An Interview with Afa Dworkin
Daniel Bernard Roumain

Hi! I’m Allison. I currently define myself as a student — in the broadest sense; I’m curious. (I think we are multi-dimensional, sometimes contradictory, beings that try on definitions as we go and I pick a definition for this exercise.) I am especially interested in art in public space because it exists in the world, which in some ways makes it living and often brings surprises.

I found Afa Dworkin’s interview inspiring, especially her clarity of focus. Her optimistic energy and dedication to her mission are incredibly attractive and definitely leadership strengths.

According to The Art of Leadership, artists convey emotional content to engage others (Denhart p25). There is positive leadership built on the type of energy Afa exudes, as well as negative leadership built on emotions like fear and anger (our political climate is an obvious example). It is important to touch on negative leadership, if we are to serve as anecdotes and lead as agents of change.

In addition to emotions, art can also be about ideas and exploration. Is leadership also about ideas? I think there is a loose allusion to this in the Denhart reading on page 8, where it says, “Leadership is about change, moving people in new directions, realizing a new vision, or simply doing things differently and better.” Vision is key; it ties the concepts of timing, space, and energy together. A successful leader must see a big picture — not necessarily perfectly formed — but enough to be able to provide a framework and guidance.

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