NAACBoston: Meet Lecolion Washington

Tell us about your work with the Community Music Center of Boston and the people you work with.

I’m the Executive Director, so I’m responsible for running everything at the Community Music Center.  I serve as the chief decision-maker, strategist, etc. The CMCB staff is amazing.  Close to 70 percent of our staff is people of color.

 

When and why did you join NAAC? 

I joined NAAC when I first arrived in Boston. I moved here in 2017 and I was looking for a community of predominantly Black and Brown folks who worked in the nonprofit arts and the group was really helpful for me in that.  

 

What’s one way that being a NAAC member has been valuable to you?

I would say, on my end, the best thing is the job announcements in your newsletter. As an Executive Director, being able to have such a large group of people to send positions out to is really helpful. And usually, when I send those things out, it’s pretty common that I get an uptick in people who are applying, so that has been extremely helpful for me.

 

What areas of programming or support would you like to see NAAC focus on?

I’m hoping to do more to learn about the other smaller music education organizations in town. Maybe there’s an opportunity to create discussion groups for similar organizations (in music, or dance, etc.) that can help us meet each other directly. That way we can  come up with ways to communicate, collaborate together, and learn how they connect to their own communities.  We all know who the larger groups are, but I’m curious about the groups who are small, those well under the $1 million threshold.

 

Are there specific challenges or areas of improvement that you’d like to see for NAAC, and do you have any suggestions for addressing them?

I think it would be great to have a program that offers professional development to the entire NAAC membership, something that cuts across all disciplines and can help us all raise up ourselves and our organizations.  Trends in fundraising and philanthropy is one idea, you know, creative ways to think about raising money from non-traditional sources or funders most of us wouldn’t usually think of.  It would help to have a clearinghouse of such opportunities and might help to expand everyone’s donor pool.

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