Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't Let It Get You

I’m sensing a trend and I don’t think I like it. Throughout my career I’ve heard the phrases “going in another direction,” or “going to the next level,” used any number of times, they are always euphemisms for “we need more money.” Living in such a scary and uncertain economy can lead us all to constantly think about money, right, living with no money leads us to constantly fight about money. Don’t let it get you, don’t let it become about the money. I would humbly suggest that we all remember why we came, all of us, artists, staff and board every day, remember that we came here to do something meaningful, to create something where there was nothing and to make the world a better place through art. Nothing less. What an extraordinary purpose, what lofty goals, what could possibly be harder? These very public break downs of communications within organizations are about people and personalities and money. It’s never about art, we are doing great art, we are fulfilling our mission, we are accomplishing what we came to accomplish. Isn’t that something? Keep it together people, next time you sit down together don’t think about it as art vs. profit, board vs. staff, us vs. them no matter who the us is and who the them is. Sit down and look at what you’ve done together, how far you’ve come and remember WHY you came. Then figure it out. You can do it.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Working with the City

I have been asked to serve on the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Advisory Group for the City. These are the folks who do licensing, PPA and Liquor. As part of that I am serving on the Education/Communication and Technology Sub-committee. The charge of the sub-committee is to make short term recommendations and come up with long term goals for the department having to do with the ways in which information is disseminated through this department. I know that it is sometimes frustrating and confusing dealing with the City and this is an opportunity to try to make it better. So, I need your suggestions about what can be done to make it easier. The stated goal of the committee is to make it easier to do business in Chicago. And, I think they do have some trouble getting information out there, for instance, did you know they hold Business Education Workshops? I did not. There are all kinds, including “How to Obtain a Liquor & Public Place of Amusement License.” They have all kinds, including Business Marketing Strategy, Understanding Employment Law, etc. They can be found at

Please let me know either by leaving a comment or emailing me at if there are particular issues you would like me to bring up with this committee.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Good Idea

Apropos of nothing, I thought this was a great idea…I was on vacation last week, in Connecticut. I have a friend who works for the Westport Country Playhouse who told me about a great family program they do. They invite families to come through email invitations of lists they have from school events and so forth. They don’t do any advertising, it is all email and word of mouth. They invite them to the playhouse for dinner and a show. They charge $10.00 per person, consciously keeping it the price of a movie. A local restaurant donates pizza or lasagna or something inexpensive. It has been a huge success, they have had over 100 people at each event they have done so far. They have a cutesy name for it like Hanging with the ‘rents or something like that. He read me a couple of the emails from the parents who are so incredibly grateful to have an inexpensive evening out with their kids. I was really impressed.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

We wish you all a safe and relaxing Fourth of July weekend!