Sustaining top-level organizational performance requires ongoing questioning, learning, and improvement. Different challenges – and different types of people and organizations – require different tools to support this continuous improvement. NAS develops and shares stand-alone and add-on leadership tools as complements to our in-person and community programs. Through publications, teaching case studies, videos and other management tools, we look to fill in critical gaps in the support available for cultural institutions. Each of these tools and services create more ways for NAS to support and interact with arts and culture professionals across the country and around the world.
Below is a representation of the themes explored. Click on a word or phrase to see relevant content.
Hailing from around the world, the participants in the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy, gather in-person for the first time on the University of Pennsylvania campus, today! The twenty-nine participants of the inaugural class will spend the next four days working together to explore their authentic leadership style, tackle their biggest questions about leadership and management and use human-centered design to frame problems creatively and effectively.
The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy is a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Participants have been working together online since January and just finished their first online course in the program. The level of engagement and discourse was incredible. We are excited to now gather everyone in the same room to help them connect around a curriculum that will allow for the interrogation of building programs and designing experiences.
Get ready for an exciting and engaging conversation this week and follow along on Twitter using #ExecProgramArts.
The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy is a partnership between NAS and University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2).
To learn more about the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy, contact Pearl Bickersteth»
The Creative Community Fellows have made it to the final stage of the program. They’ve refined their ideas and presented their perfect pitch. They’ve received feedback from peers in the program, the NAS team and grantmakers and leaders in the area of creative placemaking. Today, we launch their crowd-funding campaigns on RocketHub.
You’ve followed their journey through the Creative Community Blog and you know that Fellows represent a diverse range of projects from using puppetry to engage residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, taking old t-shirts and transforming them into hand woven works of art in order to increase literacy and community to an art and food production co-op in the heart of rural Missouri that crosses generational and cultural boundaries.
We are so proud of how far the Fellows have come throughout this journey and encourage you to check out how they are working to effect change in their communities, learn more about what’s next on their journey and consider helping them get there.
We are pleased to announce Kaywin Feldman as the newest member of National Arts Strategies’ Board of Directors. Kaywin Feldman has been the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) since 2008. Kaywin oversees the museum’s staff of 250, its fine-art collection of some 87,000 objects, its 473,000-square-foot facility, and an annual operating budget of $30 million. Prior to the MIA, Kaywin served as director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art for 9 years. She is the current board chair of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).
Kaywin received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Memphis College of Art in 2008, and received an MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, an MA from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London and a BA (summa cum laude) in classical archaeology from the University of Michigan. Kaywin’s specialties are Dutch and Flemish art and Greek and Roman archaeology. Kaywin was also a member of National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program.
“Kaywin is a thoughtful and effective leader in so many ways. She is committed to her organization, her community and the field. We are so pleased that she is joining the National Arts Strategies Board and welcome her broad vision and deep expertise,” shares National Arts Strategies President and CEO Gail Crider.
Ken Fischer, National Arts Strategies Board Chair notes, “Kaywin is an exceptional addition to the National Arts Strategies Board. Her knowledge, experience and leadership capabilities contributed greatly to the inaugural class of our Chief Executive Program and we are delighted to have the benefit of her many talents as we take on new and exciting challenges.”
Fellow, Andrew Shea, pitches his project to Jamie Bennett, Maria Rosario Jackson and colleagues in the Creative Community Fellows program.
We introduced the participants in the Creative Community Fellowsprogram in June. Over the past seven months Fellows have designed, tested and in some cases entirely reshaped their projects. They’ve worked with National Arts Strategies, their mentors and their communities to draft and refine their project pitches. As they near the final months of the program, now is the time to hear what grantmakers and leaders in the field have to say. Throughout the month of January, Fellows have been participating in review sessions, sharing their project ideas with leading national funders and creative placemaking practitioners. Last week, several of our Fellows gathered in Palo Alto, CA to share their ideas with participating panelists at the Creative Community Launchpad. Other Fellows are participating virtually, connecting one-on-one for feedback through video conference.
