Sunday, February 24, 2013

Upcoming Blogathon On Research and Data

Good morning.
“And the beat goes on..........................

Research and data collection have become front burner topics in our field.
As never before we are discussing:
  • What we should study and why.  Where should our research efforts lie?  What do we want / need to know that we don’t know?  What purpose does / should our research efforts serve?
  • Are our methodologies academically sound or suspect?  Are our researchers adequately / properly trained in scientific approaches?
  • What data is relevant and crucial and is the data collected reliable?  
  • To what extent are we guilty of data manipulation?  Do we use data that correlates results as indicative of causation?  
  • Does the field have an adequate understanding of how research is conducted and what application of the results can be made?
  • Is there adequate access to everyone of the literature on research?  Is there adequate access to the results of our studies and what those results reasonably mean?
  • Are our conclusions based on our research justifiable and defensible?
All data is subject to multiple interpretations - particularly in the social sciences field, and thus to an extent, all research is flawed and open to reasonable criticism.

In a February 18, 2013 Op Ed piece in the New York Times, David Brooks points out some of the more obvious problems with our reliance on data (thanks Randy for the forward).  Here are a couple of his points which are relative to our efforts:
1.  “Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation. Falsity grows exponentially the more data we collect. The haystack gets bigger, but the needle we are looking for is still buried deep inside.
2.  Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar.
3.  Data obscures values. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.”

We hear a lot in the headlines about "BIG Data" - defined on the IBM website as:  "Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data - so much that 90% of all the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.  This data comes from everywhere.  This is Big Data."  The website goes on to suggest four dimensions to this phenomenon:

  • Volume - the sheer size of growing data available.
  • Velocity - the speed at which new data pours in.
  • Variety - the inclusion of all data - structured and unstructured.
  • Veracity - the diminishing level of trust in data on which decisions are being made."

(Who even comprehends what a quintillion represents?)  The point is that we are increasingly awash in data, and one of the more important decisions in research is becoming what data is relevant to one's purposes and what is not, how to qualify conclusions that may only be valid for a short window of time, and how to insure that the conclusions based on the collection and analysis of the data are reliable.

These are but a few of the questions that come to mind when we begin to discuss research and data collection - its background, status and future within our own field.  And while research and data collection, and its interpretation and application, are complex and properly the job for trained professionals, it is important for all of us in the field to understand some of the basic issues as they impact our universe.

Beginning next Monday, I will be hosting a one week Research / Data blogathon.  I have invited five experts in the field - all with stellar credentials and significant experience - to answer five questions on the topic of research / data collection.  I will post their answers to one question each day - Monday through Friday -  and have asked them to chime in (as they would like) to comment on the responses from each other or comments to the postings themselves from you.

Here is our panel:

Randy Cohen - Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts. He publishes The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts as well as the two premier economic studies of the arts industry—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, an annual mapping study of the nation’s 905,000 arts establishments and their employees. Randy led the development of the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture, launched in 2006 in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought after speaker, Randy has given speeches in 49 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Sunil Iyengar - directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in June 2006, the office has produced over 20 research publications, hosted several research events and webinars, updated the NEA's five-year strategic plan, and revised a federal survey about arts participation. Some of the NEA’s most recent research includes: Time and Money: Using Federal Data to Measure Performing Art Activities (2011); Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation (2011); Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals (2010); and Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation (2010). The office also has published such reports as Artists in the Workforce 1990-2005 (2008), To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence (2008), and The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, Involved in Life (2007). The Office of Research & Analysis maintains the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, America's largest periodic survey of adult involvement in arts events and activities. The nationally representative survey has been conducted five times since 1982, in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2009 and 2010, Iyengar and his team reported summary results from the 2008 survey, along with findings on specific arts-related topics. The next survey will occur in 2012. Significantly expanded, it will reach a population twice as large as in prior years.  For a decade, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries.  He writes poetry, and his book reviews have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The American Scholar, The New Criterion, and Contemporary Poetry Review. Iyengar has a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Bryce Merrill - WESTAF's senior associate director. He helps guide WESTAF's research effort and other projects. Previously a research fellow at WESTAF, Merrill co-authored a study of Denver’s burgeoning music scene with Director of Research Ryan Stubbs. The study, Listen Local, has been used to improve city-level support of music in Denver and has also led to the creation of a Denver Music Task Force. Merrill is a musician and an active volunteer with Girls Rock Denver. He earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder, specializes in research about art and music, and has published research in academic and popular media outlets. Merrill co-edited a volume on music and society, and he is currently a co-editor of an international volume on social theory. He is an associate faculty member at Royal Roads University, where he teaches a course in advanced research methods.

