A twenty-fifth work Anniversary is a reason to celebrate – and those professionals who reach this important milestone are in a very distinguished group!  As our San Diego arts & culture community continues to grow and thrive, it’s in no small part due to this special (and growing) group of veteran leaders who have chosen to dedicate their lives to honing their craft in order to serve our community.

Jim Chute is one of those people.  For twenty-five years at the San Diego Union-Tribune his words, his expertise, his caring, his deep respect for the artists, and his knowledge that every arts event – no matter how big or small, has the potential to be transformative… did so much.

His writing piqued people’s curiosity to attend a performance – perhaps trying something they might never have experienced before.  His reviews captured and memorialized the experience of being in the audience for a live performance. He created connections between readers and artists in ways that didn’t previously exist – by bringing to light the behind-the-scenes world of the creative process, or sharing a day-in-the-life of a performer, or asking questions in interviews that revealed both the human struggle and their sources of inspiration.  Jim helped to make sure San Diegan’s knew when our local artists and organizations were having an impact well beyond our region; which indirectly helped raise much-needed donations and other key support.  Jim looked for the story, for the connection, for the spark (often in spite of the mundane Press Releases sent by an organization announcing their event!). Our arts organizations and leaders were held accountable for their actions through his investigative reporting, and readers were educated through the context of national trends and data.

As an Interim leader, coach and consultant, my consistent advice to San Diego arts organizations has always been:  Have you shared your story with Jim Chute?

This is an exciting time for arts and culture organizations in San Diego – and a time with lots at stake.  Changes are happening before our eyes.  Some we can see, like new facilities, and others just as important that we cannot readily see but will change how the community is served through the arts.  It is now up to us to look for the story to share with the community.  To go beyond the who, what, where, when… and communicate the why – so that more and more people can experience what motivated Jim – the “passion, conviction, intellect, energy and above all, life force” the arts can bring.

To your success,

Kathryn