NAS and advisory panel to re-examine Business of Arts and Culture seminars

By NAS     May 16, 2011

Our Business of Arts and Culture seminars will undergo some changes next year, and we are inviting a panel of arts and culture leaders to help us decide what those changes will look like.

Since 2009 our Business of Arts and Culture seminars have featured Organization Fellowships, which cover the full-tuition for all participating teams. Thanks to the financial support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fidelity Foundation and The Kresge Foundation these fellowships have helped leaders to continue to create new solutions while the field faced staggering financial challenges. Though arts organizations still face challenges, the economy has now stabilized and we will not offer these fellowships next year.

The full tuition required to cover the cost of the Business of Arts and Culture seminars is $900 per person ($4500 per team). We work very hard to bring down the cost of delivering these seminars, and this price is a fraction of the fee for comparable programs at leading universities. That said, we understand arts organizations’ operating budgets and respect the value that must be gained to justify an investment of this size.

Given these changes, we want to take this opportunity to re-examine the program and how it meets the needs of arts and culture leaders. We are forming an advisory panel to help us explore and co-create the next wave of the program. Your tuition will make the continuation of this program possible, and we want you to have a say in what that program will look like.

Over the next two months we will be working with panelists to understand more about the challenges they face and what actions they are taking to address them. While we have a wealth of evaluation data that highlights the value our seminars create, we want to understand the exact relationship between this value and the tuition fees required to support the program. Exactly which services are worth the $4,500 cost for a team, plus travel expenses? From this information we will craft design concepts and select three to present to the entire panel for discussion. We will follow up with an additional conversation to dig into and refine the concepts. The final results of our exploration will be announced in July.

What do you think? What challenges does your organization face? What actions are you taking to address those challenges? What elements of our Business of Arts and Culture seminars do you find most valuable? Add your voice to the discussion. Post a comment here or contact Dallas Shelby.