Margaret Wyszomirski - Faculty Professor - Department of Arts Administration, Education and Public Policy, Ohio State University.  Wyszomirski is a faculty member of both the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She has served as staff director for the bipartisan Independent Commission on the National Endowment for the Arts, as director of the Office of Policy Planning, Research and Budget at the National Endowment for the Arts, and as director of the Graduate Public Policy Program at Georgetown University. She joined the faculty of the Federal Executive Institute of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 1988. Professor Wyszomirski has been on national advisory committees for a Foundation Center analysis of arts funding, for the economic impact study of arts and tourism conducted by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and for the National Center for Charitable Statistics. She was a founding member of the Research Advisory Committee of the American Council for the Arts, and was chairman of the steering committee for the 1997 American Assembly on "The Arts and the Public Purpose." She is currently chairman of the Research Task Force of the Center for Arts and Culture in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett - associate professor at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. She teaches courses in economic development and urban policy and planning. Her research is in economic development with a particular focus on art and culture research. She is the author of The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City (Princeton University Press 2007) and Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). Currid-Halkett’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Salon, the Economist, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others. She has contributed to a variety of academic and mainstream publications including the Journal of Economic Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geography, Economic Development Quarterly, the Journal of the American Planning Association, the New York Times, Harvard Business Review and the Times of London. Currid-Halkett received her PhD from Columbia University.

I am deeply grateful for each of these leader’s participation in this blogathon, and hope you will all follow along each day next week and learn from their perspectives and experience.  I would like to especially thank Bryce, Randy and Anthony Radich in helping me formulate (what I hope are intelligent) questions and for helping me in organizing this effort.  And while any such effort can hardly be dispositive of all there is to say on the topic, I hope this effort will contribute to the wider discussion.

Have a great week.

Don’t Quit

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Good morning.
“And the beat goes on.........................”

A jam session is an impromptu performance by a group of musicians characterized by improvisation.  A bass player lays down a base line, the percussionist adds a beat and guitarists, keyboard players, horns all play off of common riffs.  The end result is unknown at the outset; sometimes just ok, other times spectacular.  Entertaining for the the spectators (if any, as jam sessions are often just the musicians themselves), and enjoyable and fulfilling to the artists, as it helps improve their "chops" and satisfies the need to play with their peers.

While Jamming very likely first begun as an art form of its own in the jazz world, rock and roll artists did their own fair share of jamming.  The Grateful Dead made the form part of their public performances, often jamming on stage - turning five or six minute recorded performances of their songs into one hour and more long versions - none ever exactly the same as the previous one.  It is one of the things that doubtless made the band a cult favorite with their legions of fans.

Jamming goes on outside the music world.  Bullshit sessions (sorry- that's what we use to call them) are the Jam Session of late night college students solving the problems of the world.  Brainstorming Sessions are the business model of the Jam Session - yet those sessions may too often be planned, scheduled, moderated and otherwise controlled to the point where they lose the impromptu, spontaneous, improvisational aspect that marks the jazz sessions as art themselves.  Brainstorming sessions often try to address a single issue or challenge, and often the sense of urgency in meeting whatever the challenge may be creates a kind of pressure that works against the flowering of real creativity.

Back in the mid 1990’s, when I was just starting out in the nonprofit arts world, I met John Kao - businessman and former professor at the Harvard and Standford Business schools who had opened a company called the Idea Factory to work with business on the Herculean task of trying to get some kind of handle on the concept of “creatvity” and how it worked within the business world.  He wrote a book called Jamming: the Art and Discipine of Business Creativity” and used the metaphor for the jazz jam sessions I cite here as a way to advance creativity as a business tool.

Last week several of my fellow bloggers and I engaged in a sort of Jam Session playing off each other’s posts on the overarching theme of diversity within our realm.  It wasn’t organized, curated, or otherwise planned.  It was an impromptu exercise and it was fun.  And I think it yielded some food for thought.

The average arts field manager has precious little time to Jam with staff, colleagues, peers and those outside the field.  Too many deadlines, too many things to worry about.  Jamming seems like a luxury.  And as mentioned above, organizational attempts to Jam (Brainstorm) suffer from the attempt to control the circumstances and purpose of the Jam - which attempt is antithetical to the process.

