featured books & podcasts

Arch Street Press and the nonprofit Institute for Leadership Education, Advancement and Development (I-LEAD) collaborate on Innovate Podcast and The Philadelphia Channel, hosted by Robert Rimm and featuring prominent leaders and organizations across a wide range of collaborative fields, including education, philanthropy, technology, family life, healthcare, advocacy, social entrepreneurship, the arts and more.

In the latest Innovate podcast, Afa Dworkin, president and artistic director of The Sphinx Organization, engages in a wide-ranging dialogue about this social-justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Sphinx’s four program areas—Education & Access, Artist Development, Performing Artists and Arts Leadership—form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in classical music at every level: music education, artists performing on stage, the repertoire and programming being performed, communities represented in audiences, and artistic and administrative leadership within the field.

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Better to Speak of it book cover 23

Better to Speak of It: Fostering Relationships & Results through Creativity by Robert Rimm in collaboration with Clive Gillinson

Why is creativity so often pushed to the front of the auditorium yet to the back of the classroom? This question can validly be asked across a wide swath of society, from relationships to careers. People seem ever reluctant to break out of the accepted norm (or perhaps more accurately, the accepted mold) to explore fresh alternatives and perspectives. Yet when applied with integrity and respect, creativity can open up a wide range of possibilities and opportunities. Ask questions. Be curious. Engage the classroom. Innovate. Take that well-considered risk. The enabling resources are rarely far behind.

Better to Speak of It focuses on core management and personal values in collaboration with Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall. The book offers specific, first-hand experiences from the leaders of key nonprofit, corporate, educational and cultural institutions, including the NYC Department of Education, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library and Juilliard, and major performing artists such as Joyce DiDonato, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Jessye Norman and Michael Tilson Thomas. It also examines pervasive management practices that can all too easily lead to stagnation and failure, particularly relevant in times like these when whim often leads to decree.

 

Still the Promised Land by Natwar Gandhi

Natwar Gandhi began life in a dusty Indian village that had no paved streets, no electricity, no telephone and no running water. When he was 17, his father put him on a train to Mumbai in hopes that he might find work and send money home to help support the family. In Mumbai he barely made a living, but through countless long days of work, relentless determination and good luck he was able to take a plane to New York at the age of 25, where he landed with $7 in his pocket.

Still the Promised Land is the fascinating and deeply personal story of how an impoverished immigrant made his way to the new world, remade his life and ultimately became the chief financial officer of Washington, D.C., playing a key role in transforming the nation’s capital from a near-bankrupt municipality into a financially healthy major American city.

Gandhi’s life is both cautionary and instructive, difficult yet uplifting. Ultimately, it is a harrowing and inspiring account of how to survive seemingly hopeless circumstances and succeed in America. His journey has an uplifting message for present-day America, where immigrants are often reviled and immigration itself is denigrated. It reaffirms faith in the United States’ future as a great nation; indeed, it puts forth that the 21st century will be an American century that embraces all cultures—still the promised land.