Next Friday and Saturday (January 23 & 24), CYT leadership will gather for the National Leadership Conference (NLC). This year, the lovely folks at CYT Lafayette, will host the NLC. To get a feel for the magic & mayhem sure to ensue, I did a quick Q&A with one of the NLC coordinators, Dr. Heather LaForge (sound familiar? She’s also the Director of Operations over at CYT Inc.). Here’s what she had to say:
What is the NLC?
The NLC (National Leadership Council) Conference is a gathering of CYT Leadership from across the nation. We gather twice: once in January at the appropriately named “NLC Conference” and once during EXPO.
When did it start & why?
The NLC was started in 2006 and was a gathering of Board of Directors from across the country. As a group they firmed up the CYT Model that we now share with all of our affiliates. Their initial purpose was designed “to give input to the National CYT Board of Directors as it preserves and extends the Vision/Mission/Values of CYT Programs across the nation.”
Is there a theme for this year’s NLC?
We choose a theme for the year that goes along with our EXPO theme and is based on the expressed needs of the affiliates. This year’s 2015 theme is “Unity Starts At Home.” Our 2015 Verse that goes along with our theme is Romans 15:5-7.
Who is attending?
Typically at the NLC we see the Board Chairs, ADs, MDs, and ACs . But in the past years, we’ve seen an increase of other staff too, which has been so great! More board members are attending as well as marketing personnel, costumers, and more. The NLC is a wonderful opportunity to sit down and learn from one another. It’s a uniting experience, as we all realized how connected CYT is.
What is the goal of the NLC?
We believe the NLC is an opportunity for training, the sharing of experiences, and encouragement.
How do you choose a host city?
Well, there’s a number of ways, but since it’s in January and the conference is so short (1.5 days), we try to aim for a warm location! But last year, Atlanta experienced freezing weather while we were there, so our plans didn’t quite work. However, we all made it and had a ball all snuggled together.
This isn’t the first NLC you’ve attended, correct?
I’ve been the past two years, since the NLC went on hiatus while I was the AD of CYT Santa Cruz. When I started working for CYT Inc., Sheryl Russell and I decided that we really needed to offer a time for affiliates to gather outside of EXPO, so we quickly planned the NLC in 2013 in Houston.
What was your fave part about previous NLCs?
My favorite part over the past years has been the opportunity for CYT leadership to gather and really focus on our collective mission of service. Our annual EXPO is super fun, and totally exhausting because of all the students in attendance. However, the NLC is different: still so fun, but really different in its focus. We gather without the students, as like-minded adults, to discuss the best way to lead our kids. I love hearing the stories of what goes on around the country. We get dedicated time to talk about potential ideas for the nation. The My CYT Story Competition came out of an idea from CYT Indy at the 2013 NLC.
What is your job at the NLC this year?
I’m hosting again. I’m sure someday people will get tired of seeing me up front (since I host at EXPO too).
For now, however, I host because I’m the one who works with the host city and selects the speakers. I love working with people on what they will share. It feels like we never have enough time for all the ideas!
Any shout outs to key peeps helping out at this year’s NLC?
Dana Berkus (Board Member of CYT Lafayette) has been incredibly helpful. She found our hotel, arranged our meals, got a guest speaker, etc. She’s amazing! Also everyone at CYT Lafayette has been incredibly helpful, as well as our CYT Inc. staff of course.
Ok. Last question. If the NLC was an animal, what animal would it be?
A Narwhal. (Obviously)
Wow. A Narwhal in Lafayette. Well, I for one, can’t wait to see those pictures.Thanks for the deets, Heather!
It’s 2015! Can you believe it? One of my fave CYT mantras is “Act, Sing, Dance, Live!” I’m gonna try to do more of all of those things in 2015 and not just in the theatre! Maybe I’ll even get myself a little mug with that slogan on there as a reminder…
What a thrill to begin a new year full of possibility and so many opportunities to Act, Sing, Dance, & Live. One of the new opportunities I’ve been presented with, is communicating with you all here on this blog. My name is Summer Moshy, and I will be just one of the voices you will be hearing from this year on the CYT Blog (I’m also the Curriculum Developer at CYT, Inc.). Another contributing voice will be Renee Kauffman (our Creative Director at Inc.), as well as a host of other magically exciting individuals (because, honestly, Renee & I can only be captivating like once a month, at most, and since this is a weekly blog, well, you can do the math). Krista, our previous blog editor, did an amazing job in this capacity and we hope to continue spreading the light & joy as she did while at the helm of our blog.
