When my friend Sabina Haque tells me to bring a jacket to Oregon, she’s not joking. In Houston the temperatures were scraping the high nineties as I fly out, but once the NAMAC coach arrives in Silver Falls State Park, the air is cold, and I’m glad I listened to Sabina.
Twenty representatives from arts organizations around the US were selected to participate in a five day retreat where we explore our goals, values and ways to develop our own leadership styles. The retreat, led by Dewey Schott, Paula Manley and Sonya Shah, is intense and enriching. Not only do we learn new ways of approaching our world(s), but we also meet and connect with arts organization leaders from around the country who are doing amazing work.
And for once, there isn’t much internet – nor much contact with anyone in the outside world beyond our cabins, the dining room and conference room. And this exit from the real world carves out open space for exploring personal challenges and setting goals.
And while each day is cold and wet, our last full day at the retreat is sunny, perfect for the scheduled hike to view some of the Park’s 10 waterfalls; we close the night with smores at the fire-pit.