Alumni Testimonial: Josue Cruz

Josué A. Cruz is the managing principal at LMC Consulting, Inc., an arts education consulting organization serving Northeast Florida. With over 15 years in education, he works to ensure access to and equity in arts education. He is a class of 2015 CAELI alumni and proud of it.

Why did you decide to apply to CAELI?

I was encouraged to apply by my superior and once I saw and met some of the previous alumni at the Guild's 2014 Conference for Community Arts Education I saw that the group was different in their take on arts education and their impact. I wanted to know what they knew. There was something they had discovered.

What takeaways did you have from CAELI, for yourself and for your organization?

My takeaways were transformative and began right at the moment I realized I could live my personal and professional life right from core values. I was able to re-align my professional desires, as well. CAELI came along in my career path at a perfect time. Most of us were ready to recharge, re-align, and refocus on the great work ahead. It was humbling to realize that I wasn't alone in the journey.

I brought back a fresh and reinvigorated version of myself to my organization. I shook off the plaque build-up, so to speak, while at the seminar. I was able to share ideas and adjust my approach to leadership to increase the health and happiness of our organization.

What were your highlights from the seminar week at Bryn Mawr?

The camaraderie with like-minded folks. The discovery of amazing things occurring all over this country with respect to quality art education. The setting at Bryn Mawr was perfect. The speakers were amazing, the program was well-paced, and the atmosphere was judgment-free. I had not experienced that kind of catharsis in some time and it was welcomed.

How did working with Ronnie Brooks, John McCann, and Mary Parish impact your thoughts on leadership?

The attention and insight provided by this group of professionals extends far beyond the simple classroom setting. Ronnie, John, and Mary made every single one of us an individual priority. It was a testament to the type of leadership I hope all present or future arts leaders represent. Give every person you speak with your undivided attention and be deliberate about your conversations.

And Ronnie Brooks is an angel that has come down from heaven for a bit of time to make us all smile. IMO.

Do you keep in touch with our CAELI alumni network?

Yes. With most, it’s through a simple Facebook group, but for some there are individual emails and phone calls that occur.

What advice would you give to a prospective CAELI applicant?

Be open to the growth that will occur. I was skeptical, at first, of what I would actually achieve through CAELI, but what I received was much greater than anything I could have ever expected. Apply to CAELI with the attitude that the work and the process can always improve and, as a leader, there is room for growth.