But I think there is great value in inviting others to Jam with you from time to time - the only structure being, perhaps, the invitation, date and time.  First, the exercise of your mind and thinking processes - using your cognitive skills - analyzing, synthesizing - just by thinking out loud with
others - is arguably very good for both your head and your heart.  Brainstorming with other intelligent, creative people - without any pressure of having to address some problem - may help to blow away the cobwebs routine and structure create.  Second, the beauty of an unstructured Jam Session is that you never know when a really good idea will emerge; an idea that may not otherwise come into being - especially if you try too hard to manufacture that good idea by controlling the session.  Finally, for people who like to think - and I believe that includes most of the people in the nonprofit arts management field - Jamming on this level is fun.

Jamming is something at the core of the arts really.  It may not work in some hierarchical business monolith, but it seems, to me anyway, a natural component of our dynamic.  We are suppose to be creative; out-of-the-box thinkers; not constrained by the confines of one approach - one model.  The thinker’s Jam is a chance to play off the intellectual riffs of peers, building on the thoughts of each other.  Of course, the better the participating players - the better the outcome of the Jam, but my guess is that we have a lot of first rate players across our spectrum.  They just don't get a chance to Jam enough.

My hope is that the Dinner-Vention project will result in an impressive kind of Jam Session of its own.  (We received over 250 nominations for people to invite and our Advisory Committee is in the process of winnowing down the list right now.  We should have our final 8-12 person guest list set in the next month or two.  More to follow).

I hope more people in our field might find a way to break loose from the constraints of routine and rut and Jam more themselves. And I wish there were more Jam Sessions at our conferences instead of the talking head panels and keynote speeches.   I think it might produce some interesting and impressive results.

Have a great week.

Don’t Quit

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coercive Philanthropy? Legitimacy v. Wisdom

Good morning.
“And the beat goes on........................”

Building Diversity and the Challenges of What to Fund in Pursuit of the Aim:

Provocative and meaty discussion going on in recent related blog posts by Clay Lord, (and here too) Nina Simon and Diane Ragsdale centering on the issue of promoting greater diversity (specifically as the stated purpose of the James Irvine Foundation’s current funding philosophy) and the related issues of coercive philanthropy, the failure of foundations to embrace patience in their attempts to affect change both systemic and within specific organizations, and how to best move towards greater diversity (at least audience diversity).

These individuals are astute observers and commentators; they have keen insights and the ability to cut to the chase in their analysis.  They each have points to make and perspectives to offer.  There is much food for thought in their posts and I urge you all to read each of them.  There is almost too much in the aggregate to respond to in a single post, but if I may be permitted, there are several reactions I would like to share:

First, as to the core issue of whether or not foundation funding can actually lead to real change in an organization’s dynamics that would result in the greater diversity sought by the Irvine Foundation, I agree with Diane and Clay that it is difficult, if not impossible, for any organization to follow any path that they logically perceive as potentially threatening to their bottom line.  I think arts organizations that Diane refers to as “flagship” organizations - serving the white, upper middle class, older cohort - reluctant to change programming just to promote diversity (let alone resistant to moving away from their mission in such program change) are highly unlikely to respond to any funder’s initiative to get them to make such changes.  Not that they don’t agree wholeheartedly with the objective of expanding the diversity of their and the sector’s audience. But not at the expense of their carefully constructed cash flow infrastructure.  And who can fault them?  Individual organizations are less interested in systemic sector wide change, no matter how lofty the purpose or how much they may embrace the concept and agree with the goal.  It’s really not their job to do so.

But, it is the legitimate job of funders; and foundations that have determined that sector wide systemic change (of whatever sort) is one of their objectives, not only have the right, but arguably the obligation to implement strategies - even ones that make demands of their grantees - that they believe may help reach those objectives.  One can argue such strategies are ill conceived, that they don’t work, that being too ambitious without allowing ample time and resource allocation to give the strategies a chance to succeed is a formula for failure - but I don’t think their underlying attempt to make systemic change is necessarily coercive.  Or, if it is, I think they have the right to be coercive (and a lot of change comes about only becomes it is coerced.)  How else can systemic change come about, if no one is permitted to make even the attempt?

Personally, I think the diversity goal - particularly in advancing diverse audience growth - would be far better served if the funding went to what Diane refers to as the “boutique” organizations which “deeply serve particular communities; (and) are diverse in aggregate.”   If one of the Irvine (or any funder across the country) goals is to reach a more diverse audience with art, then funding organizations that program specifically for those more diverse communities is far more likely to yield that growth than funding organizations which currently (and consciously) serve white people.  Trying to cajole, bribe, coerce or otherwise move existing organizations that program for the white audience to somehow change their programming, venues, approaches, marketing et. al (even if for the legitimate objective of long term survival) is a little like trying to teach a pig to sing.  Inevitably you end up really frustrated, and after awhile the pig just gets annoyed.

