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Joy today: Learning to edit film with Adobe Premiere

Today I’m rolling up my sleeves and starting to learn how to edit film footage with the Premiere software package by Adobe. Please send me any of your tips, tutorials, and resources that you think would be helpful! I’m so excited to dive in and learning this new skill.

Joy today: One step closer to a fatberg free NYC

This is what a failed product development experiment looks like. I’m sharing this because I think it’s important to talk more about failure, especially in science.

I spoke to Michael DeLoach & NYC Water about the #FatbergFreeNYCinitiative. As a grad student at The Biomimicry Center I’m learning to use biomimicry principles and my experience in product development to invent a flushable wipe to eliminate fatbergs.
http://fatbergfree.nyc

This was my green chemistry solution and my finished product. My dachshund, Phineas, is my lab assistant. He’s a bit like Beaker so I guess that makes me Bunsen Honeydew. We listened to the podcasts Harry Potter and the Sacred TextOlogies Podcast, and The Story Collider to stay inspired as we did our research.

This was only the 1st attempt. It failed. And that’s okay. I stand by the green chemistry solution. I just need to find a sturdier delivery material that quickly biodegrades. Trial #2 is already underway.

And given that it’s May Day, a day when we celebrate those who work, toil, tinker, and invent, here’s 3 cheers for all of you working to solve our world’s toughest challenges and make this a better planet for all beings.

Joy Today: Opportunity

51960747_10104789291263726_1676595936316358656_nOpportunity’s last words from Mars: “My battery is low & it’s getting dark.”
May we all have lives as rich with discovery and a final chapter as peaceful. We’re lucky to have known you, Opportunity, and to see this world through your eyes. Thank you for your service.

 

A Year of Yes: Cross-polliNation podcast about everything I love about my career

8df410eb-5004-4241-b7de-8fdbd820fdff-originalExcited to share this podcast episode where I talk about everything I love in my career: product development, science, biomimicry, the arts, writing, my book, storytelling, technology, and the power of our imagination coupled with curiosity. Thank you to host N.B., and to Carolyn Kiel for recommending me! You can listen at this link (www.crosspollination.co) and wherever you get your podcast feeds!

A Year of Yes: Getting personal about time on a podcast about change

Yesterday, I did an interview for a podcast called How Humans Change. I spoke with hosts Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton about change, transformation, death, trauma, writing, mental health, choices, poverty, technology, career, the passage of time, therapy, science, dinosaurs, biomimicry, super powers, and how healing, while difficult, is the best motivator of all. It’s my most personal interview to-date.

Some people who hear it will be surprised, and others will have answers to some long outstanding questions that I have rarely discussed in the past. I’m making a more concerted effort to address these topics thoughtfully, authentically, and often.

I always love meeting members of my tribe and these guys are definitely part of it. Thank you to my amazing friend and mentor, John Bucher, for connecting me to them. I’ll share the episode link when it’s live. Until then, give their first season a listen by clicking here.

A Year of Yes: Crushing on my team

I’m having such a fantastic time at the PatronManager Community Meeting (and we still have 1 day to go!) What an absolute joy to meet so many of our incredible arts clients and to be with our stellar team members. My heart is so full. I ADORE my product team and I’m insanely lucky to work with them!

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A Year of Yes: Nature is our greatest teacher

Dinosaurs are great teachers. Kingfishers & their quick, quiet, and precise diving abilities inspired the Shinkansen Bullet Train’s design. This is the power of biomimicry. Most of the manufactured world is a mess; copying nature helps.

More info on this incredible innovation from Biomimicry Institute here: https://asknature.org/idea/shinkansen-train/#.W3Q8EPlKiUl

 

A Year of Yes: Why a career in the arts is the best business training you can get

About two years ago, I went to the Kennedy Center’s Arts Summit. It was a gathering of about 150 arts professionals, hosted by Yo-Yo Ma, and focused on Citizen Artistry, the idea of using the arts to influence positive change in people’s lives. I was one of the only people there who had worked in an industry other than the arts, and one of exactly two people who had an MBA. Several people asked me why I ever thought about pairing my artistic interest with business training. I told them that art and business are equal partners, not adversaries. In an artistic organization, you need business skills just as much as you need artistic talent. And in all organizations, business people have a lot to learn from artists.

This was puzzling to a lot of people, and that’s when a lightbulb went off for me. How could I bring the arts and business, and more specifically people who work in both disciplines, together to learn from one another? At the end of the Summit, everyone had to create a card to describe their career goal for the year. Here I am with my card:

“I commit to helping artists find the business people within them, and to helping business people find the artists within them.”

My life and my career have never been a binary choice between the arts and business. They’ve always been a package deal for me. And I wanted to find a way to work that mission into my career. I started my career twenty years ago in company management of Broadway shows and national theater tours. It has been a long and winding road since then. In all of these experiences, I say without hesitation that my work in theater has been the best business training I’ve ever had.

