A lot of people are talking about leadership these days. Different types of leaders. The need for visionary leadership. The excitement around new young leadership and ideas about when leadership begins.
In my case, I’ve been thinking about how to recruit and develop new leaders for over 30 years, even when I was a new leader. I’m 51 years old and co-founded the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE — the organization that sponsors this blog) in 1993; I have been the executive director ever since. I have recruited and developed hundreds of staff members for LAANE over the years, and many of these people have become some of the most inspirational leaders that I have ever known.
Which is why I have decided to step aside as LAANE’s executive director starting in February of next year.
“Given the current economic climate,” read this afternoon’s press release from Funny Girl producer Bob Boyett, “many Broadway producing investors have found it impossible to maintain their standard level of financial commitment.”
In other words, the revival of the Jule Styne-Bob Merrill Broadway blockbuster that had starred Barbra Streisand in 1964, and gave us the song “People,” is dead — as far as Los Angeles is concerned. The new show, starring Six Feet Under‘s Lauren Ambrose as comedienne Fanny Brice, was to open in downtown L.A.’s Ahmanson Theater in January — the springboard to an April Broadway run.
Dream on, with this economy, though.
As the New York Times noted, “Pulling the plug on a previously announced Broadway production is rare, especially when (as in this case) theaters have been booked and actors cast.”
I have been photographing the Occupy camps since the inception of Occupy Los Angeles. I’ve spoken to many people and have thoroughly visited each layer of the emerging strata in the Occupy movement. I have seen it evolve.
On Day One it was as if the raucous levity of Venice Beach had been transplanted to Los Angeles City Hall. But within several days, the occupation had matured. People were tired. For even the most hardy, nights of sleeping on the ground in a not-so-private atmosphere and sharing a rancid pit toilet with hundreds of others is understandably wearing. What is this movement to become?
There is no mainstream media outlet objectively reporting the story. The pushing and pulling of the facts to fit readership deny the true story. Admittedly, I come from a bias of support for the movement. However, there can be no greater support for the movement than holding a great big mirror in the direction of its errant ways.
What does the 1970s feminist art movement have to do with Occupy Wall Street? Quite a bit, I found out when I recently attended Still Doin’ It: Fanning the Flames of the Woman’s Building, an exhibit and performance experience at the Otis College of Art that was part of the Pacific Standard Time project. That kaleidoscopic endeavor, sponsored by the Getty Museum, looks at Los Angeles art from 1945-1980 and takes place in museums and venues across Southern California over the next 12 months.
The early participants of the Woman’s Building, including founder Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and performance artist and Otis professor Suzanne Lacy, described the motivation that drove them to that institution in 1973. At that time women artists and their work were largely ignored by the established arts institutions, and emerging women artists found few opportunities for support or mentorship of their art.
By now it’s obvious that Occupy Wall Street’s sophomore month is spawning a spin-off sideshow – a kind of reality TV moment in which conservative media apologists for the “one percent” alight from taxis and wade into crowds of protesters who are wearing hoodies and black bandanas. Into the belly of the collectivist beast, as it were. The pundits then vigorously articulate their grievances against the 20thCentury to the Occupiers and the merely curious who have gathered round.
The trail for these adventurers was blazed by Fox News eminence grise Geraldo Rivera, whose tumultuous forays into Ziccotti Park have made him a martyr to tax-paying “53 Percenters” from Montauk Point to Santa Clarita.
Last week Reason TV, an arm of the libertarian magazine Reason, produced a video in which radical free-marketeer Peter Schiff made a similar pilgrimage into the lion’s den.