Merely because an organization exists in a specific geographic spot is not, to my thinking, a valid enough argument to convince me that they have some obligation to program for the residents of that spot.  One might argue that the geographical locus of an arts organization may be more a function of affordable real estate than any other reason.  And where a performing arts organization offers its art may also be a real estate function.  Rather than embracing the idea that locus determines the programming that ought to be offered, support for organizations that both want to, and are qualified and capable of, serving that audience may be more likely to advance the goal.   At this stage of the game, the goal ought to be to identify the organizations that are committed to the diverse audience identified as underserved and choose to program for that audience, and perhaps put more of your eggs in that basket.  There is nothing wrong with organizations that focus on providing art to wealthy, older white people, but if you want to systemically move beyond that as a primary goal - you can only afford a limited amount of your funding to go to those organizations any more.

What is hard for funders in that approach is to shift focus and sever old lines of relationships.  Not because the former grantees are recalcitrant, or for any other reason, but because the goal of the funder - once adopted - deserves strategies that are designed to maximize its realization - not to placate former relationships.  That’s hard to do.  Very hard.

That is not to say funders should abandon the strategy of trying to move the flagship / mainstream organizations entirely.  Change of this type takes eons to affect.  Every little bit of pressure exerted arguably has a positive role in moving down a continuum.  So I agree with Diane and Josephine Ramirez in a comment to Diane’s post that we do indeed need both approaches - funding for organizations that want to attract the target diverse audience, and organizations committed to expanding their base to include more from that targeted group.   While I would argue we need more funding allocated to the former rather than the latter of those organizations,  I certainly would not abandon all attempts to help organizations that demonstrate they want to diversify their current audiences.  That the potential grantees are reluctant or opposed to what is being asked of them is really beside the point if the objective is the priority.  Certainly much diversity progress across all platforms has been made by dragging people along kicking and screaming even.  Coercion works sometimes, to a limited extent.  Other times it does not.

But funders - no matter how well heeled - have limited resources.  They have always had to make hard choices.  I think they are doing what the whole field has encouraged them to do for a long time now - take risks, be strategic, tackle the big challenges, don’t just protect the status quo.  Unfortunately, few funders have the luxury of being able to engage in real long term planning (boards and staffs change and foundations seem ever more invested in continually overhauling their priorities with new guidelines and objectives - and that cycle seems to be shorter and shorter), and so it is difficult for them to seriously embrace the virtue of “patience” Clay correctly calls for.  I think things must go in steps and that means first we have to at least begin to expand the diversity of our audiences (as a sector, not necessarily of each individual organization).  Get a foot in the door and move to whatever step two will be.  And allocation of funding to those already committed to doing that seems to me the best approach.

I also agree with Diane that the real key to any kind of meaningful movement by the flagship organizations will only happen with a committed leadership, and would go one step further to suggest that that will inevitably require a change in leadership - especially in the Board rooms - which change I think will be unlikely to happen for quite some time.        Conservative Boards may be all for expansion of diversity in their audiences - in theory, as a concept.  But not necessarily willing to toe the line in terms of program content change to do so.  And for some organizations, their purpose, their missions will simply always be in conflict with attempts to make them part of the solution to a wider challenge.  Many of those organizations should not, cannot be expected to be part of the solution.  It isn’t that they are opposed to the diversity goal, isn’t that they are obstructive to that goal but rather that they cannot perceive any way to expand the current audience that doesn’t in some way, ultimately jeopardize and compromise everything they have done so far.  They may still deserve some kind of support - to the extent the limited funder pools can provide it after adopting new goals.  (I won’t say they can never change, never find a path that allows them both worlds, because eventually everything changes and dramatically so).   I am not sure whether or not Diane's suggestion that those organizations would be better off foregoing application for grant monies.  I think rather the onus falls on the funder to deny the funding to those they conclude will not / cannot comply with the demands of the award.

That said, I am not convinced, given the immediately preceding paragraph) that throwing money at the “reluctant dragons” (Diane’s words) is a waste of time.  Maybe.  I just don’t know.    All I do know is that things that never, ever change, and at which people have for eons thrown time, money and other resources, have the habit of all of a sudden changing exponentially (Smoking cessation, Gay rights, attitudes towards global warming et. al).    It is hard to gauge what impact sustained effort has over time.  Certainly, if one’s expectation is quick change, one is likely to be disappointed.  But I am unconvinced that efforts such as Irvine’s (or any funder) trying to move existing organizations to a new place relative to diversity (not matter how narrowly defined) is a waste of time or money - even if unsuccessful within that narrow time frame.  Somewhere is the balance of supporting organizations fully committed to diversity and those for whom it may be a very difficult road.