I so fervently believe this that when people ask me “how can I enhance my business skills?”, I tell them to go produce a live performance.

Why?

Here are the business skills we wield to produce a live show:

  • Meeting a preset, non-negotiable deadline (that curtain is going up on time no matter what—the show always goes on)
  • Staying below a strict budget, and likely a very small or non-existent budget to start with
  • Intense collaboration with a motley crew of colorful characters who all have different needs wants, and goals—hello competing priorities!
  • Publicity, marketing, media planning, and content creation
  • Financial management and accounting
  • Operations and logistics
  • In-person customer service
  • Bargaining and negotiation, as well as legal contracting
  • Impeccable time, people, and stress management
  • Recruitment and staffing
  • Oh, and then there’s that little matter of the show actually being high-quality
  • And, lest we forget, if any one of those balls drops, you bear all of the responsibility because you don’t have any backup

Are you kidding me? What other industry requires that much of a single person? No other industry. The production of a live show is the epitome of deft business skills in action.

I was beyond fortunate to have this kind of experience in the arts in my early twenties. It has informed and shaped my career and life as an adult, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. These skills are transferable to so many other industries, and a variety of roles within organizations and companies. The arts, and our active engagement with them, have many more gifts to give us than we realize.

My great hope and purpose in coming to work at PatronManager is to help arts managers create an environment of financial sustainability that allow your art and artists to shine, and to make your work accessible to as wide an audience as possible. The arts have never been more important than they are today, and our responsibility to produce them has never been greater. If you have ideas for us, please don’t be shy. I want to hear them so that we can help each other bring them to life.

In the pause: I love my job

I started my new full-time job this week, and I have to say that after just a few days it has exceeded all of my expectations. I recognize that I am still in the early days of this role with this company, and I think it’s worth detailing exactly what I love about it and why:

1.) I love artists. I mean, I really love them. All shapes, sizes, and genres. All of my colleagues are artists in some way. Musicians, writers, actors, dancers, directors, designers, producers, singers, visual artists, bakers, and improvisers. They literally bleed creativity. And then, we add to that the fact that we are an organization whose clients are all performing arts and cultural organizations. I am surrounded by art, and everything I’m doing and learning is helping to further art in all its forms. How cool is that?

2.) Artists are an accepting, helpful, and collaborative breed of folks. The doors are open, the hinges are off, and everyone is encouraged to grab a glass to toast to creativity. This is by far the most welcome I have ever felt at any job in my career. It’s also the most diverse and the organization of my training schedule is just stellar.

3.) We have lots and lots and lots of interesting, thorny problems to solve. There will never be a dull day at this place. Never. We work inside of Salesforce and the platform is POWERFUL. I mean, I’ll be learning something new about it every single day. It’s mammoth and nearly every organization in every sector is using Salesforce is some way. Getting that experience of working in Salesforce, customized for nonprofits, is a skill I will be able to utilize over the course of my entire career.

4.) I use every part of my brain and every part of my experience every day. My job combines all of my experience as an artist, and in business, technology, and product. In many ways, everything I’ve done up to this point has helped me to land right where I am.

5.) New York City is my muse. My office is near Carnegie Hall and I also have the flexibility to regularly work from my home. I love that I can walk to work and that when I step out of my office, I am smack dab in the middle of Manhattan.

I am under no illusions that I will never have a tough day. I’m sure I will. And even on the tough days, what I will most appreciate about this company and our incredible product is that there is a higher purpose and everyone here is on-board with that higher purpose. That’s the crux of it all: everyone here is driven to make the world a better place through the combination of technology and business to support and foster the arts. I couldn’t think of a better place to be right now.

In the pause: Cornell Tech campus opens on New York City’s Roosevelt Island

Yesterday’s event at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island filled me with inspiration and possibility. It was quite a testament to what can be achieved through private – public partnerships with tech CEOs from IBM, Qualcomm, Verizon, and startups, investors, journalists, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, Mike Bloomberg, and the President of Cornell all in attendance.

The spaces, indoors and out, are incredibly thoughtful and stunning. Best of all, it’s been built as an inviting setting for the public. Bring your laptop, book, or sketch pad, grab a coffee at the cafe, and take it all in with plenty of wi-fi and collaborative space. This is a place of community, and the hope is that companies and projects started by students and incubator sponsors (yes, your company can get space here!) will diversify and grow the NYC economy. Already, Cornell Tech has spun out 38 companies, 94% of which are based in NYC.

Graduate and doctoral studies as well as Executive Education courses comprise the student body here and it will also be a stage for events at the cross-section of tech, business, art, and social impact.

Grab the F train, bus, ferry, or tram, and go check it out!

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