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  • Barry's Blog: The Arts Spin Doctors?
    here in there to make it seem tailored to the audience of the moment I suppose many people are inspired by some of these people but to me it s just boring and in a way insulting It doesn t take a rocket scientist to know a spin doctor when you hear one It s entirely possible that the norm today is to be a spin doctor virtually all the time At your next internal office meeting watch for them and then tell me they don t exist in your organization And by the way we are all getting better and better at spinning Practice makes perfect I guess We can spin with the best of them Now there may be nothing inherently wrong with that then again maybe there is something fundamentally wrong with it Are we in the arts as guilty as the rest of them in terms of spinning things and being wedded to that idea And is that ok because everybody does it and it s even expected right Where s the harm Is a little bit of spinning ok Where is the line What are the consequences I can t exactly pinpoint how I think this is harmful but I have the gut feeling that it is And that it is getting dangerously close to becoming a systemic problem To the same extent that the American public is less and less fooled by the political spin doctors plying their craft and even arguably getting fed up and angry about it spinning in general increasingly runs the risk of alienating the spun audience whatever audience you may pinpoint While some spinning may be acceptable that line is getting blurred We in the arts run that same risk with our various publics And while transparency has become a desirable outcome in our as well as countless other fields transparency may have little to do with truthfulness and a willingness to take a long cold hard look at realities as a way to come up with different approaches and strategies to deal with challenges Perhaps even transparency can be spun As a tool spinning may yield desirable short term outcomes but as a process whether political on a societal level or organizational on an industry level it doesn t seem to have done much to get us as a country or a field anywhere near where we say we want to be All spinning has done in my humble opinion is to codify as reality the old Buffalo Springfield song lyric line Singing songs and carrying signs Mostly say hooray for our side Well Hooray for our side is a really weak position And it most certainly has little if anything to do with trying to understand a situation and coming up with ways to address a challenge Sadly Hooray for our side is increasingly all that we have I think that somehow this all has to do with risk taking Somehow dealing forthrightly with things has become

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/04/the-arts-spin-doctors.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Announcing the Dinner Vention 2 Discussion Topic
    to address the challenges we face of the SILO ization of the arts and how do we address this challenge How do we enhance our sense of community and make the concept of a big tent a reality in the nonprofit arts 5 POLICY FORMULATION Policies are arguably useful in governing both approaches to action and action itself in any given field Where are the consensus guiding policies in the arts for equity in funding allocation arts education strategies research communications audience development community engagement placemaking advocacy case making leadership development and of course revenue generation How can we establish unified national policies in these and other areas Should we Why or why not Why haven t we Focused Dinner Topics we asked the guests to indicate their top top four preferences 1 Equity Racism When and how do we stop attempting to convert people to the traditional western European art forms and redirect the funds subsidizing those art forms to the classical and contemporary art forms of peoples from other parts of the world 2 Engagement community generational other Is the current theory of community engagement as essential to the future of the nonprofit arts on the money or ill conceived How are both community and engagement to be defined so as to attain consensus agreement and does the approach really address the issues of audience development public and private support and equity in funding allocation 3 Causes of the shrinking audiences solutions What are the real causes of our shrinking audiences and is there anything we can do to stem the tide What are the roles of engagement placemaking marketing programming funding resources and leadership in coming up with solutions What is the solution 4 The broken funding model solutions Is the current arts organization funding model public private support combined with earned income broken can it be fixed and what do we have to do to have a funding model that works for us What will that model look like How do government agencies local state and federal foundations corporations patrons and donors fit into that new model 5 Making the case for the Arts Selling the value of the arts to decision makers the public stakeholders the media and constituents What are we doing wrong what are we doing right and what must we do to change the process and our progress 6 Innovation We spend a lot of time and energy considering devising programs for and promoting the importance and value of innovation But how innovative are we really and what needs to be done to get the field to embrace innovative change and then to make it happen In what areas is innovation desperately needed and why 7 Placemaking Cultural Districts Is the theory of Placemaking a valid approach to integrating the arts into communities nation wide Is Placemaking being confused with the creation of cultural districts and is that really