Last month, CCL touched down in Los Angeles for the concluding week of the 2015 program. Over the course of seven days, the fellows met with leaders from every corner of the city, studied strategic alignment at the USC Marshall School of Business, and participated in an intense team-based practicum. To design the training modules and practicum, CCL collaborated with Melody Kanschat, director of the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University.
Here are highlights from the week:
Drawing on the skills learned in the January CCL sessions on change management, financial accounting, and organizational alignment, the fellows evaluated the recently launched Ghetto Film School Los Angeles (GFS LA), an expansion of the acclaimed South Bronx–based training program for high school students. In small groups, the fellows analyzed GFS LA’s partnerships, operations, and mission and, through meetings with stakeholders, collected important information about the budding impact of the new school. At the end of the week, the fellows presented an analysis of GFS LA’s opportunities and challenges, as well as actionable next steps, to the staff and stakeholders, who include foundation heads and high-powered leaders in the film industry and cultural sector.
Pieter Roelofs, curator of 17th century Dutch painting at the Rijksmuseum and a 2015 CCL fellow, created an interactive workshop for the GFS LA students that showed how pictorial storytelling can inform cinematic narrative. Pieter culminated his lecture—which focused on 17th century portrait, landscape, and genre painting—with a discussion of Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch. He demonstrated how Rembrandt utilized lighting, framing, gesture, and composition to achieve maximum drama. Inspired by Pieter’s interpretation, the students acted out Rembrandt’s composition to fully understand the energy at the core of one of the most famous pictures ever painted.
Although the program coincided with Frieze Art Fair and the Venice Biennale, the CCL cohort was able to spend time with three arts leaders on their home turf of Los Angeles. In conversation with Jim Cuno, president and CEO of the Getty Trust, the fellows learned about the nuances of the L.A. arts landscape and the priority initiatives being carried out locally and globally by the Getty. Michael Govan, director of LACMA, shared how his collaborations with Michael Heizer and James Turrell inspire him to lead the museum into the future, while Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum, spoke of how successful leaders need to know themselves and what organizational scale is right for them.
Experts from the Getty communications team and Sugerman Communications Group, a PR strategy firm, plunged the fellows into mock crisis-mode scenarios and trained them in how to deliver key messages amid the frenzy of interviews and press conferences.
The week in L.A. concluded the eighth year of CCL’s core training program. We’d like to congratulate the twelve promising individuals of the class of 2015, who have the skills and passion to lead museums into the future!