When the call for applicants went out for the first ever Local Arts Classroom (LAC) program with Americans for the Arts I didn’t hesitate to apply.
I had attended the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in 2011 and returned to work thinking, “I need more.”
I felt the need to stay connected to what’s happening on a national level, but had a desire to learn more about what I should be doing as a Program Director of a local arts agency. I read blogs, followed @Americans4Arts on Twitter, and was connected on a surface level, but missed the sense of camaraderie the convention facilitated.
Enter the LAC and a chance to learn about cultural planning, making space for art, advocacy, board and staff development, fundraising, and making the case for the arts; a chance to learn with arts administrators from all over the country; a chance to absorb different perspectives and experiences of those who know what it’s like to be an arts administrator.
I say “absorb” because that was how I approached the class: to be a sponge, and absorb every concept, idea, and piece of advice I could possibly take in.
One concept that I’ve applied frequently since I graduated from LAC is one about fundraising, planning, and community:
When planning for an event or fundraiser, organizations typically take this approach:
- Name the activity/goal/event
- Ask: What is a success for the organization?
- Ask: Was it a success for the community? Read the rest of this entry »