Art and Board of Director Engagement…


Happy Friday!

On Tuesday, December 6th, I had the honor and pleasure to discuss some of the things I am most passionate about in life and in Charlotte, NC. As part of the #discussclt podcast which is produced by Charlotte Magazine ( I was interviewed by Andy Smith and Andy Goh [The 2 Andy’s as I called them!) about my art and board of director involvement along with how others can get involved.

Take time to listen to the podcast and let me know what you think!

Have an awesome day!


Keith Cradle (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)


Art Engagement…

Happy Thursday All!

One of the things I am really passionate about is art engagement and arts education. Having lived in NY and Charlotte, NC, I have seen what cultural arts brings to a city and how it enhances a community. I am blessed to be able to sit on the Boards of several arts/cultural institutions here in Charlotte.

During my tenure, I feel it is incumbent of me to provide education and opportunities for all to experience the art in our community. So I was humbled and honored when the Bechtler asked me to feature in their latest installments of membership drive videos. Take a look and listen to how I briefly discuss art places and art spaces as community zones and providing culture for all.


Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]


Good Afternoon and Happy Thursday!

I pray that you all are having a great day and I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of those at WDBJ Television who are mourning the loss of their loved ones that were murdered senselessly yesterday in Roanoke, VA.  Words cannot explain.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend the Arts and Science Council’s presentation on Nonprofit Finances and Sustainability at the Levine Museum.  One thing I mention I a lot in my posts is financial health and resource allotment.  It is hard to be a viable organization if you do not have the funds or take care of the funds you procure.  Funding, health, growth, sustainability go hand in hand.  So whether you are an executive, manager, board member, volunteer, etc… you should be familiar with the financial statements and learn how read them!

Which brings me to the title and topic of this post, PRIORITIES.  Organizations are like life forms and will evolve through several different stages in the course of their life span [ I did my JSW Coffee Talk on this topic a few weeks back].  In those life spans, you will need to determine where you are and how you will navigate what you are. Hence, your PRIORITY.  Identifying where you are can help you determine what you need to do. According to Rebecca Thomas at Rebecca Thomas & Associates, there are four PRIORITY areas you can be in at any given time:

  1.  Stabilize
  2. Survive
  3. Thrive
  4. Steward

Most nonprofits float between “survive and thrive” while many never reach the “steward” phase or fall into “stabilize.”  Each PRIORITY area has goals and observable symptoms and traits.  Taking time to assess this and create hard data will save you time and money in the long run. It may also help you develop a surplus with which you can expand services/programs.

So what’s your PRIORITY? If you do not know, you need to find out!

Have an awesome day.


Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

4 Things Successful Businesses Do Differently…

Good Morning All,

It’s Friday and the start to a new weekend! Before we get there, I want to shed some light on a few things that successful businesses do often and differently. Owners, managers, staff that apply these simple principles to their workday, development strategy or organizational culture seem to find increasingly more happiness, results and positive outcomes.

So take a look, see if you can use them and find ways to do it differently!

1.  Successful businesses maintain a strong organizational culture that emphasizes core values: High standards create high achievers!

2.  Successful businesses let go of self-defeat: No matter how many times you may have lost, the next big win is right around the corner! We all go through ups/downs in a financial cycle but you must be prepared, release the fear and speak positivity.

3.  Successful businesses adapt, flow and accept change: Some people say you should not have a plan B. I disagree, you should have strategies/plans for all scenarios, be prepared for change and move accordingly. Markets change all the time, is your product/service recession proof?

4.  Successful businesses are honest and transparent: They accept the blame when it is theirs to shoulder. They understand that being truthful and courageous in the times when it is least expected are more often the times when it is needed the most.

I hope these short points help you as you develop or continue to nurture your business!

Cheers to your journey.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on Twitter/IG]

Community Engagement…

Good Morning All,

July is rapidly upon us and that brings hot weather and cookouts [hopefully!]. But it also brings great opportunities to engage your community and the audience you serve with your nonprofit or business practices.  During the summer months, people are out and about which provides great chances to leverage PR, volunteering and fundraising.

Well, how can you do that? I am glad you asked. Here are three quick reference points that can help you get started and get on the road to effective community engagement.

1.  Understand and explore the local community values: You must have a firm grasp on the community you wish to engage. So that means identifying and assessing the values of the community.

2.  Using creative methods to increase community involvement: The people who live in the affected areas are your stakeholders. You need to engage them in ways they find interesting and encouraging.  Go beyond traditional methods and look for nontraditional methods!

3.  Before starting any long-term projects, get the community input: By engaging in any projects, get tons of feedback from the community. This way you know exactly what they will and won’t support. It’s called “community engagement” for a reason….LOL

Getting the community to come out and support short or long-term takes time and dedication. So find ways to engage and encourage. You will find that all ideas are not good ideas but you won’t know until you try! Every community, every neighborhood and every project is different.

Have an awesome summer!


Keith Cradle

Merging Our Youth with Arts and Culture Interview…

Good Morning All and Happy Friday!

One of my greatest passions is connecting youth and young adults with arts and culture in our community. Last night I had the honor and privilege to discuss that passion on internet radio with radio host Adrian Harper. If you have some time, listen to the interview via the link provided below!

Have an awesome Friday!


Keith Cradle

How to Build a Better Block by Jason Roberts

Show up! Give it a name. Set a date and publish it. Those are the tips from Jason Roberts as he delivers a very powerful Ted Talk on engagement and community development. Please take a look at the video and learn how one person can transform an entire community.


Keith Cradle