As I See It | Clint Riley, MBA | Associate

How You Can Support Arts & Culture Organizations Right Now

At their core, the arts connect us to one another. And as anyone who has spent months sheltering at home can tell you, we need that connection. Through the arts, we experience stories that are rarely our own. By speaking, creating, hearing, and observing those stories, we gain understanding of people, places, ideas, and eras, deep in our core. The educator and philosopher Maxine Greene said: “The Arts must be understood to be modes of sense-making.” Right now, we are all struggling to make sense of our world and our place in it.

During a team meeting the other day, I asked my colleagues a few questions and I pose those to you now:
  • Think of three cultural organizations that are important to you on a personal level.
  • Think specifically about what they have given to you.
  • Have you connected with them in a meaningful way during this pandemic?

It is as important now as it ever has been to engage with the arts and support these vital organizations. One of my favorite things in the past two months has been to attend a virtual performance or class with friends, and then meet up afterwards on a video call with snacks and drinks to discuss what we experienced.

Here are some other suggestions:
  • Visit a museum if you’re comfortable getting out, but be sure to check their website to make sure you know the new measures that are in place.
  • Buy a ticket to stream an artist or museum talk, an online concert, or other performance. There are also fun in-person events happening that you can enjoy from the safety of your own car!
  • Attend a virtual fundraising event or support an online auction.
  • Sign up with a friend to take a class and learn to draw, dance, or perform a monologue.
  • Renew your membership. Even now, there are some great insider perks being offered.
  • Donate. A gift of any size at any time helps sustain their programs.
  • Follow your favorite organizations on social media, sign up for newsletters, and stay engaged.
  • And finally, share your experiences with your friends so they can get involved too!

What have I missed? I’d love to hear your ideas—I hate to miss out on a great artistic experience!

About the Author

Clint Riley joined M. Gale & Associates in 2019. He has spent a majority of his career in arts, culture and education. Prior to joining M. Gale, Clint was President and CEO of Texas Center for Arts + Academics. He has also served in positions with The Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Dallas Theater Center, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Clint holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in mixed-media printmaking from the College of Santa Fe and he received his BMA from Cox School of Business and his MA in Arts Management from Meadows School of the Arts, both affiliated with Southern Methodist University. Clint and his wife currently reside in Benbrook, Texas.

Have questions for Clint? Email him at clint.riley@mgaleassociates.com