COURTESY AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS/SYLVAIN GABOURY
dyn n e W hela W
A FEW WORDS FROM BEN CAMERON, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and moderator of the 2014 APAP|NYC pecha kucha.
What is the most important quality for a leader in the arts? Only one? Passion. Or self-knowledge. What do you hope audience members will take away from the pecha kucha session at APAP? Probably the same thing that I hope for every conference, that you’ll encounter one speaker who expands the way you think and makes you see your own situation in a new way; that you’ll walk away with at least one practical idea that you can test or implement back home; and that you meet at least one new person you haven’t met before who you can turn to for ideas and/or collegial counsel in the months ahead. What’s your best advice for picking out an outfit that shines? Of course, that is the easiest to answer: It’s all about the shoes.
What advice do you have for arts leaders who want to shine in the field? The future promises to be one in which the role of the arts and the way we in the arts behave are likely to change enormously — a time which will be wonderfully exciting and potentially exhausting. Leaders who want to shine will, I think, surround themselves with those who constantly challenge the way they think and see the world, constantly stimulating them to imagine new ways of behaving and will be absolutely rigorous about giving themselves ongoing, consistent, nonnegotiable time to engage in reflective thinking.
DANCER Wendy Whelan started as an apprentice at the New York City Ballet in 1984 and has been there ever since, working her way up to the rank principal dancer in 1991. She is, perhaps, the best-known ballerina in the U.S., performing major roles created by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, and Christopher Wheeldon. Last summer, at age of 46, she expanded her personal repertoire and defied the dance world’s expectations, working with four contemporary choreographers, most notably Kyle Abraham, on a program that premiered at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. What was most surprising about your collaboration with Kyle Abraham? The most surprising thing about my collaboration with Kyle is that it even happened at all. I had been talking to Kyle over the past five years — whenever I would see him — telling him how much I wanted to work with him, and I don’t know if he honestly ever really took me seriously. I think maybe the biggest surprise was how close we got and how much trust we gained for each other over our time together. We both, coming from such different ends of the spectrum, really let each other know we had the other’s back.
Inside Arts is the official magazine of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.