Defining R & D in the cultural sector: why we need innovation in grantmaking strategy

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As part of the research project I'm working on with the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation (see previous posts), I recently had the opportunity to attend the Annual Forum for Nesta's Digital R & D Fund for the Arts in London. To give you the lay of the land in case you don't already know anything about it, Nesta calls itself "an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organizations bring great ideas to life." Nesta works in partnership with other businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and funders to increase social … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

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...]

Inventive capitalization program reaping benefits for theater festival

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The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) in Winona, Minnesota has created an inventive capitalization instrument that will interest the broader field. The Festival's "Legacy Bond Investment Program," launched in September, 2011 is a state-approved investment offer for Festival patrons that provides GRSF with significant working capital.  Essentially, GRSF is offering donors the opportunity to support the organization through interest-bearing loans, with the idea being relatively small loans ($5,000) from a relatively large number of … [Read more...]

New ways to think about solving intractable problems

New book from Peter Coleman

Recently I had the good fortune to spend an afternoon with Peter Coleman, author of the forthcoming book, The Five Percent, Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts (the link is to Amazon because you are going to want to buy this book).  Coleman is the director of the International Center for International Cooperation and Conflict Resolution and Associate Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University.  Coleman leads a team whose project, "Modeling the Fundamental Dynamics of Intractable Conflict" is funded by the … [Read more...]