The Cohort Club

Posted by Sean Daniels On October - 6 - 20143 COMMENTS
Sean Daniels

Sean Daniels

For Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY, I created an engagement group that has significantly impacted the way we interact with patrons and stakeholders, it’s called The Cohort Club.

I started with four ideas:

1)   Education breeds excitement.

2)   People wanna see how the sausage is made.

3)   If you want people to come see your shows, you need to speak their language, or teach them yours.

4)   “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”—Chinese proverb. Read the rest of this entry »

Rachel Grossman

Rachel Grossman

You know that question, “how do we build new audiences without losing current ones?” Here’s a thought exercise for you: what if you flipped it, reframed the question? What if you prioritized the audience you’ve already lost, rather than the audience you might lose?

That’s right: you’ve already lost audiences. Point of fact: there’s a giant pool of audience members that you’ve never had–never even knew you existed–that you’ve left out or even actively displaced because of choices you and your organization have made over time. And continue to make. Read the rest of this entry »

Jessyca Holland

Jessyca Holland

There are a lot of obstacles a person must overcome during any given day to engage in your art: traffic, finding a babysitter, transportation – the list can go on. Sometimes people are just plain tired. It is much easier to order up entertainment at home with on-demand options readily available through just a few clicks. So how do we overcome the forces that block patron engagement?

“Get out of the building!” It is the mantra of serial-entrepreneur, Steve Blank, and the cornerstone of “lean” marketing principles further popularized by Eric Reis in his book, The Lean Startup. Both Blank and Reis focus on a concept known as customer discovery. In short, customer (patron) discovery is about solving the customer’s needs by testing product concepts. For artists and arts organizations, this may involve conducting customer interviews, creating prototypes, gathering feedback and validating the right market. In other words, the patron is integral to the process and the focus of the creative offering (the art itself). Read the rest of this entry »

Melanie Harker

Melanie Harker

After such an amazing experience last year in Portland, I am delighted to be returning with fellow dog & pony dc conspirator Rachel Grossman to Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Atlanta. This year’s conference theme of “all the places we’ll go” caught my eye for two reasons; first due to the well-executed Dr. Seuss reference, and second because of the definition of “we.”

Who is the “we” in “all the places we’ll go”?

The obvious “we” is the arts administrator. The marketer. The engagement manager. The managing director. The donor relations associate. The small army of hard working people who work tirelessly to make sure the art happens, that it has a space, and that people hear about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Kakolewski

Laura Kakolewski

We’ve already begun the countdown to the 2014 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference! With just 6 weeks remaining, what better way to kick off a convening on the future of arts marketing than an online discussion with you and some of the best minds in the business (many of whom will also be speaking at NAMPC!)?

This year’s theme,  All the Places We’ll Go!  sets the stage for exploring the future of arts marketing – together. With over 600+ arts leaders in attendance, we’ll investigate strategies for digital storytelling, how technology such as Google Glass is redefining engagement, audience diversification initiatives, and much, much more. Between three inspiring keynotes, group workshops, a reception at the legendary Woodruff Arts Center, and even some morning yoga, this year’s NAMP Conference is going is sure to supercharge both your organization as well as your day-to-day work. Read the rest of this entry »

Kellyn Lopes

Kellyn Lopes

A private sector partnership with the arts is creative outsourcing. It is an understanding that human development is inspired by changing cultural practices. It is a realization of the responsibility to organize and produce an effective community.  It is a commitment to lead and serve vibrant neighborhoods that emphasize solidarity and forward-thinking.

In my hometown of the Napa Valley, California, the wine industry has saturated the economic landscape and cultivated an incredible hub for arts and culture: a cultural experience that pairs wine and food with art, music, and dance. Read the rest of this entry »

Caleb Way

Caleb Way

Last Wednesday morning, New York City’s newly instated cultural commissioner, Tom Finkelpearl, greeted representatives from numerous local institutions for the Crain’s Arts & Culture Breakfast: A New Future for New York’s Culture Industry. Finkelpearl, formerly the executive director of the Queens Museum, opened the event with comments on the current landscape of the arts in New York City, a few of the challenges it is facing, and some of the “cultural perks” his office plans to introduce to address them. The commissioner touched on the roll-out of new Municipal ID Cards, saving the finer details for the Mayors announcement on Thursday, and commented on the newly allocated $23M to arts and cultural education throughout the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Ikemire

