On March 16, 2010, Michael M. Kaiser, President of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, visited Wilmington, Delaware during his 50-State Tour to assist arts organizations in need. The Delaware Division of the Arts and the Delaware Arts Alliance are hosted this special event at the baby grand, with nearly 200 from the Delaware arts community in attendance.

Michael Kaiser
Michael M. Kaiser, President of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The program began with brief opening remarks from invited guests First Lady Carla Markell and Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. Additional remarks were provided by Paul Weagraff, Director, Delaware Division of the Arts; Lise Monty, Chair of the Delaware State Arts Council; and Guillermina Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Delaware Arts Alliance.

The program continued with a 45-minute interview of Mr. Kaiser by Maxine Gaiber, Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Following the interview, members of the audience had the opportunity to address questions to Mr. Kaiser during a 45-minute question-and-answer period. At the conclusion of Mr. Kaiser’s presentation at 11:30, Guillermina Gonzalez invited participants to adjourn for a moderated discussion on how the Delaware arts community might best move forward with the information gleaned from these sessions.

We are pleased to share with you excerpts from that inspiring morning of remarks, interviews, and community conversation about the arts.

Introductory Remarks During Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative (mp3 files)

Questions for Michael Kaiser During Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative (mp3 files)

  • Question 1: Could you expand on your mantra, "Good art, well marketed"?
  • Question 2: How do your ten rules for arts organizations apply to both performing and visual arts organizations?
  • Question 3: How do we encourage board members to think big and long-term during economic hard times?
  • Question 4: What are your assumptions about the arts during this economic recovery period?
  • Question 5: How can be build a case for the arts during a time of pressing social needs?
  • Question 6: How do arts administrators work to avoid staff burnout during lean times?
  • Question 7: How do we build sustainable collaborations?
  • Question 8: Could you elaborate on the importance of having one spokesperson for the organization?
  • Question 9: Could you comment briefly on your plan for the future?

For more information (pdf files)

Michael Kaiser's biography
Kennedy Center Press Release Arts in Crisis 50 States Tour
Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative Comments June 30, 2009

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