Can't win for losing!
September 21st, 2009
I received a pretty angry voicemail message this morning. I haven't received a call like that in quite some time. The message was from a man who was not at all pleased about a postcard he received from us at GRCF about the two artists we are hosting at our building. He stated that he owns several businesses and that his wife is an artist also part of the competition of ArtPrize. He said that we would likely not receive any gifts from the other artists, their family and friends because of the fact that we are hosting two artists at our venue. Okay . . . got that. But the part that was nasty had to do with his comment that whoever came up with the idea regarding the postcard and the artists should no longer have their job. Well then fire us all! My heavens - why so angry? He said to NOT call him back and that he didn't want any association with us in the future. So to all of the artists who are competing in ArtPrize - to all the families and friends of the artists who are a part of ArtPrize, remember this: we are voters too and that we are all celebrating the importance of the arts and the attraction this competition will have promoting how great Grand Rapids truly is! AND if the piece of art you are entering in ArtPrize receives the number one vote, then congratulations! No amount of promotion - hype - or advertising is going to improve someone's chances if the artwork is not good! Even though the ongoing debate for some (not me!) is whether or not the "general public" has the ability to choose good art. But don't get me started on that one! Here's to a grand competition!
Everyone is entitled to my opinion . . .
September 13th, 2009Okay maybe not! That actually was a saying on a desk plate that I received as a gift a couple of decades ago so you can see that my expression of opinion isn't a new phenomena! Recently I saw a Facebook entry and a tweet on Twitter posted by friend and amazing photographer/artist Brian Kelly that read: "Is it too much to ask to just have everyone share my perspective on everything?" I laughed knowing Brian's wonderful sense of humor but I've been thinking about that question ever since.
So if the world was perfect according to me I would like to see the following:
* That the leadership of the state Department of Human Services would value prevention services and not view them as a luxury. And yes I am more than aware that the state budget - whenever it is passed - is severely limited due to the economy and ever dwindling revenue.
* That the not-so-savory references that identify that we in Kent County are "privateers" relating to the manner in which child welfare services have been delivered for the past 30+ years through our nonprofit organizations be more enlightened and that children and families were seen by the policy makers as the critical focus.
* That there will be effective collaboration around the stimulus funds known as funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The County is organizing a meeting to stimulate this collaboration and coordination.
* That the private sources of funding coordinate effectively with our public partners and consider strategic and smart ways to funnel these scarce funds. While philanthropy can never match governmental funding, it is the leveraging that makes all the difference.
As I have written a number of times in past blog entries, leading a foundation is not just about raising resources, making grant decisions, attending community events and the like. It is taking hold of real issues and making things happen in a positive fashion in our great community. It is digging deep and actually THINKING! This isn't the time to operate in a surface/veneer fashion.