Saturday, October 8, 2016: THE ROLE OF NETWORKS

We will take a step back from the individual to focus on the networks we participate in, operate around, and work through. We’ll explore the importance of our relationships, formal, informal and institutional, and the systems at play in the field.


  • Strengthen capacity for mindful listening, peer coaching, and priority setting across complex situations
  • Develop a national/international understanding of the arts field using local arts organization as case studies
  • Develop a stronger cross-sector professional network

Guest Speakers

Adam Fong, Executive Director, Center for New Music

Adam Fong has worked as a composer, performer, and producer of new music since completing his MFA in Music Composition at California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with James Tenney and Wadada Leo Smith. As Associate Director of Other Minds (2006–2012), Fong produced six editions of the annual Other Minds Festival, dubbed the “premier new music festival on the West Coast” (Los Angeles Times), and many special projects including the CD reissues of Conlon Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano and The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles, tribute concerts to Ruth Crawford Seeger, Henry Cowell, and Dane Rudhyar, a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Fluxus, and the American Premiere of 18 Microtonal Ragas based on “Solo for Voice 58″ by John Cage. Fong’s own compositions have been performed internationally in Auckland, London, Berlin, Tübingen and Darmstadt, at many US universities, and throughout California, by performers including the two-piano team Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa. In 2008, he co-founded Emerging Arts Professionals/San Francisco Bay Area, a network dedicated to the development and growth of next generation arts and culture workers; he was Chair of Business Development in 2010-11 and Director from 2011-14. Adam also holds a master’s degree from Stanford University (English). He has lectured on experimental music and received international publication of his scholarly and creative work, and serves on advisory boards, panels, and committees at the local and national level.

Jean Johnstone, Executive Director, Teaching Artist Guild

Jean Johnstone is the founding Executive Director of the Applied Theater Action Institute, a non-profit that offers innovative community programs both in the SF Bay Area and internationally, and is on the advisory council for TASC of California.

Jean studied at The Moscow Art Theater in Russia. She spent several years teaching drama and applied theater, and directing new work in Hong Kong, China, at the Hong Kong University Graduate Association College, and was a delegate at the IDEA International Arts Education congress. She has created and implemented curricula for several year-long drama courses for hundreds of students, taught workshops for teachers on using Drama in Education, and facilitated the creation of original theater pieces by young people on topics that mattered to them most, including the 2008 Best Script award-winner from the EMI Drama Festival, on the topic of global warming, and works about the migration of Chinese in 1947-49. For the last several years she has directed productions at SFJazz by formerly homeless artists, pairing them with local artistic mentors. She also served for four years as the theatrical director for the David Herrera Performance Company of San Francisco, a modern dance/theater company focusing on works related to the Latino Diaspora, and continues to advise them. Previously she was an artistic director of The Red Gate Performance Collective’s Rococo Risque Cabaret (Best Theatre Ensemble SF Weekly 2005). She was a founding member of the Million Fishes Art Collective in San Francisco, and a Theater Arts Resident at the San Francisco Arts Education Project. She holds a Post-Graduate certificate in Theater Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a B.A. in Theater Arts from UCSC, and certificates from the Moscow Art Theater and Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

Readings & Assignments

June Holley and The Art of Being Rhizomatic By Beth Kanter (Beth’s Blog: Nonprofits and Social Media, 2009)
Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving By Valdis Krens and June Holley
Watch – Build a Tower, Build a Team Tom Wujac

Added Assignment – Meet or have a call with your partner to refine your personal vision statement & practice the peer coaching skills we went over.

Reading reflection questions:

  • What took your attention?
  • What are the key themes that emerged from your reading?
  • How might the idea of networks impact your work?
  • When have you participated in networks?
  • What are your network strengths?   
  • What connections could significantly improve your network?