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Featured Contributors, February 2018

A development staffer digs into the realities of fundraising, and a Portland arts writer reports on his town’s arts space crunch.

Lisa Lacroce Patterson. (Photo by Hanna Wasserman)

Lisa Lacroce Patterson, a writer and development staffer at New Jersey State Theatre, has long advised aspiring theatre artists that they should add some administrative skills to their toolkit. “But now it’s become a prerequisite,” Patterson says, particularly for today’s theatre leaders, as she discovered when she happened upon a dinner conversation with several artistic directors at the TCG conference in 2016, where they “started to share fundraising war stories, and even quoted budgetary goals and specific grant amounts.” That got her thinking: How did they learn to love this part of the job? And does art onstage get short shrift as directors chase dollars? She explores these questions and more in a story in this issue.

TJ Acena. (Photo by Kevin Truong)

The city of Portland, Ore., has changed a lot in the nine years TJ Acena has lived there, and he’s noticed not only because he’s “someone whose life is subject to the rental market,” but because many of the arts organizations he frequents and writes about have felt the pinch of gentrification, with several forced out of their spaces in recent years. “Portland, like many similar sized cities, is at a crossroads,” says Acena, one of TCG’s Rising Leaders of Color for 2017-18. “We need to be having conversations around who will be able to make art in our cities, and we need to be having these conversations now.” He gets the conversation going here.

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