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...]

What would a Minnesotan orchestra look like? A reverie on place

Road sign along Highway 38 in northern Minnesota

With the Minnesota Orchestra lockout over and with musicians and audiences re-united in the newly renovated Orchestra Hall, there is a lot conversation in our cities about what sort of orchestra we have and what’s needed for its long-term vitality. The conversation is taking place more frequently than you might expect, in cafes and at dinner tables, in blogs and newspapers, and certainly within the arts community and its primary donors. And all of this has led to much discussion about the nature of arts organizations both generally and … [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...]