archive-org.com » ORG » W » WESTAF.ORG

Total: 387

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Barry's Blog: Open Nominations for the Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential Arts Leaders
    you think have the requisite power and influence in our field to justify their inclusion on the list I am particularly looking for people who may not be quite so widely known but who have major influence and power in our universe All suggestions will remain confidential and anonymous So please send me the name or names of those you think have real power and influence I need their names organizational affiliation and if you have time any other information that would help me realize a better and deeper picture of why that person is powerful and influential so I might vet those suggestions I need those suggestions no later than August 18th Thank you very much Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 8 59 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 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/08/open-nominations-for-top-50-most.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: Report on the AFTA Research Meeting
    the question of whether other research sectors are all that well aligned and inter connected OK sure we can chide ourselves but how bad should we feel After all every research community has huge disagreements on how best to tackle the big questions And how well are their data sets linked and centralized For another participant the idea of everyone falling in line and working within a single organized research infrastructure all sounded a bit authoritarian Also discussed was the considerable skepticism about the value of data collection and analysis that many hear from arts culture leaders What are the will capacity and interest of arts culture organizations to treat data and its analysis as a decision making tool rather than merely a matter of obligation Emerging resources like CDP 2 0 and TRG Arts Data Center as well as new forms of training from both upper and middle level staff that emphasize the outcomes and utility of strategic use of data are expected to reduce skepticism and increase the strategic usage of data Amidst all its talk of data the group got philosophical as well We heard that data does not tell us what to do or what our vision should be but it can help reduce uncertainty around decisions about how best to achieve our visions Also data do not speak for themselves we were reminded They need to be framed by narratives that either illustrate the impacts of the arts culture or define needs which the development of new policies and programs might address Audiences for research Who are they Do they care The topic of curating research for lay audiences while on the agenda was troublesome for the group It was easy to say who lay audiences are not researchers or data driven decision makers Lay audiences we decided can be arts professionals funders board members and community members It was said we need avenues or channels to get the right research to the right people in the right format One example research on capitalization in arts culture organizations by the Nonprofit Finance Fund is being distributed through nonprofit board training programs that directly reach board members One person made the point that funders can be very important as channels for the distribution of research They offer an inducement for stakeholders to read and engage with a research report Another inducement to engagement cited was to work with lay audiences to provide input into the design of research including questions to investigate as well as how best to interpret and translate research results Some saw this as a corrective to the tendency for funders of research to exert too much control No surprise here all agreed that researchers need to do an ever more effective job of combining quantitative and qualitative data to create narratives that resonate with lay audiences Effective narratives demonstrate the public impacts of all forms of artistic activity impacts that are inclusive of but extend well beyond economic effects The Arts Ripple