a misguided attempt to engage in a form of artificial nation building and doomed to failure 8 Leadership professional development succession What are the challenges facing the field in generational succession and what are the consequences and implications of this wholesale shift and are we really effectively and efficiently preparing leaders to cope with the challenges facing arts administrators today and tomorrow 9 Information overload Have we reached a level of information overload wherein we simply have too much to consider for most of it to be useful in our jobs What impact is this having How do we address the challenge 10 Collaboration models for the future What needs to be done to identify develop and manage truly effective collaborations that will specifically address the big challenges we face What partnerships are really working and which ones are mere lip service to the idea of partnering 11 Research and Data What is the role of research and data metrics and measurements in the discharge of the mission of arts organizations How do we accurately assess impact How do we get a handle on the growing body of research and make it useful to the rank and file in the arts field in all of the challenges facing us 12 Communication How do we communicate in the arts within our organizations and field and with those outside our field including stakeholders the government and the public Are the tools we are using to communicate effective and efficient and to the degree they are not why not How do we as arts administrators get most of our information in today s world through word of mouth via the internet from bloggers the printed word reports and studies at conferences or otherwise Are those means efficient What needs to be done to improve both our capacity to communicate and the reality of our communications The guests indicated their preferences and here is the reworded topic for the Dinner vention 2 discussion DINNER TOPIC BROKEN MODELS PICKING UP THE PIECES AND MOVING FORWARD The nonprofit arts have long relied on a number of models that have arguably now failed or are failing if not across the board then for large portions of our universe including the income revenue model the advocacy model the equity in funding allocation model the audience development marketing model the arts organization governance model the professional development for leadership model the making the case model and the business partnership model among others Some of these models are clearly not working others marginally so Other models may be working well e g Placemaking Innovation exploration Which models are broken and why and how do we come up with the ways and means to either fix what is broken in the dysfunctional models or to develop entirely new models that a majority of the field will embrace to allow us to make some progress in all the challenges we face and what might those new models look like Consider How would those new models incorporate consensus policies on equity in funding allocation leadership succession

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/08/announcing-dinner-vention-2-discussion.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: The Dinner-Vention 2 Guest List
    entrepreneurial house within EmcArts Karina and her team spread stories of innovation and foster a dialogue among arts leaders about what it takes to stay adaptive in the face of increasingly complex challenges Since joining EmcArts Karina has led a series of experimental initiatives to celebrate and advance innovation in the field including an I nnovation Story Contest the Business Unusual National Challenge and a popular series of livestreamed talks at the National Innovation Summit for Arts Culture In addition to these special projects she also maintains an active blog on ArtsFwd and is a process facilitator in EmcArts local and national programs Prior to joining EmcArts Karina served as the Associate Producer at HERE where she managed cutting edge multi disciplinary projects and produced the documentary series MADE HERE While Karina enjoyed working in an arts organization she increasingly wanted a more bird s eye view of the entire arts system EmcArts gives her that opportunity Karina has an MFA in Theater Management and Producing from Columbia University and an AB from Harvard University Ebony McKinney Ebony McKinney has a diverse range of experience in non profit philanthropic and government organizations McKinney served as the founding director of Emerging Arts Professionals SFBA a network focused on empowerment leadership and growth of next generation arts and culture workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and was instrumental n helping to establish the statewide California NextGen Arts Leadership Initiative funded by The James Irvine Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation She has held positions with Intersection for the Arts the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania She has also sat on the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts McKinney has participated in grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission and currently serves on the on the Citizen s Advisory Committee of Grants for the Arts San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund Ebony holds a BA in Communications from Chatham College and MA s in both Cultural Entrepreneurship and Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths University of London McKinney also attended the International Summer School in Cultural Economics in Amsterdam NL Ron Ragin Ron Ragin is a performing artist and philanthropy professional living and working in New York City Currently he is the program officer at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation where he manages a multi sector portfolio of nonprofit grantees working at the intersections of art and issues such as climate change and education Previously he had a six year tenure at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as a program officer in the Performing Arts Program and worked as a senior research analyst at the Center for Effective Philanthropy Ron is a Steering Committee Member of the Art x Culture x Social Justice Network Artistically his work is rooted in African American performance traditions and integrates sound text and movement Sanjit Sethi Born in Rochester New York Sanjit Sethi received a BFA in 1994 from

