Holly Kranker: Bring Your Whole Self to Work

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At NPQ, respect for our readers’ work, intelligence, and insight is core to all we do. And, indeed, research says that the nonprofit workforce is motivated differently than the other two sectors. So, we thought we would go out and ask them. The result is this special online series that will run every workday for the next month, illuminating what motivates each of twenty profiled workers.

We think much of what they say will resonate with you, but this is also who NPQ serves each day. They are why our work is so important, and NPQ can’t exist without your contributions.

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holly

Holly Kranker is the international residency program manager at the Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska.

Why NPQ serves Holly proudly…

When I relocated to Omaha, I was pretty engaged. Jumping into the community, I became involved with the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, where I’m currently the residency program manager. Just by attending openings, being involved in programming, being involved in events, meeting the artists and residents, I began this journey. Being immediately immersed in the arts community was really important to me as an individual, because I’m also a practicing artist.

At the end of the day, the work I’m doing directly impacts one artist at a time, by providing them with time, space, and support through a residency while asking, “What do you need, and what can we do for you that can help you achieve what you desire?” But knowing that same empathy and care will continue and be passed on because of the work they’re doing—that what we’ve invested in them, they will continue to invest, and work harder to achieve what they want—that, to me, is what’s most rewarding. It’s not just about selling a piece of artwork or making a dollar; it’s the idea that these ideas will continue to grow, more research will be done, more topics will be discussed and conversations will begin to unfold, and that activism for working towards a better community and a better world will be achieved by taking time to invest in another person in this way. I think that’s really important.

More awareness and more exposure and more support on a national level are important, but it’s also region-specific as well. Sometimes, there appears to be a hierarchy of needs where the arts always ends up at the bottom. We see it in school systems and we see it in communities. I think we need to constantly remind ourselves we have to embrace art programs. It’s necessary for the arts to be a part of our daily lives, and we have to acknowledge it and build it up.

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Why Holly cares about NPQ…

NPQ highlights the tricky stuff, the difficult things to talk about. They cover success, which is great, but also when there are failures, and then allowing that to be a tool and a resource for information that can inform your decisions. It’s truly real talk about what’s really going on in the places where we work.