Who’s the Bob Dylan of the Hosting Arts World?

Hosting arts working circle asks into importance of talent versus process

Ben Wolfe

What’s most essential to helping groups of people have the really important conversations they need to have? Is it the talent of the “artist”, that is, the host, or the “art,” the process? This question was a vibrant thread in yesterday’s working circle on the hosting arts at the Axiom News office. The phrase poem below illuminates some of what came up for people as the circle explored this and related topics. All of the sentences in the poem were spoken by someone in the room.

It would be great if we could figure out a template, a formula, a way
for helping groups of people have the really important conversations they need to have.
Or do you need to be the Bob Dylan of the hosting world?
Is it only a matter of being really, really good at hosting?

If we can embody the work
in our way of embodying it
based on where we are in the moment
some good will come of it.

If I can sink into my feet on the ground
while I’m doing it
something good will happen.

As much as I keep thinking there is so much more to know
and there is always someone that does it in a way that’s beautiful
that I want to emulate
I am enough
I will find MY way.

Of course it won’t be your way or your way
but to stop myself from doing it
and to not be willing to do it on wobbly legs
is just such, I’ll say, a shame to myself.
I want to have the pleasure of seeing the change that can happen
with me involved.

Each of us finding our own way
is very important.
That gives us the diversity in the field as well.
Any one of us might take a certain process and imbue it with a certain tonality
or put something else around it that might be different, that shapes a different context.
So trusting our uniqueness is important, because that brings a generative element into the space as well.

But we’ve got assistance in one another to shore us up,
help us plan,
help us go in with the right principles in mind and heart.

And I’m just grateful for each of you.
It’s real easy to feel alone.
This is a wonderful place to connect.

I have a reaffirmed sense that community is what we’re all wanting.

When you arrive in places like this
you feel the support.
Something magical is happening.
And that keeps me willing to go through everything I have to go through
to do this work.

But we also have to codify.
There has to be some structure,
that brings us some comfort.
This is a tool that we’re all gathering
and moving along the way
with feeling proficient at it in any way.
Without codification, something is lost

So is it the art or the artist? I think it’s both.

(Keynote Listener: Michelle Strutzenberger)

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1 comment

  1. Did we say all this?? Wow! Thanks Michelle; this is a wonderful way to capture the spirit of the moment.