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Why Arts Leadership Matters

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Experts agree that the impact of the arts goes well beyond the gallery and concert hall. Studies show that arts participation:

• Fosters community pride and self-image
• Improves the economy by attracting and retaining visitors, businesses, and investors
• Preserves, develops, and enhances neighborhoods
• Increases one's physical and mental well-being, cognitive functioning, and creative ability
• Bolsters student achievement, especially on standardized tests
• Develops "habits of the mind" (e.g., problem solving and critical thinking) and social compentencies (e.g., team work skills, social tolerance, and self confidence)

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Arts leaderships vs. arts management

It’s often said that arts management and arts leadership go hand in hand. They are not the same thing, but are complementary. Any attempt to separate them invariably causes more problems than it solves.

Broadly speaking, arts managers plan, organize, and coordinate; arts leaders inspire and motivate. This is especially true in today’s economy, where artists are valued not just for their earning potential, but for their talent, skills, and knowledge. A good arts administrator not only manages employees, but also leads them and their organization to be successful. Because of arts' expanded footprint, an arts leader is also a community leader--one of tremendous power and influence.