From the Executive Director

Dear CultureSource Members,

As you trudge through the humid air of July—which as a native Floridian, I love—I hope the slightly slower pace of life is providing you with refreshingly slow opportunities to think.

At CultureSource, we've identified slow processing time in our strategic blueprint as one of four core elements that underpin our ability to serve you. I share below examples of how we're looking backward and forward, in part, to give you insights into our work:

Reflection: A week after the end of the second quarter, and with breathless pride, I can say CultureSource's spring was fantastic and full of first-time and capacity-stretching activities for our members. The following occurred between April and June:

  • Presenting renowned Mural Arts Philadelphia founder Jane Golden in Detroit for a three-day residency, including a public symposium with the city of Detroit planning director, Maurice Cox
  • Launching the new Creators of Culture grant program, reopening the MCACA Wayne County Minigrant program, and helping administer the Detroit Arts Support general operating grant program
  • Hosting the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts in Southeast Michigan for three days: a convening that rarely happens outside of Washington, DC
  • Wrapping up a 6-month fundraising workshop series for our members with our partner Aly Sterling Philanthropy
  • Offering a second year of pop-up arts funding opportunities, with Quicken Loans Community Fund, through CulturePop
  • Hosting a daylong workshop in Ypsilanti with Americans for the Arts titled "Artists at the Community Development Table," and housing fiscally sponsored projects for artists too

New Thinking: Now in July, coming off that activity high, I'm thinking about the larger purpose and context of that work. As I was pondering this, our partner at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Jillian Rosen, sparked some forward thinking by sharing with me the Berkana Institute's "two loops theory".

 

As this model illuminates fundamental aspects of life cycles, it has offered us a baseline set of assumptions, to accept or reject, regarding our role in the Southeast Michigan arts and culture ecosystem. And as our team thinks more deeply about that positioning, we are (slowly) reinforcing our service capacity.

This summer, I hope you find ways to roll around in your successes and get spun in the whirlwind of your potential...possibly while drinking your favorite beverage by a pool or on a porch.

Cheers,
Omari