Leadership and the arts go hand in hand

Filed under: Opinion |

There is a new leadership program in town.

The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, which has been in Denver for quite a while, is offering its first class in Colorado Springs this September. The program is being sponsored locally by the Gay and Lesbian Fund, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, the Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and CSBJ.

This innovative eight-month arts leadership program trains business people in skills, such as strategic planning, advocacy, legal and fiscal stewardship, governance and fundraising that enhances their leadership abilities and prepares them to serve on boards of directors of nonprofit cultural organizations.

According to the committee, Leadership Arts is for your company if you…

* Want to provide stimulating professional development opportunity

* Want to build leadership skills such as strategic planning, fiscal and legal stewardship, advocacy and governance

* Support volunteerism and community engagement

* Want to have trained employees representing your company on nonprofit boards of directors

* Want to increase visibility and respect for your company as a supporter of the community and the arts

I won’t go into the economic development opportunities of having a diverse and creative community, but the economic impact is great.

A vibrant cultural industry not only promotes a good business environment, it enhances business directly, according to the committee’s The Dividends of Culture study.

Results of the study show that business reaps benefits from the following:

Arts and culture provide highly skilled labor to fuel other industries, such as the creative businesses like design, publishing, film production, etc

Many non-arts businesses look to cultural experiences to spark employee creativity, learning and enterprise.

Culture also attracts local and out-of-town visitors to hotels, stores and restaurants

Participants in the program meet one afternoon each month from September through April. Each session is held at an arts venue. Presenters include state and local experts, community leaders and arts professionals.

The cost of the program is $500, and the class size is limited. A limited number of scholarships are available, based on need.

For more information, call Jan Brennan at (303) 282-5129.

Colorado Springs Leadership Institute class of 2005

While we are on the topic of leadership programs, El Pomar has released the names of the members of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute class of 2005.

Even brief biographies on these folks would burn up a lot of newsprint, so I am just going to give you names of this impressive class:

* Randy Bernstein, executive vice president and COO, Ent Federal Credit Union

* John A. (Jack) Gloriod, co-owner Gloriod and Associates

* Dr. James P. Henderson, vice chancellor for student success, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

* Kevin Johnson, CEO, Elope Inc.

* Devin Knuckles, assistant to James Dobson, Focus on the Family

* Alicia McConnell, director of athlete facilities and services, United States Olympic Committee

* Vanessa Moses, associate professor, DeVry University

* Una Ng, sales director, Mary Kay Inc., and co-coordinator of the Asian American Leadership Forum

* Susan Pattee, educator District 11, and community activist

* Wendy Pifher, attorney and administrative partner, Holland & Hart LLP

* Brenda Smith, partner in charge, BKD LLP

* James Sullivan, executive director, Boys & Girls Club of Pikes Peak Region

* Janet Suthers, finance specialist, Agilent technologies

* Lynne Telford, new president and CEO, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence

* Vic Tise, program manager, Northrop Grumman

* Brig. Gen. Richard E. Webber, commander, 21st Space Wing

* Renee Zents, executive vice president, Housing and Building Association

The Mission of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute is to enhance the quality and quantity of leadership in the community through development of personal, professional and civic knowledge.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at lon.matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.