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/08/the-dinner-vention-2-guest-list.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Announcing Dinner-vention 2 - 2014 Edition
    Having already done one Dinner vention we ve learned from that experience how to manage the project This year we are making a few simple changes First rather than twelve dinner guests we re going to keep the guest list to eight invitees We think a smaller group will allow more of an exchange of ideas and more time for each guest to make important points We hope the resulting conversation is even more engaging to you as an ultimate viewer Second rather than video tape the dinner edit it and then air the segments we re going to try to stream this year s event live That will necessitate less direction at the actual event and we hope it flows more like a live dinner event warts and miscues notwithstanding It will also necessitate a somewhat shorter presentation Third as was the case last year we will present a list of possible topics for the dinner guests themselves to choose from and their consensus choice will be the featured topic for the evening But we will need your help here too and at a later date I will invite you to suggest topics to present to the selected guests for this year s dinner Finally last year s guests thought the preparatory work in exchanging position papers and in limited opportunities to exchange ideas via telephone conference calls was valuable and suggested more would be of benefit So this year we will try to expand the ways the invited guests can intersect before the dinner itself including some intersections with last year s guests I will report back to you all via the blog once the guests are selected the topics chosen this year s site selected and we d like to move the event to a different location each year for diversity s sake suggestions welcomed and the date of the dinner You can submit your list of up to eight dinner party guests to me by replying to this blog email barrysblogwestaf gmail com Nominate anyone you would like including yourself You must include for each name on the list the person s job title and organizational affiliation It would be very helpful if you could also give us a contact phone number and or email and if you can in just a few words why you included that person on your fantasy dinner party guest list The deadline for submissions is May 15 2014 I would greatly appreciate it if you would pass this on and publicize it to people within your sphere The more names submitted for possible guests to the Arts Dinner vention the better Thank you all for your help again Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 6 58 PM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/04/announcing-dinner-vention-2-2014-edition.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Typos, Errors and Apologies
    the ups and downs of fighting for beliefs The book straightforwardly mixes together simple clear definitions strong opinions new ideas and in your face strategies all designed to help the good guys win Robert L Lynch President CEO Americans for the Arts Hardball Lobbying is an essential tool for every nonprofit leader who wants to see systems change and public dollars flow to the causes they care about Tim Wolfred Psy D Director of Leadership Services CompassPoint For those who want to begin a nonprofit I can think of no better guide and toolkit that Hardball Government students should read this as an insight into decision making as Barry explains how government and groups interact with one another at all levels Hardball is definitely not a book to collect dust but one to get dog eared highlighted debated and used Representative Adam Schiff U S Congress 29 th District California Click here http amzn to d1whZU HIRE BARRY TO SPEAK AT YOUR CONFERENCE email barryarts comcast net HIRE BARRY TO LEAD WORKSHOPS in Advocacy full and half day sessions customized to your situation Managing the Generational Divide in the Workplace The Business Side of the Music Industry email barryarts comcast net Popular Posts Widget by Blogger Buster Blog Archive 2016 11 April 1 March 4 February 3 January 3 2015 57 December 2 November 4 October 6 September 4 August 8 July 4 June 8 May 5 April 3 March 5 February 4 January 4 2014 68 December 6 November 4 October 7 September 6 Where is the Debate in the Arts A Majority of Americans Are Now Single and What The Dinner vention 2 Guest Briefing Papers Typos Errors and Apologies 2014 s Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential People Trying Different Approaches The Alternate Sizing August 4 July

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/09/typos-errors-and-apologies.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: 2014's Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts (USA)
