Author Archives: Alicia Gomez

About Alicia Gomez

Hi! Come see me if you want to discuss career options in the Arts, Media, and Communications. I encourage students to reflect on their various interests and strengths when starting to explore possible career paths. I am available to chat about industry trends and practical skills while also sharing my own professional experiences, lessons learned, and insights.

Adapting in Crisis: Case Studies of Resilience in the Arts

Priya Sircar, Director/Arts, Knight Foundation

In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, “pivot” has been the word of the day—every day. The word has become so (over)used that it has begun to lose its meaning. What does it really mean to “pivot” successfully? To what, and how? 

For many arts and culture organizations, choosing a new direction felt a bit scattershot, as if they were trying anything and everything just to keep functioning, earning income and keeping artists employed. Certainly, organizations of all types found themselves suddenly changing plans . . . some nimbly, some not. But amid evolving public health protocols and uncertainty about how long such conditions would last, decision making was understandably difficult. 

As a supporter of arts organizations, we have been engaging with grantees in our communities throughout the pandemic. We’ve often asked: How are organizations figuring out which direction to go in? And have certain skills or traits helped them to weather the storm? 

Organizations in Detroit and Philadelphia entered the pandemic fresh off of a training program in adaptive capacity, provided by EmcArts and supported by Knight Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan (in Detroit). To understand the short- and medium-term impacts of the four-month training program, Knight enlisted WolfBrown to conduct a study with participants in each cohort. While we do not yet know the long-term effects of the training, this initial follow-up gave us some insight into how the training was impacting the organizations. For some, the pandemic accelerated the application of what they had learned. Some were still internalizing the concepts and tools they had gained, while others found ways to use newfound skills to identify a way forward. In some cases, additional guidance beyond the introductory training would have been helpful, especially given the severity of the conditions in which organizations have been trying to apply the new information. Clearly, the ability to adapt is a critical skill for organizations, now more than ever. 

For many of us, this last year has been a crucible in which we have been tested, have clarified our purpose and, in some ways, come through stronger. These organizations also tested, honed and applied the lessons of their training, in ways both conscious and unconscious. Here we share a few of their stories that have inspired us and helped us understand how we might not just pivot, but also adapt intentionally and effectively to an ever-changing and unpredictable world. We hope they might do the same for you.

Click here to read the four stories.

Mellon Announces $125 Million “Creatives Rebuild New York” Initiative to Reactivate the State’s Creative Economy and Provide Artists with the Critical Support They Need

(NEW YORK, NY — June 3, 2021) The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced details for Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY), a three-year, $125 million initiative to reactivate New York State’s creative economy and secure the future of its artists.  Part of the state-led recovery plan for New York, CRNY is a two-part workforce initiative that will provide artists with either full-time employment opportunities or guaranteed income to remedy the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read the press release!

Jennifer Lopez Inks Multi-Year Production Deal With Netflix

By Monica Marie Zorrilla — Jennifer Lopez, actor, singer and CEO of Nuyorican Productions, has inked a multi-year, first-look deal with Netflix. Along with producing partners Benny Medina and president of Nuyorican Productions Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Lopez will produce a slate of film and television content, both scripted and unscripted, that showcase diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Click here to read the article.

Two EMI Strategic Marketing Job Opportunities!

EMI Strategic Marketing is a Boston-based marketing firm with a deep industry focus in financial services and technology. For 30 years, EMI has developed strategically sound and creatively inspiring marketing solutions for some of the most successful brands in those industries. As a strategy and creative boutique, they bring the disciplined analysis, strategic thinking and pragmatism of a consulting firm together with the creativity and executional capabilities of a traditional brand-driven marketing agency. Below you will find two jobs currently posted in handshake.