The Key is Planning, Not Complaining

Ayelet Dekel writing in The Jerusalem Post:

A creative strategy

“Complaining is useless,” asserted Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, in an interview on the situation of arts and culture organizations in Israel…

“The main challenge facing Israeli arts and cultural organizations is changing their perception with regard to fund-raising and building and developing a strong functioning board that will be helpful to the organization. I think government support for the arts is wonderful. But I fear that most governments in the world are finding that it is impossible to keep up with the dreams of artists…

Kaiser is a vehement supporter of long-term planning as a key element in arts management, yet Israeli arts organizations often claim that given the uncertain financial and political environment, long-range planning is beyond their capacity.

Kaiser disagrees, finding this “a dangerous perspective. You can’t sit back and let the environment happen and complain. You create the future by planning – creating a strong board, fund-raising and marketing. You can’t control the environment but you can have proactive plans, they may have to be flexible plans… otherwise, you will never be able to compete.

“It’s a problematic approach [to say that planning is impossible]. A year ago when I saw this [US] economy is moving in a direction that is challenging, I planned for it so when things began to go sour in September, we had already looked to the future”