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News + Updates: Chief Executive Program

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 »

 

 

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.

 

Application Deadline for The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture is Approaching

Applications for The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture are due July 17! For our third class of executives in The Chief Executive Program, we seek curious and collaborative CEOs who are change agents working at the heart of their communities. Join this incredible community of chief executives from around the world to gain ideas, tools and connections to collectively strengthen the cultural sector, apply today.

This one year program will serve an international group of 50 outstanding CEOs whose organizations work closely with communities on creative placemaking initiatives. Participants will come together at Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Sundance Resort to work with leading professors, NAS and each other to get 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.

Have questions about the program or application process? Ask National Arts Strategies’ Director, Sunny Widmann this Friday from 3-4 pm ET via artstrategies.org/hangout

All participants in The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture receive a fellowship covering the full cost of tuition. Participants are responsible for their own travel costs to in-person events.

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

Join the community and apply by July 17 >>

 

Applications for The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture are now being accepted!

We are excited to announce that we are continuing The Chief Executive Program with a new class focused on leaders of organizations where community is at the heart of the mission. We are now accepting applications for The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture. If you are a curious and collaborative executive using culture to address issues in your community, apply today.

The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture has evolved from our experience with the first two classes and from our discussion of the role of arts and culture with leaders from around the world. We’ve seen that connecting and serving the community is crucial to cultural organizations. We want to connect and support leaders whose organizations are working with communities to use culture to respond to local needs. Through this program, 50 exceptional chief executives will engage individually and among a network of peers to broaden their thinking and tackle the critical challenges facing the field. Participants will leave the program with the ideas and tools to take action and effect change in not only their organizations, but across the field.

Experience

The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture is built around two learning cycles that will 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. During the program, participants will come together for three in-person events followed by exercises and tools designed to help leaders move forward on their own unique objectives and goals. The first convening will be this fall. Learn more about the Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture experience »

Selection

We seek exceptional chief executives who exhibit curiosity, openness, eagerness to invest in a learning community and willingness to devote the necessary time to program activities and relationships. We look for leaders interested in exploring and implementing innovative solutions rather than maintaining the status quo. Through a competitive selection process, we will identify 50 chief executives from a wide range of art and cultural forms, locations and perspectives to participate in this 1-year program.

All participants of The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture will receive a fellowship covering the full cost of tuition. Participants will be responsible only for their travel costs to in-person events. Learn more about our selection process

 

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

Apply to participate in The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture by July 17 »

 

National Arts Strategies Announces Leaders Chosen to Participate in The Chief Executive Program

National Arts Strategies is pleased to announce the participation of 50 exceptional leaders in the second class of The Chief Executive Program. Building on the success of the program’s first cohort, National Arts Strategies continues the program to help bring together cultural leaders from around the world to explore new ways to tackle the most complex and critical challenges facing the field. By the end of the program, these 50 leaders will have the ideas, tools and connections to effect change in their own organizations and to work collectively strengthen the cultural field.

(more…)

 

The New Chief Executive Program

Across the cultural field and around the globe, there are leaders thinking creatively about the biggest challenges facing organizations today – from increased competition among entertainment and cultural experiences to changes in consumer demands to shifting priorities of funders and stakeholders.

National Arts Strategies created The Chief Executive Program to help cultural leaders explore new ways to tackle these complex and critical challenges. Through this program, 50 leaders from around the world will take action and effect change in their organizations and in collaboration with an amazing network of peers. We are now accepting applications from those who wish to participate in The Chief Executive Program and join this community.
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Tackling the Tough Issues

The NAS team heads Sundance, Utah next week for our final convening of The Chief Executive Program, The Summit at Sundance. This event was created to allow program participants time to look for solutions to the issues most challenging to them as they strive to strengthen the cultural sector. Over the course of the convening, we will investigate problems around governance, organizational structure and culture, engagement and communicating value.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be hosting an event at Field Notes to extend the discussion of these issues, and we want to include your voice. Learn more about The Summit at Sundance and how we arrived at the problems to be addressed (hint: it involves a mind map!). Keep watching Field Notes for more posts around this event and please add your ideas to the conversation!

 

Exploring a New Funding Model

The Chief Executive Program is well underway with the first convening, The New Nature of Competition, taking place this fall at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. As leaders return home from three and a half packed days of presentations and activities, many are inspired to continue their discussions and begin developing ideas for collaborative and innovative projects.

A major component of The Chief Executive Program is the Investment Marketplace, an online area for leaders to connect and create innovate projects to explore potential new ways of doing business in the field. Leaders will propose projects for funding by the group, with each executive controlling an equal share of a $250,000 fund.

In creating the Investment Marketplace and the rest of the program’s online services, we chose to work with innovation management leaders Brightidea to develop a custom platform for our executives. On their blog, Brightidea discusses their work with National Arts Strategies in developing The Chief Executive Program’s Online Services to provide a new mechanism for grantmaking. Read the post, “National Arts Strategies Re-imagines Project Funding with Brightidea” »