New Year, New Arts Leadership & Welcome Back Geraldine!

Updated: Jan 18, 2019


The Rozsa Foundation has been offering professional development in Alberta since 2012 beginning with the Rozsa Arts Management Program (RAMP).


As the landscape of our arts and culture scene continues to grow and develop, we are growing with it. In 2016, Geraldine Ysselstein began as the Rozsa Foundation’s Arts Leadership Director and took on the challenge of developing two brand new programs: the Rozsa Admin Fundamentals training (RAFT) and the Rozsa Executive Arts Leadership (REAL) program.


Both of these new programs were developed to establish a suite of programs that fit the needs of arts professionals at different stages of their career.


When Geraldine went on maternity leave, Derek Stevenson was thrilled to take on the Arts Leadership portfolio. Now that Geraldine has returned, we are again looking to the future, and realized that to fulfill our ambitious plans for Arts Leadership in the years to come, we needed more staff capacity in this area, and so we’re thrilled to now have both Geraldine and Derek on board and working together as our Arts Leadership staff.


Reflecting on the past year as the Arts Leadership Manager, Derek shares:


“I had an opportunity to meet and work with so many talented arts administrators in Alberta. I was fortunate to learn with over 60 participants last year. It was an incredible year of growth for me, as I was able to challenge my own assumptions in Arts Management and gain an understanding of the obstacles and opportunities that organizations face in Calgary and Edmonton. I was excited when I was given the opportunity to continue at the Foundation in my new role as the full-time Program and Granting Manager.”

Returning from her maternity leave, Geraldine was asked what leadership lessons she has learned from being a parent of two boys.


She shares:


“Parenting requires deep listening. Often we think that our children should listen to us, but we also need to listen to them. When we listen deeply, we also acknowledge feelings. Rather than focusing on the meltdown, the pinching of a friend, or refusing to do something - we look beyond to acknowledge the feeling that is creating an undesirable action. And when things don’t go quite as we planned, we have the flexibility to have plans B-Z. Parenting is hard work, but by being creative and taking care of ourselves we can set a good example.”

As we look forward to the next three years of our Strategic Plan, we realize how unique and needed our Arts Leadership programs are for the arts sector and we are committed to finding ways to expand our reach by exploring digital learning and mobile offerings.


Second, we know that the relationship between arts leaders and their boards is critical to a healthy organization and we will be developing opportunities for board members to interact, be recognized, and do professional development.


Third, we recognize that arts professionals do not reflect the diversity of the general population of Calgary and we will be investigating ways to encourage more equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts.


Building on the Rozsa family legacy, we will continue to explore the intersection of business and the arts, promote collaboration, invest in community building, and encourage excellence in arts management in order to foster organizational resilience. We invite you to keep a look out for exciting growth in our Arts Leadership programs over the next year.


Geraldine Ysselstein, Arts Leadership Director, and Derek Stevenson, Program and Granting Manager.

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