Fellow Josh Rice reflects on his pitch experience, “Pitching my project at the Creative Community Launchpad in Palo Alto was such an invaluable exercise in embracing fear, adaptation and improvisation. I got lucky. After a discussion about our Social Styles, I volunteered (amiably) to “mini-pitch” my program in 2-3 minutes to my social styles group, the Amiables, and was then thrust into immediately pitching it again to the Driver style group. The exercise not only allowed me to practice a more focused, concise pitch on-the-fly, but I was also able to incorporate feedback directly from this “practice pitch” into my real pitch in front of the panel later in the day. I’m so glad I dared greatly, put myself out there, and volunteered to do this exercise with such a generous and thoughtful community of Fellows, as it left me at the end of the day feeling welcomed, accomplished, and more successful in my pitch.”
Participating reviewers include Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America, Ron Ragin, Program Officer at The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Tony Tolentino, Program Director at The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and James Kass, Founder & Executive Director of Youth Speaks, among many others. With a focus on feedback and discussion, these sessions are a rare opportunity for Fellows to engage in one-on-one conversations with funders, cultivate relationships and build support.
This is an exciting time for Creative Community Fellows and we want you to be involved! Check out the Creative Community Blog for Fellow updates and reactions to their review sessions or follow the Fellows’ journey on Twitter using #NASCCF or #Launchpad.
In March, the second cohort of leaders explored change management at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. The Summit at Sundance, the final convening of the program was held in Sundance, Utah this November. At this event, leaders from around the world came together to brainstorm solutions to some of the toughest issues facing the field. Stay tuned in the New Year to hear about some of the results on Field Notes.
This year also marked the launch our third iteration of the program, with a focus on leaders working at the intersection of culture and community, The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture. Through a competitive recruitment process, we gathered an incredible group of 50 CEOs that lead organizations where community is at the heart of the mission. This cohort of leaders convened for the first time at Vanderbilt University this fall. We are excited to be working with this new group of innovative and forward-thinking leaders. Meet The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture participants here.
March marked the launch of our new Creative Community Fellows program for cultural entrepreneurs using arts and culture to design solutions for community problems. We were inspired by the amount of applications we received from over 38 states and 14 countries. Throughout the year we have been working with a group of 50 cultural entrepreneurs, providing them the tools, training and access to fuel their visions for community change. In the new year, Fellows will reach the final stages of their project development, where they will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to leaders and grantmakers in the field. Meet the Fellows and learn about their projects here.
In 2014, we turned the tables on leadership training in the arts and culture field through our new Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania. This program offers high-level, flexible learning at a fraction of the cost to comparable education. Applications were accepted for the program this October and our first class will begin coursework in January.
Our first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC), Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture was presented this September through the Coursera platform. The course was developed by Dave Owens of Vanderbilt University and customized for the arts and culture sector by NAS. The course exceeded our expectations in every way with over 9,000 students enrolled!
Last week we wrapped up our second MOOC, Arts & Culture Strategy presented in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. The course highlights some of the introductory content to The Executive Program and is taught by NAS’ Russell Willis Taylor and the University of Pennsylvania’s Peter Frumkin. We had over 13,000 students enrolled in this course!
In April, we presented a training program in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution for the Oman Ministry of Culture, where staff and managers from the National Museum and other nationally-run institutions explored theory and tools to develop a wide range of leadership and management capabilities. This January and September brought NAS to Hong Kong to present a program designed in partnership with the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association and supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. NAS also partnered with the United States Consulate Sao Paulo and SESC Sao Paulo this November to present a three day program for senior cultural leaders around Brazil.
This year we worked with teams from around the country at our Business of Arts and Culture seminars in New York and Phoenix. We continue to be impressed with the work of such highly engaged teams at our seminars and have been thrilled to hear about how these experiences have helped teams effect positive change at their organizations!
At the end of 2014, we say goodbye to our fearless leader of fourteen years, Russell Willis Taylor. In June, Gail Crider assumed the role of President and we cannot be more thrilled for this exciting new chapter at NAS!
There is so much in store for 2015 and we cannot wait to begin. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements about new programs and initiatives to come!
The entire NAS team wishes you a happy and safe holiday season. We look forward to working with you in 2015!
