Before I die walls, by community art activist Candy Chang is an example of how the arts are making a real impact on the quality of lives in cities and for thousands of people around the world.

The Arts and Leadership Community Initiative

There is an inextricable link between leadership and the arts. Some see the arts in society as the bellwether of a vibrant society. But we see the arts as what causes vibrance and vitality. The arts cause us to examine the world in shifting perspectives. It challenges us to feel, to think and can profoundly affect us – to the point of actually changing who are are.

The arts are also the foundation of leadership: how we lead our lives, how we lead others in our lives, how we lead organizations large and small – even nations and the world. The sharp critical thinking we use to solve problems – is steeped in our ability to imagine those solutions. The ability to connect our hunches to our decisions, to collaborate to expand what we can see and do – and to connect with others in deeply meaningful ways – are all examples of how leadership is tied to the arts.

The historic relationship of successful business people serving the arts as patrons – has enabled the arts in society to survive. But in order to thrive – the relationship must be more central to how business leaders think, how they develop talent and leadership within their organizations – and how they pay forward their success in the communities where they live, work and play.

Business leaders can lead the conversation about the role of the arts in developing the leaders of tomorrow – by ensuring that the arts are central to the curricula in our schools. By partnering with civic leaders, educational leaders and those who lead the efforts to keep the arts alive in our communities, business leaders hold the key to ensuring a better world today and a better tomorrow.

The Arts and Leadership Community Initiative – is a grassroots movement lead by successful business leaders and entrepreneurs who believe in both the power of contributing the social, economic and cultural needs of society – and that by paying their success forward they ensure that the success of their organizations and enterprises is sustainable through the goodwill and good people that are attracted to their good efforts.