The Sandwich Week of MLK Day and the President Inauguration 2017: We Need the Heartists!


This week:

  • Rather than lamenting those that did in the past, or those that might in the future, could YOU be the person this world has been waiting for right now?
    • 4 Truths to Unleash the Creative Genius Within You
  • The Politics of Social Change:
  • How can I create some measurable social value for the people that I’m trying to help?”
    • 4 Evidence-Based Principles for Creating Measurable Social Value:
  • 10 Illustrations that show just how much the internet has changed our lives:

Could YOU be the Person this World has been Waiting for?
4 Truths to Unleash the Creative Genius Within You from the 4th Annual Artie Awards Presentation – 2017 Mission Fed ArtWalk & Featured Artist Reveal
This week I had the opportunity once again on behalf of Mission Fed to co-host the Artie Awards at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego along with Kristen Cusato, former KUSI anchor, now at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Here are the remarks that seemed to resonate for the crowd and avid supporters of arts and culture in San Diego and might resonate for the “heartist” in you…

Happy New Year 2017 me (He)arties!
It’s another run around the sun & this one year finds us sandwiched between MLK Day and the Inauguration of a New President with significant implications for our country and the planet. Maybe closer to home and our own personal canvas, maybe we have new aspirations for ourselves?

“You can judge an artist by the size of the problem s/he tackles. While other people cope with the waves, it’s their job to watch the tide.” (Anthony Jay).

Along with this interesting sociological sandwich (MLK & Trump), San Diego has just experienced a unique alignment of sun, moon and earth to create a King Tide and today, I hope we can both understand and ride that King tide.

Don’t doubt that “One individual can begin a movement that turns the tide of history. Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement, Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi in India, & Nelson Mandela in South Africa are great examples of people standing up with courage, compassion and connection to bring about needed changes.” (Jack Canfield)

But could that individual also be you?

Could you be the person this world has been waiting for?

When we create distance between the Kings, the Gandhis, the Mandelas and Mother Theresas. Or the Da Vincis, Picassos, Rembrandts, and Van Goghs and when we put these great ones and others like them on a pedestal, do we preclude our own greatness and our own creative spirit from manifesting?

What world view and what view of ourselves do we hold near and dear? What are the implications of these beliefs for our own activation? And what do these mindsets mean for our future- personally, professionally, globally?

Artists are critical to our future, helping us see differently and they use creativity to shape the innovation economy. Their desire to improve the human condition and see beauty or wonder or possibility is universal.

Today, we walked around and asked people to self-report as risk takers then invited them up to create art with us in the first person.

Why? To give both you and them an embodied experience…

We all value creativity & innovation yet often fail to understand the sequencing of competencies that go into fostering innovation- which is both a process and an outcome (in other words both how you do something and what you get from that something) Innovation cannot occur without a culture that embraces Risk taking.

Fear of risk taking and fear of failure prohibit innovation, yet most of us are spit scared of expressing our creative selves!

Risk taking can only happen in a highly collaborative culture. Even the sole creator needs an ecosystem to ensure their success- those that taught them their craft, those that provide feedback along the way, those that help promote it, those that choose to buy it or otherwise support or sponsor the artist and those that emulate them to launch their own body of work.

And most important of all, a collaborative culture will NOT manifest without the core value of trust at its base.

Trust begets Collaboration. Collaboration begets Risk Taking. Risk Taking begets Innovation.

Today we proudly celebrate our featured artists and this year’s winners of the Artie Awards. As amazing as each and every one of them are in their own right, they are also symbolic and representative of all of us that; practice our craft, take risks, create climates and cultures of collaboration and embody trust -and as a result make our world better.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support of ArtWalk, arts and culture in San Diego, and “voting with your pocketbook” by frequenting organizations that align with your values and support your community.

Mission Fed has been a proud sponsor of Artwalk for nearly a decade, and Mission Federal ArtWalk has become a mainstay in our community thanks to your heartistry!

Over time we will all experience the ebb and flow of the tides, and even the strongest among us will doubt ourselves…

For those of you that are faint of (he)art and even for those of you that are not, here are some closing words of encouragement to unleash that creative genius within you:

    1. You matter! You are incredibly capable, creative, worthy, powerful and valuable. If your life script to this point has suggested otherwise, rewrite the damned script.
    2. Trust deeply in your self-efficacy! YOU got this! The two things that really matter are your belief in yourself, and the systems belief that it can positively impact and bring out the best in each of us. Let’s ensure these are non-negotiables in San Diego as we behave into America’s finest city and America’s kindest region
    3. Identify your unique creative strengths and design a life that capitalizes on them!
    4. You don’t have to go this alone! Surround yourself with kindred spirits and fellow travelers that share the same values, aspirations and have got your back on this incredible journey as you have theirs. No one of us is as wise as all of us. (Remember: smart people think they know everything, intelligent people know they don’t know everything, and wise people realize how little they know)


In a world of coders, (he)artists serve as the de-coders and sense makers, seekers and shamans, mystics and madmen that with courage, compassion and connection hold the creative space and design the compelling model to unleash our people’s & planet’s greatest potential and possibility.

So back to the tides…

“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” — Kristin Armstrong &

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

And the Artie goes to…

The Politics of Social Change:
Involved with a Nonprofit? Here is something that might benefit you on Wednesday January 25th

Dear Friend and Ally,
As we welcome in 2017, I find myself thinking about what lies ahead for our sector and the people it serves. Many nonprofit organizations will face a new set of challenges with the incoming administration. There will be shifts in policy and philanthropy that will make the fundraising landscape more competitive, and attention will be focused on organizations that stay in the hearts and minds of stakeholders.

Nonprofits will need to create strategies that address the pressing needs of those who will be affected, within the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency and beyond. While doing so, they will also require a new framework that clearly emphasizes the stakes of the moment, in order to protect and sustain progress.

Over the past few weeks, I have had a number of conversations with nonprofit leaders who have wanted direction about how to best navigate this new climate. I have decided to host a conference call this coming Wednesday, January 25th, from 1:30pm-2pm EST/10:30am-11am PST, to candidly discuss the challenges and opportunities organizations may face within our rapidly changing landscape.

It is my hope that the 30-minute call will help organizations assess how they can participate in the national narrative to be heard, amidst an unsettled and frenzied news and philanthropy landscape.

Since 2003, I have served as a trusted advisor to organizations around the country that are focused on social change. While much uncertainty lies ahead, I believe that my deep knowledge about the politics of social change, and mastery at advancing the efforts of nonprofits, will add value as you ponder next steps.

The political shift we are experiencing will have far-reaching effects on underserved and marginalized communities, requiring a greater urgency for organizations to be seen and heard by key decision makers. While nonprofit organizations have always been on the front lines of social change, in this new day, they will need to represent their mission in ways that are consistent with the current state of affairs.

To register for the call, please RSVP to Jennifer Lynn at You will receive the access credentials for the call upon registration. 

I look forward to speaking with you on the call.

In solidarity,

Vanessa Wakeman
Chief Executive Officer
The Wakeman Agency 212-500-5953 x110
New York – Silicon Valley


How can I create some measurable social value for the people that I’m trying to help?”
Four Evidence-Based Principles for Creating Measurable Social Value:

On a Lighter Note…
10 Illustrations that Show Just How Much the Internet has Changed Our Lives:

Thanks this week go to the Mission Fed ArtWalk and Artie team, Vanessa W and the Wakeman Agency, Jeff J and Rescue, and Vinny R and team Aoinagi

Pay it forward. The time is now. YOU are the one we have been waiting for…

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“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve…
You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King

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