Building a Community-based Residency's Tuesday evening sequence ended last week. The final meeting in Providence will be on May 27. Thank you to all of this year's participants who were willing to engage and be vulnerable with me and each other throughout the process of developing and discussing their original ideas!
Below are select reflections from my Tuesday evening participants at NEC, along with constructive comments that will help me to further develop this content--and its delivery--over the summer. I look forward to version 2.0. When ready, registration details will be found on NEC's website.
"I found confirmation and renewed energy for my work and a better way to articulate my story."
"The benefit of hearing and seeing what others are doing and have done to develop their ideas has given me energy."
"There are people in my class, including Heath, who I hope will be lifelong friends and co-conspirators — relationships that feed my passion more than anything else."
"Thank you for creating a safe learning space where we could ask questions that we thought were stupid or voice our fears and concerns."
"I learned the most from the hands-on exercises and written assignments. Because they were well designed and based on a real organization that I am currently developing, I was able to maximize my learning. Discussing my own and my classmates’ imperfect first attempts at budgets, pitches, and financial appeals were far more helpful than studying perfect examples in a textbook."
"Especially helpful was the regular opportunity to bounce my ideas off of others in the class, write each of our projects, and communing over common themes and challenges."
"I am more empowered with the tools that could lead to success. I also know how to speak the language of non-profits and am able to observe more and learn more deeply from the organizations I am already involved with but am not leading."
"The course exceeded my expectations. It was definitely a huge sacrifice of time to come every Tuesday evening and make time for the assignments, but the learning I came away with was completely worth it."
"We clarified our understanding of the dynamics and tensions within non-profit organizations and learned how to use industry-standard tools and models."
"It was extremely empowering to go through a fundraising plan exercise for a fictional organization, see the fundraising history of an organization that started from scratch less than two decades ago, and then apply that learning to creating a realistic fundraising plan for our ensemble."
"I found the most value in listening to active guest leaders speak, and engaging in discussions around ethics, principles, and concepts related to our work."
"Inspired by a discussion that we should be personal before factual, I explored my personal motivations. That exploration has led me to personally take more ownership and be invested in the work I am creating as an extension of myself, my goals, my aspirations, and my social and cultural ambitions. I wouldn’t have thought such a shift in perspective would have been so powerful but was pleasantly surprised to realize just how much so it was."
"In one of the first classes, we talked about organizational culture. It helped me articulate my working experiences as a music teacher for two different organizations in Boston. I could explain to myself and to others why it was natural to go the extra mile and invest more than required in the first organization, and why I cut down my hours and eventually quit working for the second organization."
"As someone already invested in my project’s work, I found it difficult to practice writing a grant. Topics directly related to my work (e.g. budget projections) were incredibly useful in both in-class feedback and being forced to think, create, and share on the spot."
"It’d be great to be able to draw out a 'road map' that we could leave with – a way to address our going forward from this point…"
"Perhaps my only wish was for more diversity in the kinds of projects my classmates pursued (most were orchestral music projects), but I understand this is a course at the New England Conservatory, after all."
"Can members from this group, and perhaps others that you know, meet three times a year as an idea-sharing group?"
Mid-year reflections can be found here.
Sharing student project documentation and, more recently, my own.