Home News & Events Filling the Well: A Podcast for Creative Changemakers

Filling the Well: A Podcast for Creative Changemakers

The last couple of years have been incredibly hard. Amidst all this upheaval, we’ve struggled to know how best to care for our communities. Whether you’re an artist helping to imagine better futures or a leader trying to solve complex problems, you need a break. We all do. So, what’s next? Let’s start by Filling the Well.

In this new podcast debuting on all platforms on February 28, you will hear from ten creative changemakers as they share their takes on how to harness creativity by shifting power dynamics, avoiding burn-out, building authentic community, sharing resources, and advocating for support.

Filling the Well is hosted by award-winning journalist Marianne Combs. “It’s been such a pleasure to have these conversations with some of the most creative minds in the field,” said Combs. “I hope artists and arts administrators will find the Filling the Well series both useful and inspiring as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of this unique moment in history.”

With each podcast episode, you’ll find links to explore these ideas further in the Arts Midwest Ideas Hub. Be the first to hear about new episodes and resources by signing up for the Arts Midwest newsletter and checking the box Professional Development Tools.

Filling the Well is made possible with financial support from the Barr Foundation. Based in Boston, the Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts.


Explore Episodes

Episode 1: Resiliency, Self-Care, and Joy

Creativity can be an antidote to challenging times, but we can’t show up for our communities if we’re burnt out. Dive into the art of taking care of you with two radical self-care strategists, Dr. Joi Lewis and Joe Davis. After the episode, go deeper and explore ways to put self-care at the core of your organization’s culture.

View the Transcript


Episode 2: Shifting Power Dynamics in Philanthropy

For any non-profit, funding is a perpetual worry. But what if philanthropy shifted power and encouraged organizations and communities to dream big? Explore trust-based funding models with two thought leaders, DeAnna Cummings and Tish Jones. After the episode, go deeper and consider how you could shift power and unlock creativity in your organization and beyond.

View the Transcript


Episode 3: Building Belonging & Creating Welcoming Organizations

What does it mean to be a truly welcoming organization and how can arts leaders be more inclusive hosts who foster belonging? Dig into a discussion with two artists who regularly tackle these questions, Ananya Chatterjea and Marcus Young. After the episode, go deeper and explore tangible tools to apply in your own spaces.

View the Transcript


Episode 4: Advocating for the Arts

Launching March 21

At a time when there’s so much need, how can we best advocate for the arts and make changes that last? For two leading advocates, Emily Ruddock and Michelle Ramos, the answer is to start by showing up for others first. After the episode, explore more about how you can shift to solidarity and make meaningful changes to improve everyday lives. 


Episode 5: Resource Sharing & Authentic Community Collaborations

Launching March 28

Have a challenge that needs a creative solution? Rural arts practitioners Ashley Hanson and Anne O’Keefe-Jackson have a simple idea: ask your neighbor! Learn about their collaborations and ideas to improve quality of life through resource-sharing. Spoiler, you can do it too! After the episode, go deeper into ways to test these approaches in your own community. 


Filling the Well Production Team

Host: Marianne Combs
Producer: Emily Goldberg
Master Mix: Eric Romani
Original Music: Dameun Strange
Cover Art: Blackbird Revolt

Learn More