“A Voice for the Arts” an interview with Barry C. Hessenius, author, public speaker and advocate

(Sigh) One of the things I think about sometimes is whether or not, at the end of my life, I’ll feel I’d done all I should have to make the world a better place, (or at least, my little corner of it,) and if I’d lived my life as fully as I could have.

Barry Hessenius should have no such thoughts. His interview was one of the most intriguing I’ve ever had the fortune to conduct. The former legal representative for entertainment greats like Creedence Clearwater and members of the Jefferson Starship, Barry has had life experiences that most of us only dream about.

But by no means has he been living an indulgent, shallow lifestyle. Barry has been a long-time supporter of the arts, sitting on many boards and working with many public service and arts councils. These include being the former Director of the California Arts Council, President and CEO of the California Assembly of Local Agencies, and advisor to the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, just to name a few.

Barry’s devotion is to the arts, but he’s also been a long time political fundraiser and is a nationally recognized expert on advocacy. If you’ve got a cause about which you’re passionate, Barry’s book, Hardball Lobbying for Non-Profits gives you complete and step-by-step instructions on how to get funding for it, and how to make it a cause your politicians will consider vital. Many of the recommendations in this thorough book can work for those who live outside the United States, as well.

However, one of Barry’s achievements by which he was most flattered was his 1993 win of the oxymoronic Funniest Lawyer in San Francisco competition.

Currently, he is authoring two versions of Barry’s Blog, One hosted by the Western States Arts Federation at www.westaf.org/blog and a second one hosted by the Center for Cultural Innovation at www.cciarts.org/blog. These discuss news, opinion and advice for artists and arts administrators. Listen to Barry’s interview as he regales us with his experiences in the entertainment world, and his tireless, endless dedication to art in all its forms. Then read an essay by Barry and learn more about his book on our Guest Writer’s Page


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