025: Artist and nonprofit leader Cheryl Chamblee coaches creatives in times of transition

Why are transitions so difficult and so important to pay attention to? How can artists and arts organizations manage transitions with grace and confidence? Artist and nonprofit leader Cheryl Chamblee discusses her process for moving clients through change and letting go, ultimately supporting them in ‘the hard work of saying no to the good things so they can get to the rewards of the best things.’

Cheryl Chamblee is a writer, strategist, theater-maker, and mama with more than 20 years of experience as both an artist and a nonprofit leader. As co-Artistic and Managing Director of both hands theatre company, she led the making and producing of 10 years of original work in Downtown Durham and beyond. As Executive Director of the Chatham Arts Council, Cheryl recently led the creation of a new focus and identity, including the creation and implementation of the Chatham Artists-in-Schools Initiative. She attributes much of her learning over the last five years to partnerships with caring, engaged artists and Board members in Chatham County. Cheryl’s nonprofit coaching work centers around impact and sustainability, and she coaches leaders, boards, and creatives in times of transition. You can find her at onebrokenteapot.com, and you can see her writing featured in Sirsee, Volume 1, in a new project TBA later this year, and at her website.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! Podcast recorded at Shadowbox Studio in Durham, NC.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Cheryl’s bio.

[1:37] TRANSITIONS: What kinds of transitions are Cheryl’s clients facing? What is Cheryl’s role in supporting them? Her four step process and why the question-asking part is the most important.

[8:11] How did Cheryl develop her process?

[10:08] Why are transitions so difficult for individuals and organizations? And why is it so important to pay attention to those transitional moments?

[13:33] An example of a individual artist leader who Cheryl worked with (a founder expanding her org)

[16:25] LETTING GO: How do artists approach the letting go process? What do we hold onto, what do we let go of, how do we decide? Who do we ask? Why do artists seem to do this easily while making art, but seem challenged when it comes to the business side?

[25:50] “I offer support and perspective and a framework for the hard work of saying no to the good things so that you can get to the rewards of the best things.” THIS IS AMAZING. How did Cheryl come to this powerful statement? How would she help someone wanting assistance with making hard decisions about what to say no to? (And a client example)

[34:32] Cheryl’s observations about her experience as an artist and also as an arts administrator. Artists and admins: let’s show that we care for each other more cuz we’re on the same team. Grace and gratitude.

[40:32] How has the nature of Cheryl’s art-making changed over the last few years? How has she managed her own transitions?

[42:53] What’s next? Writing on her blog: onebrokenteapot.com. April 14:  ClydeFEST 2018 

[44:23] Thank you and sign-off

Artist Soapbox podcast is a listener supported podcast. If you listen, please support the podcast by sharing episodes with friends and contributing via our Patreon campaign.

If you have feedback, questions, suggestions, please email artistsoapbox@gmail.com. FEEDBACK IS EVERYTHING TO ASBX.

Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

Scroll to Top