Joan Jeffri Featured in “Women to Watch”
When we think of people to “watch” – we think of people with potential. We usually think of “up-and-comers” rather than “been-there-done-thaters”. Maybe the idea of potential has become too synonymous with youth. We are familiar with slogans such as “40 under 40” and the media buzz they generate. From start-ups to American Idol we tend to look to the young for the next great thing. I have also observed this navigating the contemporary art market where galleries and collectors are focused primarily on “emerging” artists. We love to unlock value and look to spot young talent. However, this spring I met an amazing woman whose work suggests something different: maybe we should be looking for “60 over 60” instead.
Earlier this year I worked on a project with the incredible Joan Jeffri at Columbia University. Joan, the Director of Columbia’s Program in Arts Administration at Teachers College, is also the founder and Director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC). Joan has led a life immersed in the arts, achieving recognition both as a poet and as a professional actress before entering academia. She has gone on to become an accomplished author, educator and award-winning thought leader in the arts. Her interdisciplinary work is at forefront of innovating arts education. She has unearthed some startling facts and she is committed to getting the word out. When it comes to the arts, and perhaps to living in general, older professional artists may be the ones to watch.