NAS is headed to the desert this week to host the Business of Arts and Culture team seminar, Finance. Teams from organizations in the Phoenix area and around the US will come together December 8-9 for this interactive seminar led by NAS faculty, Dr. Greg Reilly. Attending teams will craft financial strategies that support their mission and organizational achievement, identify critical revenue, cost and risk factors that are driving overall financial performance and use financial numbers to predict effects on both mission and organizational health.
We are excited to present this seminar to an outstanding group of cultural leaders! Want to participate in the conversation too? Follow along on Twitter using #NASFinance.
On November 24-26, 2014, NAS partnered with the United States Consulate Sao Paulo and SESC Sao Paulo to present a three-day program in Sao Paulo, Brazil for senior cultural leaders from around Brazil. The program focused on strategy and strategic innovation and was led by NAS faculty Dr. Violina Rindova and Dr. Robert Wiltbank. They also led a half-day session for emerging leaders from across Brazil. Approximately 110 leaders participated between both groups. On November 27, 2014, NAS Director Fielding Grasty led a session with the emerging leaders group, discussing similarities and differences in current trends affecting the Brazilian and US cultural sectors.
This was NAS’ first program in Latin America. In 2014, we’ve presented custom programs in Brazil, Hong Kong and Oman. It was great to share leadership ideas and experiences with colleagues around the globe and we look forward to the New Year!
Join us in Phoenix December 8-9 for Finance. Bring your leadership team together to develop the knowledge and skills to effectively craft strategies that support both organizational health and mission achievement. Your team will learn how traditional financial concepts such as revenue and cost are related to your ability to achieve your mission. Additionally, you will learn to use financial numbers for predicting effects on mission and organizational achievement.
Extending Your Reach offers a deep dive into partnerships and alliances, exploring the different types of relationships that can help you do more and achieve greater impact. After careful evaluation of your current relationships, your goals for the future and critical tactics for establishing alliances, you will leave this seminar prepared to lead a portfolio of strategic partners and engage in alliances that will help you achieve your vision.
This eight-month program, developed and presented in partnership with The University of Pennsylvania, will prepare and equip you to lead arts and culture organizations of all types. At a cost of only $4,950 you will gain the foundational knowledge and business frameworks to advance your career. The program provides the flexibility of online courses and the ability to tailor what you learn to your needs through your choice of electives. The programpromises what no other program can – comprehensive training from a world-class university grounded in real-world experience at an affordable price.
The application process is free, short, simple and designed to craft a diverse cohort of arts and culture professionals across the field. The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy is targeted at early to mid-career managers in the nonprofit arts and culture sector – and those seeking to enter the sector.
The deadline for applications to The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy is October 31, 2014, but accepted on a rolling basis. If accepted, you will not have to submit payment until December. Online courses begin in January 2015 with the first in-person convening held at The University of Pennsylvania in March 2015. Apply today »
For those not able to take part in the entire eight-month program but still want to experience a bit of the curriculum, you can sign up to take one of the cornerstone courses – Arts & Culture Strategy – on Coursera. The class is free and open to anyone. It starts November 10, 2014. Those enrolled in the program will take the class on a private platform in January 2015.
We are pleased to announce the latest class of exceptional leaders in The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture. These 50 executives will work with National Arts Strategies and each other over the next year to address their biggest challenges and lead change throughout the arts and culture sector. We received applications from leaders in 32 states and 13 different countries and were astounded by the level and diversity of community work these leaders are undertaking. This is the third class of The Chief Executive Program. It has evolved from the experience of the past two classes and discussions with arts and culture leaders around the world. National Arts Strategies is continuing the program with a focus on leaders of organizations where community is at the heart of the mission.
“Healthy organizations share deep connections with their communities. We’ve seen that leaders who build and maintain a strong sense of local relevance are creating organizations for both the present and the future. We at NAS progress field-wide change by providing the training and support to these leaders. Having experienced this program and bonded as a community, 50 leaders will have the ideas, tools and connections to effect change in their own organizations and to accelerate their work collectively to strengthen communities and the cultural sector,” said NAS CEO Designate Gail Crider.
