I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Posts Tagged ‘organizations

Institutions…

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Are often difficult to manage.

Recently I’ve been writing down some thoughts on organizations. After a little more work I think I’ll be posting them here.

It’s been interesting to see the ways that my current job has become institutionalized, and how we’ve had to learn how to deal with that perception in the minds of our students and peers.

In part of my attempts to take a longer view of my current situation I’m a little hungry for a bigger art project.

And just after I finished typing that, my Mom dropped by my office. Boy was I happy to see her! I think it marks how disconnected and isolated I’ve been in the past few weeks that I had a deep rush of emotion at just sitting down with her.

Written by naylandblake

May 6, 2009 at 12:24 pm

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I went to a GMSMA meeting last night, my first in at more than a year. I went in response to an email I had received with this header: GMSMA: Is there a future for GMSMA?.

The email detailed some of the troubles the organization is having, and the discussion at the event was equally frank. To the organization’s credit, they were willing to say aloud and in a public meeting things that other organizations would often try to divert attention from. The willingness to do that is a sign of some health. But it’s clear that GMSMA is at one of the turning points in an organizational life cycle. To be honest, their case is not all that unique. Most nonprofits have to face the same challenges at various points in their existence. It’s one of the things that makes me continue to work with non-profit groups. Arts groups and kink groups have a lot of similarities.

I was not there in any official TES capacity, but I did speak a bit about how TES has dealt with similar issues. It’s interesting, because from where GMSMA is sitting some of TES’s situation looks pretty good. Similarly, one person who is the leader of another leather group got up and said that if they had a fraction of the membership and the budget that GMSMA had, they would be overjoyed.

There were people who said that GMSMA should disband, the sooner the better, and people who thought that the issue is simply one of people working a little harder and the organization doing some advertising. People talked about how they felt about the organization, and tried to articulate its current role. Sitting there I found myself with a lot of questions, and the impulse to do some talking and writing about them.

Many of the people who read this are involved in community based non-profit organizations: Kink, Arts groups, Bear Clubs, etc. I’m wondering if you know of any books about theses kinds or organizations. We see a lot of management books for corporate culture where the index of success is easily defined: profit. What kinds of resources are there on the non-profit side? And furthermore, how would you define a “successful” non-profit? What does it look like? Many of us have little trouble talking about the faults of the organizations we are part of (or refuse to be part of), but if we find them lacking, then just what is it they lack?

(edit) It seems to me that New York’s sexual culture is in the midst of a huge shift right now, and I’m also curious to hear if other people perceive it in the same way. Am I just projecting my own preoccupations onto our time, or do things seem very different from even five years ago?

Written by naylandblake

January 15, 2009 at 6:45 pm

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