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MAKING WAVES: Creating Innovation Part 3 – Inspiration

June 11, 2020 | Allyson Hitte | Press Room/Blog

For the next few weeks on MAKING WAVES, MMA Executive Director, Stuart A. Chase will be talking about the innovation process, what it takes to be truly innovative, and why this is so important in a COVID – 19 reality. The innovation process involves four key steps: unexpected outcomes, inspiration, overcoming obstacles, and motivation.  This week, Stuart is reflecting on inspiration and what inspires MMA as a leader in the arts community and a trusted community institution.

Inspiration is always fundamental to innovation – but is never so important as in difficult times when we sometimes want to just give in and let crisis and grief overpower us. Over the past three months, I have received inspiration from so many who have supported the Museum and pushed us to keep fulfilling our mission to engage the community with the diversity of California art – past, present, and future.

I am inspired by the artists. Though we all face difficulties, the artist community has been particularly hard hit by the current crisis.  That doesn’t stop them from continuing to push boundaries and find ways to heal our community and speak out against injustice.  This inspires me to keep fighting every day to bring their incredible vision to the Monterey community.

I am inspired by the MMA staff who have truly gone above and beyond.  Despite a nearly 60% loss in revenue over last year, the MMA team has worked tirelessly to bring Museum exhibitions and programs to a digital space with limited time and resources.  They have also held me and each other accountable for maintaining the quality of our work, including insisting that our response to the current racial crisis be the beginning of real change rather than just an empty statement.

But I am most inspired by our community and your unfailing support. We have missed you all so much and we are working hard on a plan that will allow us to open our doors in a way that is both safe to you, our visitors, and supports the financial responsibilities of the Museum. You have inspired us to continue to build our digital assets and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to look for ways to best fulfill our mission and vision in the uncertain future.

I cannot reflect on inspiration without also reflecting on gratitude.  I am so grateful to each and every one of our members, artists, donors, volunteers, and all that have supported us and inspired us to keep fighting the fight. It is an unfortunate fact that many Museums throughout the world won’t survive the current crisis. I am confident, however, that with innovation and teamwork, the Monterey Museum of Art will not be one of them.  Please continue to follow us on social media, share your stories, and give to inspire hope through art in any way you can.