Plenty, according to Joanna Papada.
"The ideal world of collaboration is the professional theater," says Papada, vice president of operations for the North Side's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild.
Making a theater production run smoothly requires many of the same skills needed to run a business -- a vision of the goal to be achieved, and skilled, dedicated professionals to carry out the task.
Papada makes those kinds of connections easily. That's not surprising, given her background. She won the NCAA Doubles tennis championship in 1975, counseled Penn State's Nittany Lions football team in on-field behavior and has managed national theater companies and Broadway productions, including Tony Award winners "Sweeney Todd" and "Barnum."
She came to Pittsburgh six years ago without a job but with a sense that she would find what she was looking for, and promptly landed work at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in its youth program.
She has an unusual mix of talent and experience, but the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and its sister organization, the Bidwell Training Center, are, in their own right, anything but conventional. The two combine the arts, personal development, skills training and business, and make the mix appear seamless.
Inner city high school students and others learn culinary arts, photography, sculpture, painting and the performing arts in a facility packed with state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated instructors and staffers, many guild alumni. The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's programs are so successful they are being replicated in San Francisco and Denver.
The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and the Bidwell Training Center, says Papada, are driven by the need to serve the students and adults who attend for instruction, so it tends to structure its operations in a bottom-up fashion. On the other hand, the culture of the guild and the center, or of any organization, for that matter, she says, is sustained by the vision of its leadership.
"Organizational culture is something that needs to be set from the top," Papada says. "You just don't inherit culture." How to reach: www.manchesterguild.org or (412) 322-1773