Certainly Clay and Diane are right that funders need to much more seriously consider being more patient in those efforts.  Unrealistic expectations serve no one well.  And in general all funders need to examine their attitudes towards what is and is not a reasonable expectation in a specific time period, given the limitations, challenges and circumspection of any funding award.  And they need to choose among hard choices as to who gets funding, and for what purpose.

So I am left with two conclusions:
1)  The better approach to bring art to a more diverse audience, is to put the lion's share of funding into organizations that are committed to, and capable of, programming that will appeal to that diverse audience; and
2)  To the extent funding goes to the flagship organizations to move them to whatever it takes to expand the diverse audience, some degree of coercion on the part of the funder is legitimate and very likely well advised.

This is complex stuff to try to muddle through.  My own thinking is constantly evolving.  Only a few policy wonks, bloggers, and others of us have the time to devote to thinking about these issues in great detail, for this fact is undoubtedly true for most of those in our field:  the work of the average arts organization person (no matter what the size or character of that organization) is never done by six or seven o’clock on Friday, and there is even more to do come Monday morning at eight or nine.

We are lucky to have people like Nina, and Clay and Diane who help us to see the issues more clearly and to remind us to think about these things.

Have a great week.

Don’t Quit.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Networking Is Not Enough

Good morning.
“And the beat goes on.................................”

Networking vs. Friendship Building

All of us, but especially younger managers, are constantly advised to network; to build a large bank of professional contacts as a way to advance one’s career and to enhance one’s job performance.

Networking is touted as a way to gain knowledge about the arena in which we work; to identify the players and become familiar with how things are done; and to expand personal links to an ever wider circle of new links.  It is sometimes defined as the cultivation of alliances that will expand one’s opportunities, including the opportunity to develop new relationships.  Networking is frequently cited as valuable when one is job hunting or starting something new.

There are, of course, lots of ways to network - from joining associations or groups to attending conferences and conventions.  And while it takes some time, over time one can, without too much difficulty, amass an ever larger circle of professional contacts, and ultimately develop working relationships with at least some of those people.  Follow up to newly met people is essential to move beyond merely collecting business cards and phone numbers.  The goal is to build at least some relationships.  Takes time and effort.  But otherwise, while you may get simple questions answered from your network, you won’t get much more out of it.

Unquestionably, there is value is this activity.  And that is especially true for novices to the field.

But networking has its limitations.  And the advice to network, often ignores the value of building friendships.  While networking can alert you to opportunities with which you may not be familiar, expand your base of knowledge about your area of work, introduce you to people in the field and even help with your personal brand - those with whom you effectively network, while they may be happy to help you when they can - are not really invested in your career or success.  The real value in networking may be that it opens doors so that you can build real relationships with some of those you meet, and ultimately solid friendships with a few of them.  Much of business success - no matter what the business - has to do with successful relationship building and the building of real, lasting friendships.  That’s true in political advocacy, career advancement, job hunting, the awarding of grants and more.

For it is friendships, built over time, that will best serve you.  Actual friends are more valuable to you in the long run than even a huge network of professional contacts.  Decisions involving you will almost always be more likely to go your way when you are friends with the decision maker.  Other things being equal, more times than not a favorable decision that might impact your future and your success, will be made in your favor if the one making the decision is your friend.  Friends do favors for their friends.  And much of business has to do with having favors done for you.  The old axiom: “It’s not what you know, but who you know” should include the corollary that: “it’s who your friends are”.

It’s just human nature.  We all tend to protect and help those in our tribe.

Nowhere is this more important in our field that in the development arena.  Development officers should invest the time and energy to become friends with program officers at funding organizations and with potential donors.  Too many development people believe that simply knowing who the funder is, and what they fund and do not fund is all that is necessary.  They think if they have a good case to make and their proposal is solid, that is all that is necessary.  That overlooks the fact that there are usually more sound proposals than available funds and that hard choices need to be made.  Friends in the right places may help to tip the balance in your favor.

I am not suggesting that funders approve proposals from their friends that are inferior to others, or that their processes are flawed by according weight to friends' proposals that do not otherwise measure up to the competition - just that a personal friendship will almost always enter into the decision making process in some positive way.  This is true in politics, job hunting and every other area of business life.

So while networking is good advice, my best advice to all leaders in our field, is to build relationships and make some good friends.  In my opinion that will be more valuable to you longer term than the biggest professional network.

You can’t make friends with everyone you meet.  Often times, friendships depend on mutual interests and share perspectives and even chemistry.  And friendship is always a two way street - to have a friend you have to be a friend.  Bottom line: You can’t have too many friends.

Have a good week.

Don’t Quit