Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Entrepeneurs of CODA

Attending the CODA conference last month convinced me that this organization is one of the most important in Memphis. And its greatest effect is yet to come.

My favorite session was not in the original program. When a speaker had to drop out, the conference filled the space with a discussion by the Rhodes CODA fellows. These Rhodes students discussed the cultural projects that they undertake as part of their fellowships. It was a creative and critical conversation between each other about their projects and best approaches. We witnessed the process, and the process -- arts entrepeneurship -- is very exciting.

Not just temporary, academic, learning projects, the projects, by CODA standards, must be sustainable. The organization, group, institution or business that the student creates must be built to survive its founder's graduation from Rhodes and possible departure from Memphis. And it must survive in the community, not just Rhodes.

These are not academic projects created by future leaders. They are real-world arts startups created by entrepeneurs now!

I think Memphis can -- should -- learn a lot from what they're doing. Huzzah to Dr. Timothy Sharp and John Weeden for their innovative leadership.

Update: Art Scene on WYPL TV-18 has an interview this week with John Weeden, Assistant Director of CODA.

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Blogger laurenrae said...

Hello. I'm sorry, I don't know your name, but my name is Lauren Rae. I run the finances, networking and communications of the Rozelle Artists Guild. We recently googled the org's name and found your blog, and I had to let you know, I enjoy it. We were also at the CODA Conference, I thought it was awesome, too. Perhaps we spoke and did not realize it? I write for my school newspaper about all of these same events around town that you do, perhaps I should begin posting them online as well.

In any case, keep up the good work. And check the Commercial Appeal today-- My Life, Greater Memphis section. :)

11:44 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

Lauren Rae, I'm sorry I didn't meet you 'cause I'm a big fan of Rozelle Artists Guild.

I will post on your January event real soon. And you should post your work online. Everything online!

thanks for writing.

11:07 PM  

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