The Chief Executive Program is built around two learning cycles that help leaders explore, reflect, apply and share concepts that address the two biggest challenges for cultural institutions – making strategic choices that are on-mission and leading change. Beginning in September 2014 and continuing through 2015, the program includes three in-person educational events at Vanderbilt University, at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and at Sundance Resort, as well as a variety of “at-work” activities designed to help leaders move forward on their own unique objectives and goals. These events and activities are designed to give participants a deeper understanding of the strategic challenges they face, a firm grasp of change leadership and the ability to translate their visions for the future into reality.
Participants in The Chief Executive Program were selected following a highly competitive recruitment process to identify the top executive cultural leaders from around the world whose organizations work closely with communities on creative placemaking initiatives. The leaders chosen to participate in The Chief Executive Program were selected from a wide range of cultural forms, locations, perspectives and experience levels. These executives have proven themselves to be effective, innovative, collaborative and open-minded.
Neil Barclay, Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans, LA) Jim Beirne, Live Theatre (Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom) Michael Bobbitt, Adventure Theatre (Glen Echo, MD) Jennifer Boomgaarden, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (Sioux Falls, SD) Tony Butler, Derby Museums Trust (Derby, United Kingdom) Polly Carl, HowlRound: A Center for Theater Commons (Boston, MA) Tim Carroll, Bankstown Youth Development Service (Bankstown, Australia) Serina Chen, Taipei Arts International Association (Taipei, Taiwan) Uli Sailer Das, Museum at Prairiefire (Overland Park, KS)
Robert Davidson, Seattle Aquarium (Seattle, WA) Gretchen Dietrich, Utah Museum of Fine Arts (Salt Lake City, UT) Lucinda Einhouse, Beck Center for the Arts (Lakewood, OH) Ahmed El Attar, Studio Emad Eddin Foundation (Cairo, Egypt) Patricia Finneran, Story Matters (New York, NY) Gary Ginstling, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (Indianapolis, IN) Daniel Gorman, Shubbak Festival (London, United Kingdom) Brent Hasty, MINDPOP (Austin, TX) Jeffreen Hayes, Rebuild Foundation (Chicago, IL) Cristy Johnston Limon, Destiny Arts Center (Oakland, CA) Anne Katz, Arts Wisconsin (Madison, WI) Geoffrey Kershner, Endstation Theatre Company (Lynchburg, VA) Karen Kienzle, Palo Alto Art Center (Palo Alto, CA) Scott Kratz, 11th Street Bridge Park (Washington, DC) Lex Leifheit, SOMArts (San Francisco, CA) Sheila Lewandowski, Chocolate Factory Theater (Long Island City, NY) Frank Little, City of Edinburgh Council (Edinburgh, Scotland)
María Claudia López, Ministry of Culture (Bogotá, Colombia) Karen Mack, LA Commons, A Project of Community Partners (Los Angeles, CA) Jeff McCarter, Free Spirit Media (Chicago, IL) Lynne McCormack, City of Providence, Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (Providence, RI) Hope McMath, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens (Jacksonville, FL) Tanner Methvin, Africa Centre (Cape Town, South Africa) Andreas Mitisek, Long Beach Opera (Long Beach, CA) and Chicago Opera Theater (Chicago, IL) Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute (Reedsburg, WI) Adam Philipson, Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank, NJ) Kelly Pollock, Center of Creative Arts (St. Louis, MO) Michael Rohd, Sojourn Theatre and Center for Performance and Civic Practice (Evanston, IL) Abe Rybeck, The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood (Boston, MA) Sue Schardt, Association of Independents in Radio (Boston, MA)
Roger Schmidt, Sitka Fine Arts Camp (Sitka, AK)
Michael Seiwerath, Capitol Hill Housing Foundation (Seattle, WA) Michael Shanklin, Kidspace Children’s Museum (Pasadena, CA)
Scott Showalter, Oregon Symphony (Portland, OR) Connie Spreen, Experimental Station (Chicago, IL) Tracy Straus, Celebrate the Beat (Denver, CO)
Alicia Sutton, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona (Phoenix, AZ) Clyde Valentín, SMU Meadow Arts + Urbanism Initiative (Dallas, TX) Carol Varney, Bay Area Video Coalition (San Francisco, CA)
Gerd Wuestemann, Acadiana Center for the Arts (Lafayette, LA)