close

Inspiration

Developing Transformative Employees and Systems

Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll feature posts around the final convening of…

Placemaking: Leverage, Alignment and Moving Mountains

A video case study on Irrigate the Arts featuring Laura Zabel, the Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Defining Our Value

The recent flurry of articles around the “failure” of the creative class to save our…

How do you re-engineer a cultural institution with a long history and numerous stakeholders?

Brian Ferriso, the Marilyn H. & Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. Director of the Portland Art Museum, talks about how incremental changes over time have built a sustainable and vibrant path for the Portland Art Museum.

Avoiding Brain Freeze: Wellness in the Workplace

CC image by kroszk@ Working in the arts can be extremely stressful. Coordinating exhibits, performances…

How does your approach to partnerships reflect your organization’s culture?

Laura Zabel, executive director of Springboard for the Arts, suggests that framing partnerships as opportunities can be a powerful force in an organization.

What’s your mandate?

What would the pundits say about your organization? What is your mandate?

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?

Salzburg Global Forum: Some Final Thoughts

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

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 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.

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.

On remaking the world

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

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…

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 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.

How should cultural institutions approach visitor engagement?

Nina Simon, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, talks about how her organization invites people to engage.

Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S.

Doug Borwick of the popular ArtsJournal blog Engaging Matters has released a new book, Building Communities,…

Brainstorming Effectively

An homage to instructional films of the late 1950s, this tongue-in-cheek short by the NAS team looks at the trials and tribulations of running a brainstorming meeting and outlines some useful techniques.

Shut Up and Take My Money: Fans Should Hire Artists

We’ve been having some interesting discussions with cultural leaders about the relevance of cultural organizations…

How have you engaged your staff to cultivate new leaders?

George Sparks, President and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, talks about the executive’s role in helping staff members create a plan for the future.

Is Opera a Sustainable Art Form?

Diane Ragsdale shares an excerpt from her keynote address on the topic, “Is Opera a Sustainable Art Form?” from the Opera Europa conference in February.

How should cultural organizations react to the significant changes in their competitive landscape?

Gordon Hewitt, an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at the Stephen M Ross School of Business, discusses the importance of challenging your assumptions.

If you were to rebuild your organization today what would it look like?

Beth Boone, Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project, talks about their process of…

If you were to build an arts organization today on what aspects would you focus?

Abby Marcus, General Manager of The Playwrights’ Center, talks about the importance of flexibility in arts organizations.

A response to the 10-point Action Plan in the UK

On December 8th, Arts Council England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced…

What are the elements of a successful visitor experience?

Patricia Mooradian, President of The Henry Ford, discusses the key elements necessary to build a great visitor experience — from resources and research to curriculum and web presence.

The Challenges of Cultural Leadership

In this keynote address delivered at the Bolz Center Collegium, NAS President and CEO, Russell Willis Taylor explores the unique leadership demands of cultural enterprise.

How do arts organizations engage diverse communities?

Kenneth Fischer, President of the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, discusses his experiences building understanding and partnerships with the local Arab American community.

How do arts organizations build a meaningful community?

Douglas McLennan, Editor of ArtsJournal, talks about arts organizations’ need to support the vital role the audience plays in “completing the act of art.”

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

A fascinating animated talk by Daniel Pink about the surprising things that do (and don’t) motivate people.

There Are No Crises, Only Tough Decisions

In this keynote address delivered at the joint annual conferences of Chorus America and The League of American Orchestras, Russell Willis Taylor, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies, explores the extraordinary opportunities that arts organizations have today.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts, discusses the need for vision, patience, and staff alignment and engagement to successfully lead change in an organization.

What elements of the slow food movement are relevant to arts organizations?

Diane Ragsdale compares the issues facing the arts with those that faced the restaurant industry, sparking the Slow Food movement. She suggests that an answer to the mounting challenges for arts organizations might be to start a Slow Arts movement.