Your Museum as an Essential Community Space

Staff Picks

NAS produces publications, videos and other management tools to inspire those working in the field to take a fresh look at their work and the challenges they face. Over the last few years we have amassed quite a large catalog of content. We’ve sent NAS staff members into the archives to pick their favorites and share them here. This week NAS’ Program and Accounting Coordinator, Pearl Bickersteth, shares one of her favorite NAS videos. Museums are often thought of as places for quiet, introspective, cultural learning experiences. Nina Simon, … [Read more...]

The Earthquake is Coming. How Do We Withstand it?

A soldier watches as a fiddler plays a tune in the ruins of Baalbek, Lebanon. A somewhat perfect juxtaposition and incredibly beautiful reminder. (C) Taylor Craig

Crisis is everywhere. We are surrounded by it. It’s in the news headlines, in the text we just got from a family member and even in the daily operations of our organizations. Crisis can be both internal and external, personal and public. Personally, it feels as if we are surrounded yet distant from this word and its meaning. When it is not taking place in our backyard, we often don’t think or feel the effects of a crisis so intensely. The ways in which we react to crisis situations are shaped by our identity. I believe organizations have … [Read more...]

Failure or Success: What are we more afraid of? A Leading Innovation in Arts & Culture Conversation

Photo by Martin Fisch via Flickr

We’ve just wrapped our first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture. This unique course was created by Dave Owens at Vanderbilt University and customized for the arts and culture sector by National Arts Strategies. This eight-week course, offered on the Coursera platform, brought more than 9,000 artists, arts administrators and cultural entrepreneurs from around the world together to discuss the specific constraints to creating good ideas in our field and to build strategies for successful innovation. This … [Read more...]

The Myth of the Lone Genius: A Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture Conversation

Photo by Kapil Karekar via Flickr

We’ve just wrapped our first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture. This unique course was created by Dave Owens at Vanderbilt University and customized for the arts and culture sector by National Arts Strategies. This eight-week course, offered on the Coursera platform, brought more than 9,000 artists, arts administrators and cultural entrepreneurs from around the world together to discuss the specific constraints to creating good ideas in our field and to build strategies for successful innovation. This … [Read more...]

The Leader and The Manager: A Leading Innovation in Arts & Culture Conversation

Photo by Olivier Carré-Delisle via Flickr

We’ve just wrapped our first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture. This unique course was created by Dave Owens at Vanderbilt University and customized for the arts and culture sector by National Arts Strategies. This eight-week course, offered on the Coursera platform, brought more than 9,000 artists, arts administrators and cultural entrepreneurs from around the world together to discuss the specific constraints to creating good ideas in our field and to build strategies for successful innovation. This … [Read more...]

Do you need the matrix?

The Audit Committee will see you now.

What is a board matrix? A board matrix (composition grid, etc.) for the governing board of a nonprofit organization is a tool that methodically attempts to first inventory the needs of an organization at board level, then the alignment between these needs and both current and potential board members. These needs can include skills & competencies, intrinsic qualities (race/ethnicity, gender, age, residence, sexual orientation), resources, networks or anything the organization values. Matrices range wildly in complexity, from simple to … [Read more...]

The Courage to Fail

Photo by Chris Potter via Flickr

Several years ago, while trying to broaden my culinary skill, I had a dear friend over to dinner and I tried a new recipe. I was attempting to make crepes with a small, stainless-steel pan. I’m pretty sure I missed an ingredient in the recipe, the pan was significantly too small to make the delicate, thin crepe, it stuck to the pan and cooked a little too long to make the perfect texture. The crepes ended up rubbery, thick and completely disgusting! My friend, who was a gracious guest, offered that we could grab a bite out instead and call it a … [Read more...]

What is Creative Placemaking?

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This whole conversation began as a means to talk about creative placemaking. What is it? What is its role and why should we care? We’ve spent the last few weeks hearing from our Creative Community Fellows and you. Today we want to wrap up the discussion by tackling the biggest question: what is creative placemaking? Amanda Thompson notes that the term creative placemaking acts as an inclusive phrase for a range of arts and culture activities that benefit communities: “Creative placemaking is a nice catch-all phrase that allows artists, … [Read more...]

Scott Burkholder & Ali Fadlallah: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Scott Burkholder is an entrepreneurial minded, art promoting engineer based in Baltimore. He oversaw the business side of the Baltimore Love Project, the largest self initiated public art project in Baltimore and is currently working on utilizing art as a tool to teach empathy. Inspired by his teaching experience as an eleventh grade English teacher with Teach for America, Ali Fadlallah merged his passions for music and arts education by founding Personality … [Read more...]

Creative Placemaking: A Reader’s Response

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We asked all of you to join in on this conversation as well. Mary Means works as a consultant for her firm Mary Means + Associates and has extensive experience in community-based strategic planning. Prior to entering consulting, Mary was Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she is best known for having created the National Main Street program. The following are her answers to our questions posed on creative placemaking.   How do you define “community?” It depends on where and what I am working on.  I’m a … [Read more...]