Arts Leadership in Chicago

Performers having fun modeling the famous From the Top alumni t-shirt

This past weekend, From the Top traveled to Chicago’s Arie Crown Theater to kick off our 12th season, taping a very special radio show as part of the National Education Association’s annual convention. We had 11 fantastic performers on the show, including a septet, and they blew the audience away with their electric performances and inspiring stories of teachers that have made a difference in their lives.

The inspiration continued the next morning with the Arts Leadership Orientation, during which the performers explored the power of music and how they can make a difference in their communities and inspire others. The orientation was held at The Merit School of Music, an organization dedicated to providing musical opportunities to children across the greater Chicago area (including the septet and many other From the Top alumni) – an awesome model of arts leadership in action!

After sharing their own experiences and thoughts on the term during a silent writing activity (pictured above), the group agreed that “Arts Leadership Is..”

1. Helping someone to explore and discover their passions
2. What the world needs now and always
3. Not waiting for someone else to create your path

Deciding on a group name proved to be a far greater challenge! After much debate over the merits of a play on 7-11 (septet + 4 soloists) and a few other random ideas, they finally stumbled upon the perfect solution – “The Unorganized Thoughts”! They made this short film in a nearby park (check out the awesome architecture) to introduce themselves and their message on arts leadership – enjoy!

Learn more about the show by reading this week’s On the Road with Joanne Robinson, and be sure to tune in the week of October 30th to hear the show! Broadcast times can be found here.