The Twenty #11 – The Intersection of Art & Leadership

“Artists are often found at the margins of society, but they are, like the shepherds, often the first to notice the miracles taking place right in front of us.” (27)

“The arts can tap into multiple irreconcilable realities at the same time, rooted deeply within the cultural soil. Artists often expose the tension between these competing points of view, but they also provide the potential to resolve various perspectives at the same time. But just like China, good art may raise more questions than provide simplistic answers.” (34)

The intersection of art & leadership. I’ve been thinking about this for some time and when I read the two passages above in Makoto Fujimura’s Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Cultureit came to me. Artists may not often be leaders in the traditional sense. They may not be the CEOs, CFOs, Directors, Senior Pastors, and so on. But they are leaders in a different way. They are leaders in thought. They may not be the ones making the decisions but they are the ones the decision makers go to for advice in the decision making process. Their art & insight gives them influence which in turn places on them a responsibility. A responsibility to lead.

When we look back 10…20..30 years from now, I think we will see that the true influencers…the true leaders…have been artists. Leaders because they can expose tension yet also provide potential resolution. Leaders because they ask questions rather than provide simplistic answers…good questions that propel a community…a people…a society…forward. Leaders because they expose the need for change & then inspire it. Influencers because they’re artists. Because they see the miracles many miss. Miracles that are the signs of God’s moving here on earth. And the great thing about artists is that oftentimes, like the shepherds, they’re so excited that they can’t keep the news to themselves.

Do you think there is a place where art & leadership intersect?

*This is the eleventh post in a series of twenty. For more on the background, check out this post.

With courage, Katie

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