A new team. An artist, a musician and singer, and an arts administrator, all with a connection to serving the arts and culture sector of our region. Please welcome Ajené Livingston, the Arts + Business Council’s new manager, who joins Liz Thompson, who stepped into the directorship last fall, and Yair Farkas, valued intern and task extraordinaire at ABC. Together, ABC’s new team brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, strengths, and interests that will expand the organization’s reach and impact. 

We asked Ajené, an artist and community organizer originally from Brooklyn with roots in Chester County, to share more about his new role –  

What change do you want to affect in your new role? 

I’m grateful to be stepping into a body of work that has been established through Liz’s leadership. She has brought new initiatives and strategies to ABC’s activities that I align with. I’m eager to build on that foundation by adding my unique perspective and flavor. I intend to make ABC relevant to even more groups and communities by demonstrating how the organization can support them through their specific situations and challenges. 

What can folks expect from you at the helm of ABC’s leadership and professional development programs? 

Fun. Grit. Liveliness. Interaction. As a performer, I bring a creative approach to the role. I’m not afraid to meet people where they are and offer personalized support to help them navigate their learning. Even when every single person in the room is at a different place, I prioritize the work it takes to bring that collective together. Equity and inclusion are also at my core. I want to develop curriculums that center individuals and groups that can slip through unnoticed or were inadvertently overlooked.  

What are you (un)learning or trying on right now?    

Attachment – every day is a process of letting go and putting on. The biggest lesson for me is listening and being able to be taught. I want to learn as much as I can and by everyone I can. Let it all go and try it all on without the fear of losing myself in the process. The exercise of stretching myself, reassessing, and recalibrating. 

The Spring 2023 Designing Leadership program will examine the theme of belonging. Experiment with workplace culture practices, learn how to maximize mentors and coaches to support (non)linear career growth and build confidence and a toolkit to navigate individual behaviors and ways of thinking. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Elizabeth (Liz) Thompson
Arts + Business Council

Ajené Livingston is a theatre artist and solutions-driven systems thinker. He applies 25 years of arts and entrepreneurial experience through teaching and training individuals, organizations, and movements to build. A matchmaker who clarifies, highlights and mines the needs, goals and objectives of different groups, he finds creative processes to connect people, companies, and organizations to their needs. He lives and embodies the Intersection between the creative and business culture and provides services to support and bolster economic resiliency, including small businesses and minority-owned enterprises. Ajené is on the advisory board of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, board president at Revival Performing Arts Conservatory, and a board member of Coatesville Youth Initiative. He is a world traveler who has performed and participated in workshops, symposiums, plays, and cultural art exchanges throughout Europe, North Africa, the Caribbean Islands, and the United States. 

Sponsored By:

Meridian Bank logo