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Business of Arts and Culture™
Seminar Descriptions
Event Schedule
Selection Criteria
Participant Expectations


Arts & Culture Strategy
on Coursera »

Join colleagues around the world to develop your leadership skills and cultivate your knowledge of the field. Learn at your own pace, for free. Enroll today »

Creative Community Launchpad »

Bainbridge Island, WA | March 17-20, 2016
Fellows attend a three-day in-person feedback session where they present their project pitch to national funders and leaders in the field of creative placemaking and receive feedback.

Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy »

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA | March 2-5, 2016

Students will meet their colleagues, learn about key concepts such as negotiation, decision-making and human-centered design and meet the NAS & Penn teaching teams.



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Impact: TEAM Seminars

The data below is an aggregation of the seminar evaluations from our Business of Arts and Culture series. We collect this information in three stages. Immediately following seminars, we ask participants about their satisfaction with the experience, the relevance of the content, and details about participants' intentions for using what they learned. Next, we follow up to learn about actions their teams have taken after returning from the seminar. Finally, we check in several months later to learn what organizational changes came from the seminar experience.


Post-seminar survey results

97% were satisfied or highly satisfied with seminar

  Highly satisfied 62%
  Satisfied 35%
  Somewhat satisfied 3%
  Not satisfied 0%


Based upon 90% response rate


“As in other NAS seminars I have attended, the content is always the tip of the iceberg and the pacing gathers steam in just the right way as the conversation develops.”

“The hands-on practicality of this seminar was excellent.”

“The content had a structure that linked the theoretical building blocks to case studies. Each content area took you deeper, in a logical way, to the nuances of strategy as a discipline. The pace of that progression over two days was perfect.”

“The content was rich and provided new insights into possible solutions to nonprofits seeking to survive these economic times while using existing resources to address agency goals and mission. The pace, given available time, was used wisely.”

“Our group consisted of two board members and three organization members. I felt our breakthrough moment was when we had to define the 'one issue' to work on. Our discussion was passionate and critical to the future of our organization. I expected some follow-up the next day. There wasn't any. Now, I'm concerned with how to move forward.”



77% found the seminar content highly relevant

  Highly relevant 77%
  Moderately relevant 23%
  Not relevant 0%


Based upon 90% response rate


“Content was far more relevant than most other conferences I have been to. Great topic!”

“I found this a stimulating topic for our team and at a timely time in our internal change process. Thank you for the opportunity. The pace was quick but kept us on task!”

“At first I did not see the relevance of the articles that highlighted fields outside of the arts. Once the lectures began, it all came together. It is important (especially for artists) to be able to have articles that are not centered around what they do. This also helped the conversation to stay on topic rather than turn into a 'venting fest.'”

“I sometimes wanted more translation to make the information more arts organization friendly. Although the concepts are extremely relevant, the terms and academic layout, graphs, etc. of the information could use some translation. The concepts are not that complex to understanding… it's just that the terminology was sometimes a barrier. Using more arts friendly terms and labeling of unfamiliar concepts in graphs and terms we use would be make it a richer experience. The difference of a business academic presenting the info as opposed to an arts professional presenting the info.”



Post-seminar survey: One month results

97% of organizations took action

  Had ongoing conversations with team about: seminar content 68%
  Tried to illustrate seminar points to others in the organization who did not attend 55%
  Did further work collectively based on what was learned in the seminar 42%
  Did further work individually based on what was learned in the seminar 32%
  Took other actions 27%
  Took no actions 3%


Based upon 77% response rate


“As part of our annual budgeting cycle, our team is incorporating many of the concepts from the seminar in our planning process. Having recently relocated our museum into a much larger and more expensive facility, we face challenges related to resource allocation, cash flow and risk management. We’re currently evaluating which programs and initiatives need to be put on hold in the short-term in order to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization.”

“This seminar was transformational for our organization. We've been tossing around the core concepts of our vision for the past year but the NAS seminar allowed us the time and tools to solidify our ten year vision. We immediately presented the vision (from the final NAS presentation) to the staff and board. Everyone was completely energized. One board member jumped up to lead a fundraising campaign. In the last month we've been telling the story and have raised over $100,000 to launch our effort. NAS made this all possible.”



Post-seminar survey: Three month results

88% of organizations experienced change

  Significant organizational change 39%
  Moderate organizational change 36%
  Minor organizational change 20%
  Transformative organizational change 5%


Based upon 78% response rate



“Our team had been talking in general terms about our strategy for online learning and integrated online content for many years. This NAS seminar on Strategy gave us the tools and time to develop a clear vision. The staging session helped us put our past work into context and the response to our final presentation gave us the confidence to return home and start moving forward. Within days of our return from NAS I presented our strategy to the board. They were excited and energized to see that we had finally landed on a clear vision. Six months later we've raised $300, 000 in new dollars, hired three new staff members, and are moving quickly toward our future. This week we've hosted two full training sessions for teaching writing online. Our pilot classes keep selling out. The NAS seminar lit the flame. [Organization name] is on a transformative path toward its future.  We are grateful to NAS and its funders.”

“We made significant changes (which are in progress) to our financial reporting systems. We are now in the process of creating a new cost-based accounting system. This is huge and will change the way we think about and track our work. We will know for the first time, how much our programming really costs us. We are also looking at a 'dashboard' in a quarterly basis. The dashboard is tracking new and returning member numbers, new and returning student rates, and student satisfaction, among other things. It will help us to see whether we are falling off at all. Further, our finance committee is now looking at long term financial planning and will engage in risk assessment.”

“Upon returning, our management team went through a very thorough HR audit together. From that audit we established areas that needed significant improvement; the primary areas being new employee on-boarding and performance management. We sought input from all employees and are implementing an online workflow system to aid us in ensuring that all bases are covered for the new employee experience. We are also implementing a new performance management system in January. We knew prior to attending the seminar that these changes needed to be made, but the seminar itself brought us together and allowed us to work and think strategically as a team in bringing forth the needed changes.”

“While the lessons in brainstorming have not been applied at the senior staff level, I have applied them in my own meetings with my marketing/communications team. I have found that more 'quiet' members of my team are now more likely to contribute to brainstorming. Employees who previously were disengaged – and who would 'hide behind' others work – now find they have to contribute their own ideas.”

“I still refer to seminar as one of the best I have attended. The case studies and the professionalism your team brought to Chicago provided our organization with great tools and ideas. We have not been able to proceed with this new knowledge but I remain hopeful we will be able to incorporate some of them into our plan for next year.”



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