Announcing Hothouse: Exploring new ideas in co-working with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

HOUTHOUSE-02

Something new is launching in Minneapolis next week! I'm excited to announce Hothouse, a 12-week pilot co-working project I've created as MIA Entrepreneur in Residence. In collaboration with Hunter Palmer Wright, Venture Innovation Director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Hothouse will explore whether and how the museum can foster a creative co-working space that is inspired by the museum’s collections, capabilities, and setting but operates independently as a lively incubator and convener. The pilot will demonstrate new ways the museum … [Read more...]

Be the orchestra: thinking far beyond putting concerts online

photo (10)

Recently I went on an excursion with staff from Philharmonia UK, the London orchestra founded in 1945.  The Philharmonia was then in week twelve of its thirteen-week iOrchestra project that engaged residents of rural south-west England in large-scale digital installations created to encourage exploration of orchestral music in very new ways. The installations travelled in three regions, and in each of them, the Philharmonia also scheduled a free live orchestral concert. In the months preceding, Philharmonia sought out local music, education and … [Read more...]

Practicing extreme transparency: Why does your “About Us” section have to be so boring?

Entrance to Walnut Creek's maintenance yard

As part of a major project I’m working on with the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the websites of cultural organizations; looking at their apps, social media projects, and other digital channels; visiting them to see projects first-hand; and talking with them about the capabilities and resources needed to do the work. In the course of this research I’m engaging with interesting people and seeing a lot of terrific work and so I’ve decided to start blogging about it, in part to engage all of you in … [Read more...]

Reflections on a week at Harvard Business School (and thank you NAS)

Harvard Business School classroom

For the past two weeks I have been digesting the terrific week of learning at Harvard Business School that National Arts Strategies offered as part of its Chief Executive Program. The week’s theme was The New Nature of Relevance, and our case studies, HBR articles, and group exercises were designed to foster conversation about leadership and how to steer our organizations through the opportunities and obstacles presented by the post-recession, digitally-enabled, generationally-shifting, globally-connected world. For me, the location of … [Read more...]

Don’t hope

Graffiti photo by Rupert Ganzer

About a month ago there was a NY Times interview with Ben Lerer, co-founder and chief executive at Thrillist Media Group. He says, "One thing we preach at work all day long is 'don't hope.' What that means is don't wait for somebody to do something for you. Don't do something 90 percent well and hope that it'll slide through. Don't rely on luck." Lerer went on, "It is important to know that you're giving as close as you can to 100 percent, dedicated effort, and you're being thoughtful about it. Definitions of hope: "The feeling that … [Read more...]

New business models? Bring them on

Peter Frumkin

I have been following the modest torrent of discussion in the blogosphere about appropriate business models for the nonprofit cultural sector. A recently published paper was useful to my own thinking about this so I'll summarize it here and direct you to the link. The paper's author is Peter Frumkin of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of  Texas, Austin. It was distributed to the 100 arts leaders who are part of National Arts Strategies' CEOs Program, which convened in Austin in May and is now posted on the … [Read more...]

What I learned from Bill Kling

Bill Kling photo in studio from the MPR web site

Today was Bill Kling's final day of work as President of Minnesota Public Radio, where he's led the development of the largest and arguably the most successful public radio organization in the United States.  His 44-year tenure has been marked by a series of bold, anticipatory moves that taken together more than earn him the title of Visionary. I worked at MPR for 9 years in a variety of roles, worked with MPR for the prior 9 years as a representative of one of the network's largest funders, and work now for an organization that counts MPR … [Read more...]