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Creatives As Leaders

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Tom Tresser gave this presentation at the National Performing Arts Convention in Denver in June 2008. If you'd like a copy of the presentation, please email me at tom@tresser.com. If you view this, …

Tom Tresser gave this presentation at the National Performing Arts Convention in Denver in June 2008. If you'd like a copy of the presentation, please email me at tom@tresser.com. If you view this, please email me with comments, OK?

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  • 1. “ Creative as Leaders”
  • 2. $804 billion Direct appropriations for the War in Iraq, 2003-2008
  • 3. $3 trillion Total direct and indirect cost of the war
  • 4. $28.5 billion Total costs of the Iraq War to Illinois taxpayers through 2008 You could’ve gotten 496,654 music and art teachers for one year. Or… 437,685 elementary school teachers for one year. Or… 11,895,550 people with health care for one year.
  • 5. $8 billion Total costs of the Iraq War to Colorado taxpayers through 2008 You could’ve gotten 142,541 music and art teachers for one year. Or… 142,795 elementary school teachers for one year. Or… 2,447,294 people with health care for one year.
  • 6. 10,754 Projected number of homes lost through foreclosure on subprime loans, 2005-2006 in just 10 of Colorado’s largest counties.
  • 7. 2:37 minutes Discussing the scientists who invented atomic weapons… The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was formed in 1945 by atomic scientists from the Manhattan Project who felt that scientists, engineers and other innovators had an ethical obligation to bring their knowledge and experience to bear on critical national decisions, especially pertaining to the technology they unleashed - the Atomic Bomb. Endorsed by 68 Nobel Laureates in chemistry, economics, medicine and physics, FAS addresses a broad spectrum of issues in carrying out its mission to promote humanitarian uses of science and technology. Ivan Oelrich, Ph.D., Vice President for Strategic Security programs at the Federation of American Scientists. Jerome McDonnell Host, Worldview, WBEZ-FM Chicago
  • 8. So what can we do to set things right?
  • 9.
    • Local focus
    • Declare values
    • Lead and run on them
  • 10. I PROPOSE CREATIVITY AS A VALUE THAT CAN INSPIRE AND GUIDE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, PUBLIC POLICY AND POLITICAL ACTION…
  • 11. Creativity & American Heritage Creativity!
  • 12. Frame this… Creativity is a national value
  • 13. December 16, 1773
  • 14. The Power of words… Thomas Paine – 1737 - 1809
  • 15. The Power of words… “ We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the event of a few months.”
  • 16. Creativity is our heritage
  • 17. “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. etc. etc.”
  • 18. Tom Crafts reads the Declaration aloud in Boston - July 19, 1776
  • 19. “ The bells rang, the privateers fired the forts and batteries, the cannon were discharged, the platoons followed, and every face appeared joyful…After dinner the King’s Arms were taken down from the State House and every vestige of him from every place in which it appeared, and burnt…Thus ends royal Authority in this State…and all the people shall say Amen.”   Abigail Adams letter to John describing Tom Crafts, a house painter, reading of the Declaration of Independence aloud on July 19, 1776 from small balcony in front of the Massachusetts State House, Boston.
  • 20. U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!
  • 21. The United States was the first nation to be designed into being. We were invented. The establishment of the United States was an audacious act of creativity. We are a creative work. We are a work in progress. "The War was no part of the Revolution...It was only an effect and consequence of it.  The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected...years before a drop of blood was drawn at Lexington." - John Adams, 1815  letter to Thomas Jefferson.
  • 22. The Bill of Rights Ratified on December 15, 1791 The First Amendment 45 words…
  • 23. Creativity is our promise 38,000,000 people in U.S. born abroad
  • 24.
    • I.I. Rabi won the 1944 Nobel Physics Prize for his work on the Manhattan Project.
    • born in Austria - came to America as infant - father worked making women’s blouses in a sweatshop - Rabi was a brilliant student, became a physicist - leading member of the Manhattan Project On the occasion of the award a journalist asked, What did Rabi think of this great honor? “What do I think? I think that in the old country I would have been a tailor.”
    • - David Halberstam, “Defining a Nation – Our America and the Sources of its Strength,” 2003.
  • 25. From 1906 to 2007, 290 U.S. citizens have been awarded Nobel Prizes. 74 were foreign-born (including Isidor Rabi). 26% !
  • 26. Creativity is our promise Source: UN Dept of Economic and Social Affairs 38,355,000
