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Change at Work: The NAS Wellness Challenge

No alcohol for 30 days! Daily workouts! Low carb from now on! It’s a new…

Stories from the Field: The Walters Art Museum

How does a museum whose model is still about long-term planning and execution of big exhibitions take a page from the tech sector?

The Competing Values Framework

Welcome to the world of the Competing Values Framework – a tool that allows organizations…

Motivated by Convergence Not Crisis: Finding Flexibility in a System Filled with Constraints

Oregon Public Broadcasting has chosen to compete in a different way. This shift has changed the way they make decisions, allocate resources, invest in staff and even in the physical space they inhabit.

What is the role of the publisher in the digital age?

Chris Fischbach, Publisher of Coffeehouse Press, talks about the value that publishers add, the misconception of the “cultural gatekeeper” and how his organization chooses what gets published.

Stories from the Field: Boston Children’s Chorus

Frederick Douglas once said “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken…

Mission-Driven: Aligning an Organization to Create Social Impact

The mission of the Boston Children’s Chorus informs its programming, logistics and operations. They are very aware of the way race and culture not only affect Boston, but the greater community. Their vision ensures that the mission is reflected in every aspect of the organization.

How do cultural institutions break down internal silos?

Ken Neufeld, former president of Victoria Theatre Association, talks about that organization’s experience in cross-departmental collaboration.

Deal Making 2.0: A Guide to Complex Negotiations

“Deal Making 2.0: A Guide to Complex Negotiations” David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius…

Salzburg Global Forum: Some Final Thoughts

We introduced Field Notes as a means of amplifying meaningful conversation. Over the last couple…

Holding Up the Arts: Can we sustain what we’ve created? Should we?

A transcript of Diane Ragsdale’s speech in which she examined the meaning and implications of sustainability and the life cycle of organizations, including the idea that death is a necessary part of the arts ecosystem.

What does “sustainability” mean in the arts and culture field?

Scholar, lecturer and teacher, Diane Ragsdale, asks some important questions about sustainability in the arts – what it means for organizations and for the field.

How can cultural organizations work with their communities rather than for their communities?

Mulenga Kapwepwe, Chairperson of the National Arts Council of Zambia, discusses how widening your definitions can broaden your understanding of community.

What is the place of cultural institutions within their communities?

Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, suggests that to be truly relevant an organization must be “in, of, for and about” its community.

What is the role of arts organizations in society?

Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico, stresses the importance of art as a connector and being true to your mission.

How do cultural institutions balance being global and local?

Mikel Ellcessor, former general manager of WDET, Detroit, warns that social media can give us a false sense of connection. He also gives a suggestion for how to make meaningful connections in one’s community.

What can science tell us about the art experience?

Dr. Gary Vikan, former Director of The Walters Art Museum, discusses how neuroscience, evolutionary biology and the cave paintings in Lascaux might point to the fact that aesthetics is “hard-wired into our heads.”

What is the role of an arts and culture leader in today’s society?

Mulenga Kapwepwe, Chairperson of the National Arts Council of Zambia and Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders faculty, suggests that arts leaders are best equipped to shape the future.

How do we communicate the instrumental and intrinsic values of the arts?

Dr. Gary Vikan, former Director of The Walters Art Museum, talks about the dangers of using economic impact as argument for the arts, the importance of articulating the intrinsic nature of the art experience and how neuroscience might unlock the mystery of that experience.

What are the arguments for the arts that resonate with contemporary society?

Patrick McIntyre, Executive Director of the Sydney Theatre Company, talks about the need to talk about the arts in terms of its benefits rather than its features.

Arts Organizations and Their Community

The changing nature of communication in the world has impacted the way people speak to each other and search for information.  New technologies have made interacting easier and more immediate than ever before.

Inciting a Free for All: Empowering staff, breaking down silos and changing a culture

Matías Tarnopolsky, Director of Cal Performances, arrived at a time when the organization faced substantial internal and external challenges. His response was to created the Fall Free for All – an open house of free music, dance and theater performances – that gave staff a chance to work together on a large-scale project and reconnect with the community in a meaningful way.

What is the role of arts organizations in society & their place in the community?

