Elise Bernhardt

I love being in my 60’s.  My erratic “career” moved from dancer/choreographer/waitress to producer of large scale site-specific productions to Executive Director and CEO for larger and larger organizations to realizing that I needed and wanted a more independent and creative path. I “reinvented” , starting Fleur Elise Bkln when I was 61. Over the last 10 years I worked on resurrecting the Jerusalem International Fellows: A Cultural Residency Program which I started in 2010 and which took place very successfully this past Spring.

I feel most confident when I am working with artists and communities and creating connections, facilitating relationships, and seeing the changes that result. I relish the opportunity to talk with leaders about their challenges and help them with the benefit of my own experiences. In general I don’t take no for an answer. And when I love something I am VERY enthusiastic.

I was really ambitious at 50.  I wanted to climb the Executive ladder in the arts field.  I realized that managing people is not something I enjoy. Working with a small team is my preference.

I have always exercised.  I am more disciplined now. And take better care of my skin. I am not a vain person.  I generally dress without looking in the mirror.  While I still have trouble with my aging appearance, I value my strength and energy as an important part of what makes me attractive. Finally, I believe in a regular spiritual practice.

My advice: Trust your instincts.  Stick with what you feel is right.  Spend more time with your children.