  • 27. WHAT DOES A GOOD LEADER DO?
  • 28. We don’t think much of our current leaders… Source: The Gallup Poll
  • 29. Our leaders don’t look much like us… In 2004 there were 7,382 elected state representatives 85% had business backgrounds 7% were educators 1.5% had broadcast backgrounds Guess what % were artists or cultural workers? Zero. Goose egg!
  • 30. Guess what? Creatives are leaders!
  • 31. WHAT DO ARTISTS, CULTURAL WORKERS AND CREATIVITY CHAMPIONS HAVE THAT QUALIFY THEM FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR?
  • 32. Passion
    • Passion and Persistence to do, to succeed, to do the impossible
    • Commitment
    • Dedication
  • 33. Out of the Frame Thinking
    • Outrageous question-asking
    • Seeks contradictions
    • Open to the new
    • Build on tradition and solid technique but not wedded to precedent
  • 34. Empathy
    • Able and Eager to see world through another’s Eyes
    • Emotional receptivity, intelligence, resilience
    • Perspective and proportion
  • 35. Truth Seeking
    • Truth Seeking
    • Truth Telling
    • Truth Wondering
  • 36. Intrinsic Value
    • Recognize and respect non-financial measures of value
    • Impractical
    • Gift giver
  • 37. Creativity
    • Create something from “nothing”
    • Maker, Doer
    • Private vision to public reality
  • 38. Sharing
    • Collaborative
    • Additive
    • Ensemble building
  • 39. WHAT DO ARTISTS, CULTURAL WORKERS AND CREATIVITY CHAMPIONS HAVE THAT QUALIFY THEM FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR? P = Passion O = Out of the frame thinking E = Empathy T = Truth seeking I = Intrinsic value C = Creativity S = Sharing
  • 40. Your first step… Creativity Champion! Declare yourself a..
  • 41. Take the Pledge “ I hereby declare that I (say your name) as of Friday, June 13, 2008 am a Creativity Champion and that I will stand up for creativity, innovation, new ideas and an open mind at home, at work and in my community.” Creativity Champion!
  • 42.
    • work in a neighborhood organization
    • lend your ideas and energy to a local cause
    • participate inside a chamber of commerce
    • lead inside your church’s social action committee
    • organizer voter registration drives at cultural spaces
    • organize “Arts for Jones” committees/events
    • organize candidate forums and accountability sessions
    Always as a Creativity Champion! CIVIC ENGAGEMENT MENU…
  • 43. Run, Baby, Run!
    • LOCAL OFFICE :
    • School board
    • Library board
    • City Council
  • 44. Creatives Elected to Local Office
  • 45. Ben Franklin…model creative citizen
    • Entrepreneur
    • Community organizer
    • Inventor
    • Politician
    • Author
    • Diplomat
    • Philanthropist
  • 46. John B. Rice built first permanent theater in Chicago in 1847
  • 47. 19 th Mayor of Chicago! 1865 - 1869 Congressman 1873 - 1874
  • 48. Guy Padgett, City Councilman Casper, Wyoming
  • 49.  
  • 50.  
  • 51. Cara Jennings, City Commissioner Lake Worth, Florida
  • 52.  
  • 53. Hell no we won't Hell no we won't Hell no we won't Go there with those tired old chants My activism is more like a rant A rant of rage of resistance This system I speak out against. One, two, three, four Boring protest no more five, six, seven, eight Resistance let's activate No justice Here's a piece of my mind No justice A piece of my behind No justice Piece it together you'll find Radical cheerleaders on the frontline
  • 54. Maurice Cox, Mayor Charlottesville, Virginia
  • 55. 2001 Comprehensive Plan
  • 56. In the poor black community of Bayview, hundreds of miles from Charlottesville, Cox helped lead a six-year, $10 million effort to rebuild the village. He organized town meetings and involved residents in every major planning decision, from determining which houses to bulldoze to outlining the project's final scope and character. Today, Bayview is becoming a national model for community-led design. "Maurice gave people a voice," says Bryan Bell, founder of Design Corps, a nonprofit architecture firm that builds affordable housing. "Bayview is a self-determined community of people who [once] lacked self-determination. The signature of this place is theirs." Images from “Design Like You Give A Damn,” Text from Fast Company #83.
  • 57.
    • Ask Senators McCain & Obama their positions/thinking on creativity in America, communicate to the field.
    • All design, art, creative training schools offer class on “creativity and public policy.”
    • 3. National commitment to using cultural space for civic conversation – “The Art of Democracy” - w. Deliberative Democracy movement.
    Suggestions for
  • 58. Create. Act. Vote. RUN!
  • 59. 312-804-3230 [email_address] www.tresser.com
  • 60. Tom’s background… ACTOR INTERNET MARKETER COMMUNITY DEVELOPER PRODUCER EDUCATOR “The Artist As Activist” – Loyola Theatre Department EXEC ED DESIGNER/ FACILITATOR
  • 61. Recent Civic Projects Greater Lincoln Park Democracy for America

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