Heather Ikemire

March 29, 2014, was the final day of the first-ever National Summit on Creative Youth Development in Boston—a national convening of more than 200 youth arts practitioners, funders, policymakers, and students designed to bring new energy and focus to creative youth development. On that day 86 individuals stood up at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and declared personal commitments to advancing creative youth development. I was proud to be one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

Traci Slater-Rigaud

Traci Slater-Rigaud

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for the field of out-of-school time arts and humanities programs, particularly those that reach children and youth with tremendous potential, but limited opportunities.  It is a signature initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Every year the President’s Committee and our cultural partners present National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards to 12 outstanding programs across the US and one International Spotlight Awardee. Thirty-eight finalist programs also receive certificates of excellence for their work. Read the rest of this entry »

Terry Liu

Terry Liu

As an Arts Education Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts, I am fortunate to see new blooms in the field of education.  Earlier this year, I was honored to join more than 200 national, state, local, and community-based youth arts leaders for the National Summit on Creative Youth Development in Boston, sponsored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

It’s exciting to have a quorum of leaders who are committed to taking creative youth development to the next level.  We came with decades of experience in this field, and we left with a clear policy and advocacy agenda that our respective organizations could implement at the local, state, and national levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah Bainter Cunningham

Sarah Bainter Cunningham

New sustainability models break through belief barriers about the business of arts education.  If teens must be employed during their high school career, why not employ them to make art? One organization pays students to participate as employees and upends assumptions about student participation. If fund-raising is challenging for smaller organizations, why not gather together tackle this beast? Another organization runs common development events for multiple arts education organizations, and upends the assumptions that local organizations must be pitted competitively against one another.  Both of these examples threw out prior assumptions to create new models. Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Perille

Laura Perille

Is it possible to rapidly increase the level of arts education offered in an urban district? Based on the example of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion Initiative launched in 2009 by EdVestors, the BPS Superintendent, and local foundations, the resounding answer to that question is yes. This effort was rooted in the belief that arts opportunities play a powerful role in the life and learning of students in urban schools, and that a fundamental part of creating these opportunities was increasing access to quality arts education in order to create equity for all students.

One of the main challenges initially faced by BPS Arts Expansion was increasing the amount of in-school arts education offered in Boston Public Schools. Read the rest of this entry »

Mari Barrera

Mari Barrera

Collaborative fundraising provides nonprofits with more donors and more donations for all – $8 million in new dollars in total over a five-year period. That was the experience of the 30 youth arts organizations that participated in the ARTWorks for Kids coalition, an effort initiated and supported by Hunt Alternatives in Cambridge, MA.

How did 30 different youth arts organizations – all collaborators in serving youth in the Greater Boston area, but also competitors for donations – join forces to raise money together? First, we supported the leaders of these organizations as they worked together to build trust with their colleagues. Then, we provided a venue for each coalition member to showcase the great art their youth were producing for a large and diverse group of funders. Read the rest of this entry »

Allison Ball

Allison Ball

The National YoungArts Foundation was established in 1980 with the mission to identify and recognize outstanding young artists at critical junctures in their lives—the high school to college transition. Since its founding, YoungArts (youngarts.org)  has recognized over 20,000 young people through their awards programs and has provided life-changing experiences,  fostered connections with colleges, professional training programs, and most importantly, provided life-long connections between young artists  who go on to build artistic communities and inspire each other to imagine new artistic possibilities. YoungArts supports the development of arts and the education thereof in schools, at homes and in communities. For many alumni, their artistic possibilities have been realized with careers on the Broadway stage, Hollywood and television, opera houses and symphonies, being represented in internationally known museum collections, listings as NY Times bestsellers, and receiving Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards. The best part of these stories is that they stem out of programs consistent with CYD principles. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Arts Education Count

Posted by Adarsh Alphons On September - 17 - 2014No comments yet
Adarsh Alphons

Adarsh Alphons

The key to building support for arts education lies in the unlikeliest of places: numbers. 

There is beauty in numbers. One under-emphasized aspect of arts education that holds tremendous influence in conveying its invaluable and irreplaceable role is numbers. The power of digits to specify impact (however myopic we consider that point of view) is formidable and surely, not to be underestimated. The statistics that substantiate the holistic impact of arts education are staggering. Sometimes, so much so, that even arts professionals are genuinely surprised. As an education reformer who has been advocating for arts education for over a decade, this post discusses two approaches arts organizations are using to create measurable and tangible support for arts education from funders, policy-makers and everyone else. Read the rest of this entry »