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A few years ago, I had the pleasure of being elected the president of the board of an arts organization in my home city of St. Louis. The group was mostly healthy but the economy was in the tank. We started soul searching. How were we different than any of the other seven arts organizations in town that were all competing for the same artist members and same fund raising buckets? Our board and our members said, “we’re better.” But how and was it enough? What was our relevance? Were we really that different from the others?

Well, the arts organization is still there (and in my wallet), but we seriously considered merging. They retained their relevance but it took a new executive director, a new vision, and a new facility. The old relevance was no longer relevant.

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