Earlier this year, for eight months, I did double duty as the interim Executive Director at Amplifier.
Sometimes an opportunity presents itself that allows you to use your talents in a special way. And sometimes, the experience teaches you more than expected.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Amplifier has been flooding social movements with some pretty epic art since the presidential inauguration march in 2016. The nonprofit supports social movements with mass distribution of highly visible, daring and impactful art like the ones below. These visuals rally people, support ideas and fuel change.
My experience working with Amplifier was nothing short of transformational. Here are just a few things I learned.
Seize the moment
Things happen beyond our control nearly daily and especially recently. We can choose to bury our head or opt for diplomacy or we can choose to stand up and speak out. Amplifier evolved quickly thanks to successful crowd funding and the fire lit under many as a result of the political changes we faced as a nation. It was a big moment and Amplifer seized it – without fear.
Get yourself a team
The work that Amplifier does is big and powerful, and the organization seems huge, but it’s actually small. A massive amount of work is done by a small, dedicated team that knows the importance and impact of their work. These are people who have moved across and around the country to push Amplifier’s work forward. It’s an organization led by sweat, not spreadsheets.
You can’t please everyone
Finally, when you are dealing with serious, personal and heated political and human rights issues on a daily basis, it can be tough. Everyone has an opinion about how, what and why you are doing but at the end of the day, we can only follow our true North. Make decisions based on your values and continue to push forward no matter what.
Art is important
I am neither artistic nor an art connoisseur. I can’t draw a stick figure, I have a hard time hanging art on the wall (what is the right height anyway?) and I couldn’t name the artist if you put a Picasso in front of me. A classic left-brain thinker, I’ve always thought of art as a “nice to have” but not critical to my work or quality of life. Amplifier taught me the importance of art and its powerful role in society.
I left Amplifier with a greater appreciation for art, the heart and hand that create something out of nothing, those who make sure I have the freedom to display it should I choose, and the impact it had over time and will continue to have beyond me.