    s flourish he has not only righted a leaky ship in the Bay Area he has evolved into a national leader in the LAA field Research Sunil Iyengar Director Office of Research and Analysis National Endowment for the Arts He continues to lead the NEA and an ever diverse and ambitious arts research field bringing professionalism organization and common sense in the process Anne Gadwa Nicodemus Principal Metris Arts Consulting Highly regarded and respected with impeccable credentials she s everywhere on the research stage now Known for her rigorous and exacting work product she gets into the issues and isn t afraid to voice strong thoughts take stands and question methodologies and results Randy Cohen Vice President Research and Policy Americans for the Arts One of the grand visionaries of the arts research field it is his pioneering work that has guided the strategies and energies of much of the field s efforts at advocacy and building value with the public Tireless cross country traveller he has one of the better networks in the entire field He cuts through the B S and zeroes in on the real issues Ian David Moss Senior Director of Information Strategy Fractured Atlas His blog Createquity is on hiatus as he and an expanded team are retooling and the final product is highly anticipated His reruns of past posts show just how prolific he is and penetrating his comments have been His influence on the whole of the research agenda continues to grow in part because he is everywhere involved Advocacy Government Betty Plumb Executive Director South Carolina Arts Alliance She just keeps keeping on and people know that as long as she s on the case the likely outcome is victory She has the patience of Job the smarts of James Carville and the likability of a Tom Hanks She is one hell of an advocate and a positive example across the divide SPECIAL MENTION Tom Cochran CEO US Conference of Mayors A politician who seems to actually get what we are talking about when we argue for the value of the arts he s been instrumental in advancing local support for the arts and expanding other political support Arts Education Note This is National Arts in Education Week Celebrate Click here for more info Julie Fry Program Officer Performing Arts Program William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Nearing the end of her term limited tenure at Hewlett few practitioners in the arts education field know as much as she does about all the challenges and some of the solutions in arts education She approaches the problem of somehow making meaningful progress in the offering of arts education to all K 12 students with studied determination diplomacy and a deep understanding of what works and what doesn t and why Ayanna Hudson Director of Arts Education National Endowment for the Arts She astutely and capably represents the Endowment in all the national and local efforts to move arts education forward and has the talent to make everyone feel she and the agency relate to their individual situations A real dynamo Sandra Ruppert Director Arts Education Partnership She is the major domo at the Arts Partnership and at the center of the intersection of all the arts education efforts across the country Jonathan Herman Executive Director National Guild for Community Arts Education Under Herman s continuing leadership the National Guild is now foursquare at the center of all the initiatives from all over the field to move the Arts Education dime in the Community setting linking the disparate and far flung interests of all the players and the respect for the organization that may have once been wanting is now established The Guild is part convener part service organization part linker part professional development provider and part policy formulator and it does all those tasks effectively Philanthropy Josephine Ramirez Program Director Arts The James Irvine Foundation Irvine continues to lead the field in some crucial areas including the challenge of how to promote true equity in funding allocations one of the BIG issues in the field Currently exploring how to build a field that is committed to the idea of equity they are exploring the very hard question of how to get certain segments of the established arts infrastructure to embrace equity as an idea not only that s time has come but that is good for everybody Ramirez is leading that important inquiry She is highly regarded for her intelligence work commitment and understanding of the issues and she has a great back up staff Rip Rapson CEO Kresge Foundation As Chair of ArtPlace s Funder s Council Rapson has stepped up his direct involvement with arts funding issues and made important appearances at key conferences to share his very astute and well thought through theories of the value of arts and culture and maximization of impact funding In the process as the head of a major foundation he has upped the visibility and importance of all arts funding in the philanthropic community with other foundation presidents arts funders and non funders He has a very quick mind and is as engaging and effective a spokesperson for the value of the arts as we have had in a long time John McGuirk Program Director Performing Arts Program William and Flora Hewlett Foundation He continues to be one of the key players on the West Coast philanthropic front and in GIA as Hewlett continues to be in the forefront of arts education the issues of transparency and communication and in sustaining the California arts infrastructure His willingness to commit Hewlett to areas of inquiry that benefit the whole of the field has expanded his reach and influence Ben Cameron Program Director Arts Doris Duke Charitable Foundation What can you say about the field s foremost orator and his uncanny ability to distill all the rhetorical noise into coherent and understandable prose Still it is his funding programs at Duke that are changing grant by grant

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/09/2014s-top-50-most-powerful-and.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Trying Different Approaches - The Alternate Sizing Theory
