GETTY: Extending a conversation

This June, I was one of twenty-three participants in a leadership roundtable on a particularly compelling and complex topic. Co-sponsored by the Getty Leadership Institute and National Arts Strategies, and held at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the convening brought together fascinating folks from the nonprofit and for-profit side of cultural enterprise to search for key differences and common ground. According to the briefing report:

The purpose of the meeting is to explore the extent to which non-profit and for-profit cultural organizations — museums, orchestras, opera companies, theaters, dance companies on the one hand and the gamut of film, publishing, media, fashion, music, commercial theater, video and related enterprises on the other — have things to learn from one another with respect to both the effective management of creative processes and finding an audience or market for the fruits of their labors.

National Arts Strategies recently posted the pre-event briefing paper by Adrian Ellis and Sonali Mishra (available in pdf format), as well as a summary report (also available in pdf) on what was discussed and discovered.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be hashing through the briefing paper and the conversation as I heard it. Our perceived boundary between nonprofit and for-profit in arts and entertainment — especially when it comes to management — is fertile ground for honest exploration; full of myth and hidden assumptions. The convening in Los Angeles was a great beginning to that conversation, but it’s worthy of a wider world. So stay tuned…