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News + Updates: The Chief Executive Program Theme

NAS Awarded $1.5 Million from the Kresge Foundation

The board and staff of NAS are excited to announce that The Kresge Foundation has awarded NAS a multi-year, general operating grant of $1.5 million. Kresge has long been a partner with us, particularly in the broadening of our work in strengthening communities through arts and culture.

A key driver of community building has been our Chief Executive Program. Over the last five years, we have brought together three cohorts of arts and culture CEOs from around the world. These 200 exceptional leaders make up a network of colleagues focused on making real change in their organizations, in their communities and in the field. We are proud to support this network and look forward to expanding it one more time.

In April, applications will open for the fourth and final cohort. Fifty leaders from the US and abroad will move through the one-year program to explore, apply and reflect with their peers, faculty at Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and School of Urban Design.

Other work supported by the Kresge partnership includes our Creative Community Fellows and Online Civic Innovators. These programs strengthen and support entrepreneurs, artists and civic innovators who are using arts and culture to build positive community change.

Finally, Kresge’s support will enable us to return to research at a critical time. We will look at changing our communities through intercessions from artists, entrepreneurs and arts organizations working side-by-side, adding meaningful data on what works and why. FSG and researchers from Stanford University will be joining us for this project.

We look forward to the months ahead and are grateful to The Kresge Foundation for their continued support.

 

November in the Mountains of Utah

We’ve just returned from several days in Utah, all spent surrounded by some of the most leading minds in our field.

Photo Nov 02, 5 24 57 PM_web

The Chief Executive Program: Community & Culture – The Summit at Sundance

This journey began with the final convening of the Chief Executive Program: Community & Culture. Forty-six CEOs who have been learning together for the past fifteen months, gathered for the final time to address some of their most challenging questions at The Summit at Sundance. We built this convening as an ideation summit, an interactive, community-driven process that identifies, clarifies and activates solutions.

NAS’ President and CEO, Gail Crider says, “conversations about critical issues happen all the time. Conferences, blogs and community meetings offer any number of opportunities to raise and share experiences with these issues. And yet, we experience seemingly endless discussion with little discernible progress towards shared solutions.” This is the inspiration behind our design of the ideation summit and process.

In preparation for this convening, the participants worked together to choose and craft the challenges they planned to tackle, generating buy-in and personal investment. These leaders focused on issues related to equity, relevancy, the economy and our communities. Working in small groups, they collectively designed ways to address these issues and left with clear next steps to work both individually and as a group to move many of their solutions forward over the next few months. We plan to keep you up to date and share the results.

National Arts Marketing Project Conference

Following this convening, NAS’ Taylor Craig spent the weekend at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in the great, Salt Lake City. It was wonderful to connect with colleagues around the country and learn useful tips and tricks we will be implementing soon. When we think about marketing, we often think about selling, selling, selling. How do we get them to buy the next ticket? This is part of it, but the larger part is relationship building and community engagement. It was uplifting for us to participate in this conference that completely understood this aspect of marketing and directed the dialogue around our communities. One of the most inspiring moments of the conference was Donna Walker-Kuhne’s keynote on the changing demographics in the US. You can catch the live recording here »

Photo Nov 09, 11 55 50 AMThe Chief Executive Program Alumni Retreat

During this time, alumni of our Chief Executive Program came together for the first annual alumni retreat. Thirty-seven leaders from around the world and across Chief Executive Program cohorts joined us to reconnect, recharge and refocus. Richard Cox from Stanford’s d.school led participants through workshops on failure, leadership and risk. Participants were also able to come together in focused, facilitated working groups to share insights with colleagues and workshop ideas – looking at success stories, perennial problems and how to weigh trade-offs. Hosted at the Sundance Resort, this provided the perfect setting for leaders to step away from the day-to-day, disconnect (the cell service isn’t too great!) and take time for themselves. We heard from participants that taking this time is so important and often overlooked. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

Now back at our headquarters in Alexandria, VA we are missing the mountains, but knee deep in planning for the next cohort of the Chief Executive Program. Learn more about the program and our alumni »

 

The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture at the University of Michigan

May began with a bang! We spent the first week of the month surrounded by the incredible leaders in The Chief Executive Program: Community & Culture at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Participants worked with faculty in both the Ross School of Business and the Taubman College of Architecture of Urban Planning, diving into collaboration, building negotiation skills, internal and external leadership and creating an environment for innovation.

The 48 leaders in this cohort began their journey with us last fall when we gathered at Vanderbilt University to study the continuous improvement cycle of an organization. At the University of Michigan, we turned our focus to leading change in organizations and communities.

Professor Philip D’Aneri led a community mapping exercise and brought participants to Detroit where we visited the Riverwalk Conservancy and Eastern Market to learn from these live-case studies of community revitalization partnerships.

Participants also took a lunch break at a longtime NAS favorite, Zingerman’s Deli where co-founder Ari Weinzwig led a discussion on their unique business mindset, culture and his approach to leadership.

Participants Anne Katz, Tanner Methvin, Gretchen Dietrich and Michael Bobbit with NAS Director Sunny Widmann at Zingerman's

Participants Anne Katz, Tanner Methvin,
Gretchen Dietrich and Michael Bobbit
with NAS Director Sunny Widmann at Zingerman’s

Faculty director and NAS partner Paula Caproni was integral in creating such a fantastic curriculum for our participants and leading her team at the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business. Caproni teaches leadership and high performing teams at the University of Michigan MBA Executive Programs. She is also the Director of the Day MBA Program and is the Professional Development Coach for the Executive MBA Program. She led our cohort through an exercise to understand their social styles and how this impacts the way they lead their organizations and teams as well as how others may see them as a leader. Later in the week, Caproni addressed leading personal change and creating high performing teams. Participants also worked with University of Michigan – Ross School of Business Faculty Horst Abraham and Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks.

The cohort will gather for the final time this November in Sundance, Utah where they will build on the ideas they have explored throughout the program and generate ideas for moving forward against the biggest challenges they are facing. We can’t wait to have this fantastic group of innovative leaders together again!

 

Learn more about Paula Caproni and high performing teams » 

Learn more about Horst Abraham and leading change »

Learn More about Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks and design thinking »

Follow the cohort’s journey on Twitter at #NAScep »

Learn more about The Chief Executive Program: Community & Culture »

 

 

Happy Holidays from the NAS Team!

Staff Holiday 2014We’ve had a fantastic year at National Arts Strategies, full of new programs and exciting transitions. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating!

The Chief Executive Program

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.

Creative Community Fellows

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.

The Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy

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.

MOOCs & Online Learning

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!

Custom Programs

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.

Business of Arts and Culture

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!

Looking Forward

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!

 

Announcing A New Cohort of 50 Outstanding Community Leaders: The Chief Executive Program

 

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)



Learn more about The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture »

Development of The Chief Executive Program was made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fidelity Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.