Act, Sing, Dance, & Live! Phew, that’s a lot to do all at once. (Quiet down all of you triple-threats out there…sheesh.)
Maybe I’ll start with just the Act part, first…
Act, literally means, “to do something” (in fact, the word “drama” comes from the Ancient Greek word, “dran” meaning, “to do”). One of the best things we can do, is let others know that we see them and what they are doing, and that what they are doing matters to us. Lonliness and invisibility hurts so deeply. So, let’s work together to let each other know, “Hey! I see you over there! And I like it!” If you feel so called, check out these CYT affiliates Facebook pages (linked below) and let them know you see them by “liking” their pages, or better, yet, go see one of their shows & like them in person!
We promise, we like you, too.
Emily Longhofer and Hannah Beck, students from Mill Valley High School who are involved with CYT Kansas City, were featured in their school newspaper today- also published at MVNEWS.org.
Both girls chat about the pros and cons of being involved with CYT, as well as the opportunities that have gone their way:
“I don’t have any spare time. It’s hard to manage school and CYT,” Longhofer said. “It definitely affects school, but it’s 100 percent worth it. It helps me grow as a person….you have to make a lot of sacrifices for this. It means I can’t be involved in school or have a job. This is my life.”
“We both take dance classes, so it’s more time we spend there, but we love it,” Beck said. “I saw a show when I was in fourth grade. I saw kids up there that were my age and I got really interested into it.”
“I’ve met so many people and had so much fun, I really want to be a dance teacher and hope I can choreograph shows for CYT one day,” Longhofer said. “Our faith really keeps us going, the people there are amazing and we know we have Jesus.”
“We’ve gotten the chance to go dance in NYC, go to San Diego and hopefully soon we will be able to meet CYT people from around the nation,” Beck said. “I love the impact we can have on other people,” Beck said. “I get to serve the Lord and do I what I love. It’s awesome.”
You can read the complete article, by Krisitina Milewski, here.
As CYT signed up to participate in Blog Action Day 2010, we thought about how water is connected to the arts and to youth. Immediately, Charity: Water came to mind.
If you grew up in America, chances are you have had access to clean drinking water your whole life. If you can, try to forget about your comfortable couch and fridge full of bottled water for a second…
According to Charity: Water, a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations, “Almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.” ONE IN EIGHT.
In Africa alone, economic loss resulting from an absence of clean water and sanitation equates to $28 billion, or circa 5% of GDP.
There’s an African proverb that states “It takes a village to raise a child”- likewise, it takes a well to nourish a village. Here is a likely scenario that could improve the lives of children to become more educated in both the sciences and the arts:
As CYT HYPE Programs are accepting applications around the nation, this HYPE promo says it all.
HYPE stands for High School Youth Pursuing Excellence. These are the teens of CYT, tomorrow’s community leaders. HYPE is a program through which high school youth involved in CYT can develop their leadership capacity. These teens are hyped about CYT and the positive impact that it can have on their community.
The 4th Annual Mashable Awards are here! One of the categories available is “Must-Follow Non-Profit” and we are asking our CYT Family to nominate “cyt.org” as we promote the CYT Brand.
The nomination period ends Sunday, November 29th, 2010. The top 5 from each category will be included in the voting period, starting on December 1st, 2010. You can place your nomination, by following these four easy steps:
1. Visit Mashable.com/Awards
2. Log in via Twitter or Facebook
3. Choose a Category (Must-Follow Non-Profit) and Nominee (cyt.org)
4. Submit Your Nomination. You can nominate once per day, so make sure to make it a habit of nominating “cyt.org” every single day!