Speaker Spotlight: Beth Malone, arts entrepreneur
Beth Malone works to empower artists to ignite communities with their work and Creative Loafing recently named her to their “Person to Watch” list. She was part of the Ford Motor Company’s 2015 National Gathering of Innovators and currently serves on committees at Forward Arts and the American Art Museum.
Dashboard, Malone’s curatorial venture that encourages artistic risk-taking and immersive practice has presented award-winning exhibitions in cities nationwide including Atlanta, New Orleans, New York and Detroit. It has been a springboard for the careers of 125 artists and has received financial awards from: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Wish Foundation, Arthur M. Blank Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, and many more.
TEDxPeachtree recently chatted with Beth.
TEDxPeachtree: What is it about your work that keeps you going?
Beth Malone: I’m in love with the challenge of it all. I love watching an audiences eyes light up when they walk into one of our shows. I love getting to support artists and actually pay them to make work. Making cool things happen for my city and any city keeps me going. I want life to feel full and authentic, experiencing art does this for me. I might be addicted.
TEDxPT: What is your passion?
TEDxPT: What’s the one place you visited that you’ll never forget and why?
Malone: Lightning Fields by Walter de Maria in the desert of New Mexico. Its a massive art piece by de Maria that’s comprised of 400 lightning rods placed in a grid pattern in the desert. In the center of this grid is a tiny log cabin that you go spend the night in and hope for lightning…
The landscape blew me away. I’m used to trees and vantage points, not 360 degrees of horizon. The desert is all sky. It scared me, in a good way, in that heart-pounding way we associate with crushes and 16 year-old teens. A rare find for a 34-year-old.
I went with buds too, there’s nothing like experiencing new things with your best buds.
TEDxPT: Describe an unforgettable moment.
I have a lot of happy ones, but the thing coming to mind is this:
My dad has dementia and I remember the exact moment he slipped away from us. We were sitting in a hospital eating smarties and he told me he was going to be “lost after this.” I said something in return, and in an instant he kind of slid into a new way of being in the world.
It was a very potent, poignant moment for me. It was full of humor and grace and heartache. I’m grateful I was with him.
TEDxPT: Three words that describe you.
Malone: Optimistic, authentic, moody.
TEDxPT: What are your 3 favorite arts organizations?
Malone: I love Flux Projects, WonderRoot and Atlanta Contemporary
TEDxPT: Share your top 3 favorite permanent spaces to view art.
TEDxPT: This year’s theme is “Together” What does “together” mean to you?
Malone: It means ousting your ego and being able to admit when you need help. It means being able to admit what your strengths are and come clean about your weaknesses. It means being vulnerable. It means unity, strength, full hearts. I love togetherness. I’m not always great at it.