivotal resource for building up communities, collaborating across differences, and creating a more just society.

Who is offering support & accountability?

In my experience, my artist colleagues and friends are very happy to provide an ear of support and help hold me accountable in these goals. Similarly, I look for other arts leaders who share my commitment and model artistic leadership through their own work to support artists as a source of inspiration and encouragement during challenging times.

What else is important to say?

The need to create and express oneself is universally true. Much like religion, culinary traditions, and language, every culture across the globe has artistic practices that bond their communities together. By drawing from and sharing different expressions of artistic creativity from around the world, artists and arts leaders can elevate their societal role, and the perception of their value, beyond that of a nice to have commodity, to one of essential service in the advancement and development of a more inclusive, caring, and just society.

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