But . . . How?

Questions

Over two and a half years ago, I began this blog as a means of advocacy for community engagement on the part of arts organizations. While that's not been the sole topic of the posts, it has dominated. I am now beginning a new phase of my work (to which I have alluded before) in which I will try to be somewhat more practical–focusing on the process of helping arts organizations transition to a more community-focused way of being. When I do … [Read more...]

40 Years Engaged

KronosQuartet

Sunday's New York Times article on the Kronos Quartet reminded me of one early step on the beginning of my pilgrimage as a community engagement advocate. (Kronos Quartet's 40-Year Adventure) Over 35 years ago, I had coffee with David Harrington in a small café across the street from the Eastman Theatre. I was a doctoral student at Eastman and the Quartet was doing a residency at the school. I had been blown away by a concert of theirs (some … [Read more...]

UX Design

DosMacLogin

I recently learned a new concept: User Experience Design. (Thanks Devon Smith and Barry Hessenius–Barry's Blog Interview with Devon Smith.) Once again I find that a product development/management concept from the information technology world resonates with community engagement work. (I mentioned the idea of "community manager" in How to Engage.) The essence of UX Design is fairly self-explanatory. How can the experience of the end user of the … [Read more...]

Tapping FOMO

FOMO

Last summer I read a NY Times article about MoMA's  "Rain Room" installation. (Steamy Wait Before a Walk in a Museum’s Rain) The installation itself sounded interesting, a room that "rains" but knows where people are and doesn't rain on them. In other words, no one gets wet. Fascinating technology and an intriguing experience. However, what really struck me was the new concept I learned reading the article: FOMO, Fear of Missing Out. One … [Read more...]

Inspire, Delight, and Surprise

InspireDelightSurprise

It has been a while since I have cribbed from Nina Simon here. The time is right. Her recent post, Hack the Museum Camp, Part 2, was a lot of fun, with much good food for thought about our curatorial and management processes. In it she describes an adult summer camp for museum professionals and artists in which teams devised exhibits for an exhibition of work from the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History collection. There are good lessons there … [Read more...]

Inside Out in Illinois

Illinois

Inside Out: Arts and Community, was the biennial One State Together in the Arts conference presented by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Held June 24-25 in Moline, I was privileged to have been invited to speak and present a mini-workshop. OK. Imagine me at a statewide conference devoted exclusively to the arts and community engagement. Got the picture? Yep. Hog heaven. But as an indication of how much I've been on … [Read more...]

Rural Communities, Urban Neighborhoods

Rural-Urban

(Note: I'm just back from a fascinating trip to Beijing, speaking to arts management educators from around China at the China Conservatory of Music. I'll have some to say about what I learned in the future. For now, I was struck, once again, by how the concern for community engagement in the arts is by no means limited to the U.S.) -------------------- Last time (Lessons from the Road) I gave an overview of the lessons of my last four months of … [Read more...]

Lessons from the Road

north america - Google Maps

Since mid-January I have been on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. (and Toronto). I have kept thinking I am going to stop and reflect on all I've learned. So far, though, there's not been time. But I thought I'd at least take a few moments to thank all of those with whom I have worked and offer a couple of significant takeaways.   I've commented previously on the cool examples of hip-hop, Hispanic, and Indian (as in subcontinent) dance … [Read more...]

Engaged Fundraising: II

When last we met, I talked about community engaged fundraising providing the option of gaining us access to more diverse funding sources. [Engaged Fundraising: I (More Pies)] Here, I am revisiting the "math" of a former post (Arts 2.0: 40k x $25=$1M) in which I waxed rhapsodic about the potential of crowdsourced fundraising. (NB: As yet another reminder, in these mainstreaming engagement posts I am addressing only those individuals or … [Read more...]

Engaged Fundraising: I (More Pies)

Pies

There is probably no element of the nonprofit arts management structure that better understands the importance of relationships than the development department. Fundraisers spend their life initiating, fostering, and maintaining relationships with individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. Especially with respect to individual donors, they have great clarity about the fact that effective relationship building takes time, often … [Read more...]