January Message from the Executive Director

Donna newsletter“Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

This quote comes from Angela Lee Duckworth, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her recent TED Talk focuses on “grit” as the key to reaching our long-term goals and as a better predictor of future success than conventionally-wise characteristics, like wealth or raw intellect.

As many of us set (and reset!) resolutions for the new year, it seems appropriate for us to focus on our grit. 2015 marks the Ohio Arts Council’s 50th anniversary–a celebration of 50 years of public funding and support for the arts in Ohio, and an impossible accomplishment if not for the grit shown by arts leaders throughout our state.

It is also the year the Ohio Arts Council unveils our 2015-2017 arts and cultural plan for Ohio. To shape our next three years of work, nearly 6,000 people responded to our public survey, and more than 500 people participated in our Engagement Tour events, focus groups, and interviews. You and many of your colleagues and friends offered your suggestions–and we listened.

The rubber meets the gritty road next year! We will live our vision, centered on the big ideas of innovation, investment, and engagement. We intuitively know, and data supports, that our future as a state arts agency depends on meeting your needs as artists, arts presenters, and arts educators. We know that individuals and organizations need a variety of resources to succeed and prosper, from grant award funds and new opportunities to collaborate, to professional development and a sense of community where people come together as thought leaders and visionaries through arts and culture.

We know that Ohio’s arts leaders are built on passion and perseverance, two of Dr. Duckworth’s essentials to grit. Our very best arts leaders are mission-driven, people-focused, and forward-acting. All of us must engage, invest, and innovate to be relevant. We must work together to demonstrate the value of the arts through the investment of local, state, and federal resources, while enjoying the benefits of the arts to our personal and professional lives.

The Ohio Arts Council is focusing on you in 2015! It’s going to be our best year ever. Let’s get gritty in 2015 to ensure a healthy, meaningful, and prosperous future for the arts in Ohio!

Until we meet,


Donna S. Collins
Executive Director


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