I have grown increasingly nervous about the future of diverse arts institutions in the United States. So many have disappeared, others are facing huge cash problems and most are watching as donors shift their priorities to other interests.
They all agreed that the most important thing they learned at the Kennedy Center was courage, the courage to ask for money, the courage to embrace a new funding paradigm, the courage to do something different than others in the Czech arts ecology.
It is the mark of the well managed institution that it addresses its problems head on, and refocuses the attention of its family members on the exciting programming to come. It is when we ignore our problems that our family members tend to drift away.
We hoped that giving our international students the opportunity to learn basic concepts, return home, get frustrated and return to us for another 'dose' three years in a row may help them have a better chance to experiment and learn and change their organizations.
Virtually every American arts organization is dealing with the residual effects of several years of deep recession, but many of my international Fellows are dealing with far more difficult and dangerous situations.
Billions of dollars are spent educating dancers, singers, pianists and actors. We spend a pittance on training the people who will employ them, who will find resources to support their work and will attract their audiences.