Monday, January 12, 2015

My 15 Favorite Nonprofit Arts Blogs

Good morning.
"And the beat goes on………………"

As a blogger, I read other bloggers.  Lots of them.  I have the greatest respect for the work of these people who contribute so much to the knowledge base of the field.  They share, report and review; they also challenge, provoke, and offer new thinking. Some of them are widely read; others have a niche audience.  All of them are dedicated to promoting dialogue and discourse on the important issues that we all face.

One trend I note in the past year is that many of those who have plied their craft as solo, individual bloggers have moved towards adding additional voices to their banners with contributing editors, reporters, curators and guest commentators - some even transitioning their original blogs into the equivalent of blog magazines.

Here are (in no particular order) 15 of the blogs I regularly read and which inform, inspire and entertain me -- and which provoke me to think.  I heartedly recommend all of them to you.  This list is limited principally to those nonprofit arts blogs that publish on a regular and frequent basis.  There are many arts blogs that post less frequently or only occasionally, most of which are discipline and interest area organizational based blogs, and there are many in that category that are worth your consideration dependent on your own interest area.  The following blogs consider issues and subject matter that I think is relevant to everyone in our field.

1.    Createquity - Ian David Moss.  Ian's blog is part of the trend away from a single voice by expanding to co-editors and reporters.  While the focus in on research, that is only a part of what is covered here.   Serious commentary and highly respected throughout the field.

2.    Jumper - Diane Ragsdale.  Although Diane has not posted as regularly as she had previously - due to her completing her doctoral dissertation in the Netherlands - she's on my list because she has a keen mind, offers reasoned insights, and her blog is simply one of the best in terms of considering policy for the nonprofit arts. I hope her schedule permits her to regularly post again soon.

3.    You've Cott Mail - Thomas Cott.  The absolute King of the aggregators, Thomas provides - on a daily basis - themed posts from other sources.  You may not be interested in every single post, but I guarantee you that you will find a lot to think about in his posts every single week.  He also offers his twitter followers links to all kinds of news and stories that appeal to a wide universe. People love this blog and for good reason (Thomas does the work for you).

4.    Adaptistration - Drew McManus.  Drew has also recently moved towards including other voices on his posts and has assembled a stellar team of contributors.  While the focus is on the orchestra business, there is much here for everyone.

5.    Museum 2.0 - Nina Simon.  Nina's blog is almost always food for thought with innovative thinking on a variety of issues that impact us all.

6.    The Artful Manager - Andrew Taylor.  Andrew is perhaps the Dean of Nonprofit Arts bloggers and his posts always hit the mark.  Short, sweet and to the point.  People quote Andrew's posts, and that is a fitting testament to his contribution.

7.    For What It's Worth - Michael Rushton.  Michael takes on the generally accepted theories across a wide swatch of data on pricing the arts, and makes one constantly question their own assumptions.

8.    Butts in the Seats - Joe Patti.  Joe's blog is entertaining and more often than not finds an angle about something that you haven't considered and that makes you look at things from a new perspective.

9.    Engaging Matters - Doug Borwick.  Doug is the spokesperson for the importance and value of community engagement, and provides tools and thinking to improve your organization's operations in this area.

10.  Marketing the Arts to Death - Trevor O'Donnell.  Trevor is one of my favorites because he doesn't brook foolish marketing mistakes easily and fearlessly calls out arts organizations who are failing their marketing challenge.

11.  Arlene's Blog - Arlene Goldbard.  Arlene is the conscience of the field who deeply cares about what we are all trying to do in a world that so often just doesn't get it.  We need more Arlenes.

12.  Clyde Fitch Report - Leonard Jacobs.  Another blog that has moved to adding additional voices, this blog takes a serious and wide political perspective of the things that impact the nonprofit arts.  A very intelligent blog.

13.  Arts Blog - Americans for the Arts.  Not technically an individual's blog, but rather a site that invites guest bloggers on a wide variety of topics and issues - from the ranks of AFTA and from outside the organization.  I include it here because of the sheer volume of posts and opinions across almost every subject one can imagine.  Lots of important information and insights here.

14.  Arts Journal - Doug McClennan.  The Original aggregation site for news and articles from other sources that may be of interest to the nonprofit arts administrator, and the home base for forty or more bloggers.  Perhaps the 'granddaddy' of them all.

15.  Nonprofit With Balls -  Vu Le.    Not technically a nonprofit arts blog as Vu writes about the whole nonprofit universe, but he does it with such great humor, in an endearing folksy style and hits so many sacred cows with his no nonsense approach, that it is really one of my favorite sites.  He's smart and his 'on the money' suggestions ought to have wide play.

These are some of the smartest and most dedicated people in the industry.  I hope many of you can tap into them as a resource for your own edification.

Have a great week.

Don't Quit
Barry


1 comment:

  1. Great list. As you noted, there's a wide range of stylistic and structural models represented here. To me, though, ArtsJournal (especially) and You've Cott Mail stand out as perhaps the most underrated online arts resources. That may sound strange since both are strong, popular brands. But what Doug, Doug's assistant editors Matthew Westphal and Suzi Steffen, and Thomas do day in and day out continually stuns me with its selflessness: it is so much work, and yet all about what other people are saying. It's fair to say that not only Createquity but many other publications on this list would suffer greatly if they weren't around, not only because they are kind enough to throw us readers every now and then, but even more so because of the continual stream of knowledge, stimulation and inspiration they provide.

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