An Arts Advocacy Day Conversation in Decatur, GA

The Arts are Calling

Today is Arts Advocacy Day, but for working artists it can feel like every day is arts advocacy day as we continually make the case in each of our communities to support the arts. I consider myself fortunate that I inhabit two worlds - local government as a Planning Director and the performing arts as a choreographer. It surprises me that I spend a large amount of time in both worlds simply trying to engage the community to participate. Whether a transportation planning project or a dance concert I’m often jumping up and down saying, “Hey! Stop … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Conversation in Salt Lake City, UT

The Arts are Calling

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts represents an arts institution that sits within and reports to an institution run by folks outside the field - The University of Utah. A staff member of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts speaks with University President, David Pershing on he views and values the arts. When I say “the arts,” what does that mean to you? The term, “the arts,” symbolizes to me all that is stimulating to the sense in a profound way in the performing arts – from beautiful music (a single voice or a choir, or a single instrument or an … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Day Conversation in Hartford, CT

The Arts are Calling

Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs for the City of Hartford, Connecticut asks her colleagues Brian Matthews, Director of Housing for the City of Hartford and Khara Dodds, Director of Planning for the City of Hartford how they see, value and advocate for the arts. Listen to their conversations below and share what you heard from colleagues outside of the arts.        Advocate for the Arts! Click on the Twitter logo to share this with someone outside the arts. Start a … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Conversation in Thayer, MO

The Arts are Calling

Founder of the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op, Rachel Reynolds Luster poses the three simple questions to a member of her Thayer, MO community. Elizabeth, 16 years old: When I say “the arts,” what does that mean to you? "music, dancing, acting" Where do you see arts in your community? "I don't." Tell me about a moment you connected with arts personally. “Learning to clog dance at Marilynn's Clogging Studio and play guitar.”     Advocate for the Arts! Click on the Twitter logo to … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Conversation in Lynchburg, VA

The Arts are Calling

I spoke with Anna Bentson, the Assistant Director of the City of Lynchburg's Office of Economic Development, about how she views and values art. What most struck me is that her early childhood contact with art and artists was through her family and in turn that has influenced how she values and views art in her life today. Her relationship to art is personal and I think this gets to the core of a very valuable lesson. Anna's family was filled with musicians. She said, "My grandparents were musicians (actually from a long line of professional … [Read more...]

Arguing for the Arts in Contemporary Society

The Arts are Calling

Think about the folks in your community. Think about what they will do tonight. There are countless options for how they can spend their time, their money, their loyalty. Arts may be in that mix. It might not be. This is the context in which our community makes decisions and we need to be aware of that. In this video, Patrick McIntyre, Executive Director of the Sydney Theatre Company conveys the need to discuss the benefits of the experience we provide. Patrick highlights that this task is tricky when arguing the value to allies such as … [Read more...]

Everyone’s a Potential Partner: Building Value Together

The Arts are Calling

Welcome back. We’re continuing our look at arts advocacy, particularly how do we broaden our base of support if we rarely hear from anyone who isn't already a fan. What if we shifted our mindset to see everyone as a potential partner or participant? The world and our communities would be teaming with opportunity. That's Springboard for the Arts' Executive Director, Laura Zabel's, view and it's working quite well. In this video Laura shares how she is energized by what's possible and how looking at opportunities through this frame has opened up … [Read more...]

Extreme Users: Look Outside the Everyday Audience Member

The Arts are Calling

We’re talking about advocacy for the arts over the next few days. Specifically, what's our value... not only to our loyal patrons but also to those with whom we may not have engaged yet. In the human centered design world, that's called sampling extreme users. It's an incredibly valuable practice that helps us better understand our community and our customers. Professor of Management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks discusses how looking at both extremes – those who participate every day and … [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...]