Matt's guest is Rachel Fine, Executive Director and CEO of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.
Tune is as Matt and Rachel discuss how the Arts industry is surviving, shifting and preparing for the future during a pandemic. Rachel gives advice to those looking to get into the Arts business, and tells us about her favorite pianist right now--then she and Matt discuss the proper pronunciation of the word "pianist."
Why should somebody want to be … the CEO of a theater? With all of the bullshit that's going on right now, and furloughs, and COVID, and budgeting, and everything else--boards. Boards are a whole other story that we can talk about at another time. Why? Why should somebody want to be a CEO of a theater? What keeps you going?
It's a great question and trust me, people can earn a lot more money doing something else in the corporate sector. I just have a fundamental belief that the arts are not dispensable. Now again, we can get back into this conversation, especially during a pandemic when people are having to prioritize their philanthropy.
… Look, I think, providing basic human needs is absolutely critical, but for me personally, they [the arts] are equally important. I see the arts saving lives. I see the arts giving people a creative outlet. I just think about, for example, mental illness. It's so much more accepting of someone who might have some kind of mental illness or setback. Often, they're so smart and so creative, and sometimes those things just go hand in hand. I feel like there's a place in the arts for ... There's an understanding, and an empathy, and a compassion that might not be in other fields.
I could go on, and on, and on, and on. I do think you need to feel that way, though, to persevere in this field. You have to feel that they're indispensable and that they are absolutely core to our community, a healthy community. I also think arts education. It has been proven time and time again that children who engage in arts education do better in school, period.