    or exhibition How can you adapt such a theory of size to that reality If I were an Opera or Dance Company or Symphony or Museum I might try this adaptation I might raise my ticket price slightly by maybe ten dollars But then I would offer this Buy two tickets to any single performance exhibition and get four more for free to the same performance That might do a couple of things It would allow people who bought tickets to invite some friends to go with them thus making the whole experience more communal and social and more fun Or it would make the cost very reasonable even cheap if split six ways and still have the social element to it For the organization it might be less income though the increased ten dollar ticket price would offset a little of the loss and a sold out performance might yield as large a net It would make it easier to insure full houses and it would likely get new people into the venue It would also help with the brand and engage the community in a new way and allow opportunities to convert those new people into regular audience members or more And it would offer all kinds of possibilities for marketing and advertising As an experiment I think were I running the organization it might be worth the risk Maybe I would just run it for certain performances each month but not all Or maybe there would be some way to use the other end of the ploy miniaturization by offering a one hour performance for half the price of a normal two or three hour offering Again get more people into the house expand the audience and end up with some new prospects for ongoing attendance You could run two or even three performances on a single day perhaps I can tell you that the over or under sizing of a standard product has worked countless times Maybe some variation can work for you It s just a small idea Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 10 19 PM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner Subscribe via Reader Subscribe in a reader Barry s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation WESTAF The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of WESTAF Followers Buy Barry s Book HARDBALL LOBBYING FOR NONPROFITS Barry learned political advocacy the hard way convincing the California legislature to multiply many fold its investment in arts funding In his new book Barry extracts the lessons of his long experience into a readable and impassioned tutorial that has broad application throughout the nonprofit sector John Kriedler former President Community Initiative Fund This is a powerful provocative and daring look at the ups

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/09/trying-different-approaches-alternate.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Jumping to Conclusions about How Well You Know Millennials
    may come faster and run deeper as change itself is changing And so we ought to ask ourselves how reliable any portrait of them at any point in time really is To what extent can we really base long term strategies and approaches to making them part of our world on who they are today or who we think they are today Like many other aspects of life in the modern world we need to be adaptive and innovative in how we approach Millennials at any given moment in time and we have to consider the risk in devising and implementing strategies aimed at them that are rigid and inflexible While we want hard answers and reliable facts on which we can base our actions that may simply no longer be possible The only lesson that might be clear is that we need to treat all cohorts with which we interact and with whose members we want different kinds of relationships with respect Millennials like all generations are offended by patronization and perhaps nothing is more patronizing than the assumption you ve got someone figured out when that person very well may not yet have figured themselves out Prudence dictates that what we know of Millennials based on our experience with those from that generation who have joined our ranks may not be a reasoned approach for it very well may be that the cohort of Millennials that are now within our ranks is hardly representative of the whole of their generation Then too we really need to examine our own perspective and pre determined prejudices about the Millennial generation A case in point We have been extorted to master social media marketing particularly Facebook and put if not all than many of our eggs in that basket But there is already evidence that 1 Younger Millennials are leaving Facebook as older people flock to it and 2 email dutifully pronounced all but dead as anathema to Millennials seems to have far more lifeblood than previously thought On the other hand Facebook is hardly seriously on the decline and email may yet become a relic It s hard to trust trends or even to verify their existence And that makes drawing conclusions a difficult business Moreover considering the Millennial generation as first and foremost defined by being part of that generation cavalierly discounts the role that ethnicity education socioeconomic status geographic residency political affiliation parental influence and a host of other factors plays in their decision making about all the things we in the arts field are interested in The point is Everything is in constant flux and change including how to characterize define and understand any given cohort of people and history shows us that change continues throughout the life of a generation cohorts rarely remain static The temptation is great to rush to judgment as we desperately seek answers and conclusions on which we can act Remember virtually all of the technology that now defines us smart phones

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/08/jumping-to-conclusions-about-how-well.html (2016-05-01)
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