Whether introducing an international form of movement to the dance scene, putting a modern spin on Mozart or Bach, or providing a visual interpretation of the effects of war, the arts can provide thought-provoking commentary and innovative perspectives on a vast array of global ideas.

What arts organizations can learn about community work from a diesel-driven platform

Arts organizations around the world often struggle to build meaningful, sustainable relations with their community. Work with the community, rather than simply for them. Such organizations can learn a thing or two from the Mali multifunctional platform.

What role should the arts play in civil society?

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of blog posts from Fellows and panelists…

On remaking the world

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of posts from guest bloggers discussing topics…

How do cultural institutions balance being global and local?

Watch the following video featuring Mikel Ellcessor, General Manager of WDET in Detroit and a…

Global, local, and the visitor we can’t see.

We create interpretive experiences in multiple languages, for any number of age groups or visitor-types. We are desperate to discover and identify our visitor and their needs. Why are we still failing?

On What is Global and What is Local in Today’s World?

How have the dramatic changes impacted the nature of cultural activity and how are cultural organizations reacting to this new normal at the local level? How do we interact with virtual audiences and respond to increased expectations around participation?

What value does the arts create and how do we articulate it?

Deirdre Prins-Solani, an independent heritage and cultural expert in South Africa and Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders faculty member, talks about the interaction between the sacred and public spaces and how that tension creates value.

Just be valuable.

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of posts from guest bloggers discussing topics…

Finance au naturel

A wise person* once observed that it isn’t until that the tide goes out that…

What are some lessons from your experiences leading change?

During his tenure as Director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Charles Desmarais led the organization through the design, construction and relocation to a new facility designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Desmarais reflects on the lessons from that period of radical change.

How Shared Consumer Data is Redefining an Organization and Helping the Field

Terence McFarland, LA Stage Alliance’s former CEO, has united a broad community in the search for understanding of the region’s audiences through a project called Arts Census. He and his team have broadening their service to welcome all arts disciplines. They are living their mission “to empower artists and engage audiences.”

Stories from the Field: LA Stage Alliance

Talking to Terrence McFarland about the Arts Census: a way to collect, analyze and access quality data no matter what size our budgets.

On leadership: “What to Ask the Person in the Mirror,” Robert Kaplan

Professor Robert S. Kaplan (Harvard Business School) has written a book on leadership, management and…

Is crisis necessary for change?

  Sometimes, but it’s risky. By Gail Crider Crisis generally means loss of strategic perspective,…

Becoming an Equal Partner in Community Development

Deborah Cullinan, former Executive Director of Intersection for the Arts, shares the experience of becoming part of the 5M Project.

About the collection

Twenty-one articles on leadership that the Getty Leadership Institute and NAS have identified specifically for busy arts and cultural professionals.

Stories from the Field: Intersection for the Arts

Video case story of Intersection for the Arts’ embrace of risk; an in-depth look at some of the challenges, lessons and triumphs of managing change

Why the Arts Matter Now

NAS President and CEO Russell Willis Taylor recently delivered the keynote address to attendees of…

How does a leader effect change?

Mary Lou Aleskie, Director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, talks about the importance of balancing data and passion.

What effect does an organization’s dominant logic have on programming?

Peggy Sloan, Director of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, talks about the challenge and importance of questioning your assumptions.

What advice do you have for relatively young organizations?

Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director of Women Make Movies, talks about staying focused on the mission (even when if it means saying “no” to money), giving your constituents a voice, motivating staff and capitalization.

Is social media changing your model, maybe?

Summer’s winding down, and I’m sure most of you have heard Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call…

How does an organization manage the succession of its founder?

Andrew Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, stresses the importance of establishing strong communication with the board and with the community.

As a new museum director, what are your main goals and priorities?

Eric Shiner, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum, talks about the importance of a realistic, pragmatic approach to change.

How do you effect change in your community?

Shirley Sneve, Executive Director of Native American Public Telecommunications, talks about the importance of big goals.

How do multiple programs function as tools in service of one mission?

Jessica Robinson Love, Senior Director at Arabella Advisors, discusses how viewing programs as tools allows her organization to focus on outcomes.