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News + Updates: Organizational Updates

National Arts Strategies awarded $35,000 from the Knight Foundation Fund of Akron Community Foundation

We are thrilled to share that the National Arts Strategies’ (NAS) Creative Community Fellows program has received $35,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund of Akron Community Foundation, to advance community change and cultural entrepreneurship.

Funding will directly support the participation of cultural entrepreneurs from the Akron community in the Creative Community Fellows program.

A national organization, Knight Foundation was founded in Akron, Ohio, and continues to invest in the community through their support of local organizations. We are excited to deepen the support of cultural entrepreneurs from Akron as they define, design, pilot and scale their work.

Creative Community Fellows is designed to support creative individuals working as change-makers in their communities. These Fellows use arts and culture as vehicles to drive physical and social transformations. Over eight-months, Fellows gain access to tools, training and a community of support that helps to fuel their visions for community change and action.

 

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 60 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Dec. 31, 2015, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $184 million with a growing family of more than 520 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $131 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

 

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.

 

Announcing a New Creative Community Fellows Funding Partner

CCFWe would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for their $30,000 grant, which will support a cohort of San Jose, California-based Creative Community Fellows.

Creative Community Fellows is developed to support creative individuals working as change-makers in their communities. These Fellows use arts and culture as vehicles to drive physical and social transformations. Over eight-months, Fellows gain access to tools, training and a community of support that helps to fuel their visions for community change and action.

 

About the Knight Foundation’s Work in San Jose, California

As San Jose faces tremendous population growth, Knight is working to support the urbanization of a traditionally sprawling city with a specific focus on Central San Jose. Their investments tap into the region’s creative energy and disruptive history to accelerate the city’s significance as a well-connected, transport-accessible hub for culture and innovation in the South Bay.

Working with partners in the public and private sectors, they support a range of projects from prototypes and pop-ups to in-depth research and sustained organizational support.

Learn more about Creative Community Fellows »

 

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 »

 

We’re Headed to The Americans for the Arts 2015 Annual Convention

On Friday, NAS’ Pearl Bickersteth and Fielding Grasty hit the road and head for Chicago to attend the annual Americans for the Arts Convention taking place this June 12-14.

This year, the convention explores power and empowerment of the individual and the greater community. What’s at the top of our list? Our most anticipated events include Theaster Gates’ Keynote speech, Empowering the Voices Inside Communities and Agree or Disagree: Gentrification Is an Inevitable By-Product of Placemaking, a panel featuring Roberto Bedoya, Executive Director, Tucson Pima Arts Council; Ann Markusen, Principal, Markusen Economic Research Organization; and Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts.

We are looking forward to learning and connecting with colleagues from around the globe. If you are attending the event, please say hello! We hope to see you there. You can follow Fielding and Pearl’s reactions and thoughts during the convention on Twitter @ArtStrategies and @FieldingGrasty. You can also connect with NAS by subscribing to our newsletter, following NAS on Twitter or liking NAS on Facebook!

 

NAS has a new look

National Arts Strategies has updated our logo and website design. We think these cosmetic changes better reflect the organization NAS has become over the last few years. 

PrintLogo design is a lot like wine tasting. Experts will tell you that one design has a hint of this and a soupçon of that. We think the new logo design is a more creative, forward-leaning look. It reflects our approach, which is about bringing together ideas from all over to help and support your work.

The logo is just the beginning of this effort. Over the next few months we will be building out new features and content for the site that will allow you to better connect with the content and colleagues that you need to find new solutions and to push your own ideas forward.

We welcome your feedback on the design or your thoughts on what you would like to see on the new site.

 

Samuel Hoi Joins National Arts Strategies’ Board of Directors

Samuel HoiIt is with pleasure that we announce the appointment of Samuel Hoi, President of the Maryland Institute College of Art, to our Board of Directors.

“Samuel’s commitment to social impact and collaboration make him a perfect match for our work. He is deeply committed to fostering the careers of young artists and their place in building vibrant communities. We are honored that Samuel is joining the Board,” stated National Arts Strategies President and CEO, Gail Crider.

Mr. Hoi is an advocate for art and design education and creative professionals in social, economic, and cultural advancement. Formerly, he was president of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, where he launched the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region and California. As dean of the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C., Mr. Hoi created a visual arts program serving inner-city youth that received a National Multicultural Institute Award and a Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.

Mr. Hoi has served on many boards, including those of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Arena Stage. He serves on and chaired the boards of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) and United States Artists (USA). He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP).

Born and raised in Hong Kong, he received his BA from Columbia College in New York City and earned his JD degree from Columbia Law School. He subsequently obtained an AAS degree in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. Mr. Hoi holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Corcoran College of Art + Design and Otis College of Art and Design and was decorated in 2006 by the French government as an Officer of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Ken Fischer, National Arts Strategies’ board chair shared his thoughts on the appointment, “Samuel’s years of leadership experience in arts education amplify why he makes a great addition to the Board. We are delighted to welcome his leadership and expertise and look forward to working alongside him.”

“The work National Arts Strategies is doing and the direction they are headed is inspiring. I am thrilled to be a part of this journey,” stated Mr. Hoi.

 

Kaywin Feldman Joins National Arts Strategies’ Board of Directors

kaywinWe 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.”

 

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!

 

The Executive Diploma for Arts & Culture Strategy

NAS has worked with gifted leaders from a variety of arts and culture organizations for many years. We often hear that new and up-and-coming leaders need better training options. There are many good programs at good universities that train arts and culture professionals. The problem, however, is access. The cost of these and other higher-education programs simply is too high. It’s a system that quite frankly isn’t working. National Arts Strategies is launching a program that will revolutionize arts and culture training and position our field for the future – The Executive Diploma for Arts and Culture Strategy.

Collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania, NAS has developed a nine-month online and in-person program for cultural leadership that costs $4,950 – a fraction of the cost for comparable offerings. The Executive Diploma for Arts and Culture Strategy promises what no other program can – comprehensive training from a world-class university grounded in real-world experience at an affordable price.

We will remove the traditional barriers that have kept many talented individuals from seeking training. No longer will young leaders need to take on staggering amounts of debt, nor will mid-career professionals have to take a two-year hiatus and possibly relocate to get a “legitimizing” degree. No longer will high-quality education be out of reach to the majority of our field.

The program consists of two in-person and six online courses that will give up-and-coming leaders the foundational knowledge and business frameworks to take the next step in their careers. They will walk away better equipped to think more strategically, to position an organization, to create maximum value around mission, to manage people and money and to work well with a board of directors. It will feature faculty from the University of Pennsylvania, the NAS team and leaders working in the field. We will begin accepting applications to the program this September.

The first course, Arts & Culture Strategy will be available on Coursera and open to anyone at no charge. The first convening will be at the University of Pennsylvania in March 2015.

Learn more about The Executive Diploma for Arts and Culture Strategy »