2014 LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN IN THE ARTS keynote speaker Patricia Wilson Aden, President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia
Saturday, October 18th 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
More than 100 women (and a few men!) learned how to nurture their artistic voices, envision the future, design 21st Century careers in the arts and overcome fear of success at Moore’s 2014 Leadership Conference for Women in the Arts.
Held on October 18, 2014, the daylong conference explored current topics related to college women who are, or who are interested in being, leaders in art and design fields.
Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon kicked off the morning by welcoming conference attendees from Moore and other colleges and organizations.
“Today you will all discover that you are leaders and hopefully learn how you might grow and think about your leadership in a different way,” she said. “Yes, leadership can be learned.”
She stressed that credibility is the foundation of leadership and something that is earned over time. “Credibility, respect and loyalty are earned when leaders demonstrate by their actions that they believe in the inherent self worth of others.”
Fitzgibbon then introduced keynote speaker Patricia Wilson Aden, President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, who spoke to students about being authentic, finding a way to push through adversity and be adventurous and strategic in their career choices.
"I've come to firmly believe that life is 10 percent circumstance and 90 percent what you do with the circumstance," she said. "Now that you've made your choices, how do you define success?"
Aden said she finds her passion, fulfillment and measure of success not in the amount of money she makes, but in the sense of adventure. "Know yourself well enough to not only know why you do what you do but to embrace the why of why you do it. Own it and celebrate it. Be purposeful in how you use your why. Talent alone is not enough to compete or succeed in today's cultural marketplace."
Following her remarks, students broke into the first of three breakout sessions on a variety of topics led by strong female leaders and artists, including Ellen Owens, Dr. Judith Weinstein and Moore students and alumni.
During one breakout session, Moore alumna Kia Weatherspoon ’10, Interior Design, emphasized the power of networking, building relationships, being sincere and smiling.
“Be the best version of yourself all the time,” she said. “You have to believe in yourself.”
Delia Ascher, a first-year Fashion Design student, attended a session about conflict resolution for women in leadership. She said she learned how to appropriately handle complicated business situations.
“It was important to learn tips on how to resolve conflicts as a woman,” she said. “Women aren’t always as respected in the business world. I would like to be an entrepreneur and own my own small business one day, so it’s important to learn about the business world.”
Flor Jazmin Gutierrez, a junior Curatorial Studies major, said she learned that “there are a lot of people going through a turning point with combining what they learned at school with the professional world. Everything adds up to figuring out what your core values are and that develops you as a person, personally and professionally.”
A lunch and panel discussion held in the Great Hall was moderated by President Fitzgibbon and featured Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation; Magda Martinez, Director of Programs & Community Engagement at Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial; Rachel McCausland, Manager of Leadership & Legacy Giving at Opera Philadelphia; and Laurie McGahey, Director of Development at the James Michener Museum.
The panelists spoke about their career trajectories, how they took advantage of opportunities, mistakes they had made professionally and their leadership philosophies.
“How you take advantage of opportunities is really important,” Martinez told the students. “How you take advantage of your education right now will reap rewards for so long. All things are connected in the end. To know a little about everything is a good thing.”
The conference concluded with a networking reception in Fox Commons.