Q-and-A with Polina Ivko: Art Lawyer, Mediator, Speaker, Writer, Philanthropist

woman standingI recently had an insightful conversation with Polina Ivko, a passionate advocate for the arts and entertainment industry. Polina’s journey into entrepreneurship and art law has been fueled by a lifelong passion for creativity and innovation. Read on about her perspectives on the impact of art, leadership in the arts community, and the importance of accessibility in the arts…

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

My passion for art and music has been there since childhood, guiding me into entrepreneurship during my collegiate years. This connection to the community of creatives and innovators is what I cherish most. In my practice of art and entertainment law, I have the privilege of supporting an array of clients, from emerging creators and innovative entrepreneurs to well-established talent, businesses, and philanthropic organizations. The joy that stems from engaging with the arts are unparalleled, and I consider myself fortunate to contribute to ventures that radiate such happiness.

What is one way arts leaders can enhance their impact?

Arts leaders should immerse themselves in the community they serve, engage at a grassroots level, and cultivate a hands-on approach. In my experience, the most effective leaders don’t shy away from the day-to-day operations; they are intimately aware of every facet of their organization, championing a culture of collaboration. By directly participating alongside their teams and actively connecting with a diverse range of individuals, from clients to students and peers, they expand their influence and foster a deeper connection to the arts ecosystem. There’s only so much you can do hiding behind a computer in your top floor corner office.

What is the greatest need facing your organization and/or the arts today?

It depends which part of the arts you examine. In my recent work within the nonprofit sector, particularly with living artists, I’ve observed a pervasive deficit in knowledge and a scarcity of adept advice. A common misconception I encounter is the belief that significant engagement in their social practices and philanthropy must be postponed until the twilight years of life. This is a false; artist need not wait to establish a nonprofit to make an impact. Unfortunately, I see a lack of willingness to innovate beyond conventional frameworks. That’s why my role has evolved into that of a catalyst for change. Tell me your desired outcome, and together, we’ll carve a path to reach it.

Why is making art accessible important?

Making art accessible is essential because it’s a universal language that connects us across different cultures and education levels worldwide. It has the power to educate, inspire, and evoke emotions, often without the need for words. Just as medieval art conveyed complex stories to a largely illiterate audience, today’s accessible art even more so continues to unite people around shared human experiences and values.