Toward a Philosophy of Consulting
As a consultant, I strive to create an atmosphere and process for each client that is
- art- and artist-centered
- highly participatory
- anti-racist and resistant to oppression
- cognizant of complexity
I use a variety of facilitation methods, combined with 30+ years of work in the arts and culture field, to elicit decisions that empower arts organizations to advance their work in significant ways.
I believe in the importance of making decisions that are grounded in an organization’s values, and as a consultant I strive to engender an atmosphere where those values are alive and kicking.
The process of planning has as much – and sometimes more – value as the resulting plan. The relationships that develop among artists, staff, board and volunteers are part of what sustains an organization once the planning process is complete. The process often reveals new levels of commitment from stakeholders and constituents who have previously been less involved in decision making, opening up an organization for those who care about it. Planning is a rare opportunity to explore an organization from top to bottom and to talk about the meaning and importance of the work, momentarily removed from the pressures of day to day accomplishment.
Participatory planning is very like the process of artistic creation– highly improvisatory and responsive, but with a clear arc and many patterns. This results in planning that is imbued with the artistic spirit and, frankly, a lot of fun for all involved.