Ira Hall: Performing Arts Center Trust chair builds on diversity
Ira Hall’s newest position as chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors is just the latest of his many commitments to engage local communities through public service.
Coming from a musically inclined family, Mr. Hall said he always gravitated towards the arts, playing saxophone in bands from middle school through college. After graduating, he decided to pursue “the professional road” but kept playing in his spare time.
Throughout his career, Mr. Hall has always made space to engage in public service, taking time off from Hewlett-Packard out of college to create an organization that leveraged local leaders to address minority community problems after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He later volunteered in non-political government roles. To maintain a successful career, Mr. Hall said, “I knew I had to be good enough at my job that I could keep my job while staying engaged on evenings and weekends.”
When it comes to addressing local issues, Mr. Hall favors an action-oriented approach over developing “debate societies.” He says local leaders shouldn’t “just talk about problems, but go do something, because if you do it, you’ll get all the debate you can handle, but if you just set out to debate, you’ll never get to action.”
Though Mr. Hall says the Arsht Center is “wonderfully diverse” in both programming and audiences, it should never be taken for granted, but should be constantly monitored to ensure success. “The fact that you are good at diversity today is no guarantee that you’ll be anywhere close to good tomorrow,” he says. To maintain diversity, Mr. Hall says “it takes constant attention, a commitment to continuous improvement, a statement at the top, policies and practices in the middle and results at the ground.”
Miami Today reporter Gabi Maspons interviewed Mr. Hall at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center. The interview was recorded by Jahmoukie Dayle, and can be found at http://bit.ly/2uNHy0Q.
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