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/report-on-afta-research-meeting.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: A Brief Report on the Second International Teaching Artist Conference
    best the conference saying we should ask Where are we failing Here the work began The conveners laid out six topics identified by teaching artists in the first international gathering Teaching Artist Training Networks and Partnerships Research and Advocacy Support Structures The Business of Teaching Artistry Defining the Field and a seventh added during this conference The Professional Needs of the Teaching Artist They engaged us in troubling out related questions and concerns to help better define the teaching artist field Those expanded topics then became gathering places for us to develop real life projects intended to define and advance the field The stakes were high The projects would be pitched at conference and voted on in order to rally support around a select number that would ideally bear fruit post conference Convener Eric Booth pleaded Commit to the potential projects He noted how the fire often fizzles after a conference How could we avoid such a failing Out of the chaos of negotiated ideas rose seventeen projects that centered on two essential ideas training certification of teaching artists and modes to connect teaching artists on a global scale Clickers in hand the group identified five that in the last moments of the conference pulled together large groups of participants dedicated to keeping up the momentum The five included 1 the TAG Exchange a month long global exchange program between organizations and institutions for teaching artists 2 The Practice Lab a site where teaching artists can profile projects 3 Developing Your Teaching Artist Career An International Postgraduate Certificate in Global Practice 4 the Teaching Artist Platform a Facebook center for links to personal and organizational websites and 5 Coming up for AIR and Australian based endeavor to increase the presence of teaching artists in school settings Some participants disrupted the proceedings by sticking to their low vote projects And some on the spot private funding gave veracity to yet others Titled an unconference from the first welcome the experience launched into high gear from the start which honestly disrupted the expectations of not a few of the attendees But the momentum swept the crowd to a sense of ownership over possibilities for the future of the field Which it seems was the intention Kudos to Eric for organizing this effort and thanks to Daniel for sharing some of his impressions Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 8 47 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/a-brief-report-on-second-international.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: Blog Forum on the Future of State Arts Agencies and NASAA - Day #6
    a sleepy little movement call the Arts and how it rose to be one of the most powerful forces in making America a global innovator NASSA should be one of the key deal makers that makes it happen Arni Fishbaugh In an ideal world The ideal relationships with all of the above mentioned parties are those that address NASAA s mission to strengthen state arts agencies Much good work is going on within NASAA toward this end with all groups and there are other cases where further relationship building is ongoing One of the most significant partnerships blog readers may not be aware of is the Cultural Advocacy Group which is the group of lobbyists in Washington D C from all the national arts service organizations such as NASAA AFTA TCG AOL Chorus America and Dance USA etc They work to go forth to Congress in a united voice on arts issues important to us all and have done incredibly valuable work The most important relationship NASAA s members and the NEA Because NASAA is member driven our first priority is the need of our members The next most important relationship in my view is with the National Endowment for the Arts Some readers of this blog may not be aware that 40 of the NEA s program funding is allocated to state arts agencies and the regionals This is why it is so crucial that a true partnership relationship exist between the state arts agencies and the Endowment I know I speak for everyone around the country when I say that we are looking forward to the new vision and leadership that Dr Jane Chu will bring to the Endowment as its chairman NASAA will be working diligently to foster a mutually beneficial partnership relationship with new Chair Mark Huffland What is the ideal relationship between a state arts agency and its principal stakeholders and logical potential partners and collaborators including state arts advocacy organizations local city and county arts agencies state arts education organizations discipline based service provider organizations other state agencies private sector interests and the philanthropic community and where does that ideal differ from the current reality Needs more teamwork by participation with and service to these others What needs to be done to move the reality closer to the ideal Wisdom passion organization and activism Kris Tucker Kudos to NASAA for its work in recent years to convene a better coalition for national level advocacy and for nurturing a good relationship with the NEA especially the state regional partnership office Over the years NASAA has also navigated strong partnerships with State School Chiefs and the NGA among others I hope the new NASAA leader will be broadly visible and proactive as she he gets acquainted with the field the job the context and develops relationships and connections Then I hope a compelling new vision and approach are developed with some fairly immediate opportunities and longer term options The Board and membership must be fully engaged but must be open to uncertainty and should expect our assumptions to be challenged The decade ahead will be unlike anything we ve seen before Let s hope State Arts Agencies have the courage creativity enthusiasm and intelligence that the arts deserve Laura Zucker So now it s my turn to pose some questions Beyond its members NASAA s most important relationship is with the NEA as 40 of the NEA s budget is distributed directly to the SAAs and I understand that the relationship hasn t been as collaborative as it could be Can NASAA really get the chair of the NEA s priorities and figure out how the state s NEA allocations can support the broader agenda there s that fealty concept again Just as the NEA made a concerted effort under Rocco Landesman s leadership to partner with other federal agencies is there room for NASAA to explore this arena to enable its SAAs to benefit from new federal partnerships As the NEA rolls out new strategies around systemic change in arts education nationally what role could NASAA play in helping statewide initiatives take root The NEA has also demonstrated through spearheading the creation of ArtPlace the caroling power that s possible to bring a federal agency and private funders into alignment around a common approach to a funding priority whatever it might be Is that something NASAA could model for SAAs In other words If NASAA decides it s going to take on issues of field wide importance the sky s the limit on the partnerships it can form Randy Rosenbaum Several years ago I attended a NASAA conference in Chicago The culture wars were underway and at this conference NASAA had assembled representatives from all of the arts service organizations Everyone was seated as one very long table on a ballroom stage so literally two dozen or more organizations representing thousands of artists and artsorganizations were present all with a single purpose to put there name to a document that unified everyone in support of public funding for the arts I knew this meeting was happening in the moment and it didn t really represent a unified approach to anything at all But it really sparked my excitement and imagination That to me is the ideal relationship taken from the moment and put into practice NASAA should be one of many in that relationship and the contribution of state arts agencies should make sense within a unified approach to advancing the arts community I m convinced we can collectively get behind a few basic issues and work them out collectively And if NASAA could contribute to that just as it contributed to the development of the Cultural Arts Group CAG a collection of advocates from the major arts service organizations well that would be a wonderful thing Anthony Radich NASAA s efforts to prepare for the post Baby Boomer world of culture should be no different than those of all cultural entities The first step

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/blog-forum-on-future-of-state-arts_18.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: Blog Forum on the Future of State Arts Agencies and NASAA - Day #5
    funding not NEA for a focused multi state initiative connecting the arts perhaps to housing Veterans affairs or other issues It s now been a decade since the Wallace Foundation invested in 13 SAAs and the field as a whole through the START initiative that introduced us to smarter conversations and better conceptual frameworks for understanding the public benefit of state arts agencies What s next NASAA could set the table for the next decade But they won t get there if they are focused on troubleshooting SAA problems with grantmaking and strategic planning Laura Zucker The NASAA board is going to have an interesting challenge in searching for a new executive director First of all they re going to have to find someone who wants to live in Washington D C and with that humidity not easy Then there s the question of a competitive salary As reported in NASAA s 2011 990 the CEO made 158 340 plus 16 076 in benefits Many heads of large urban LAAs make more and the president and CEO of AFTA in 2012 made 544 178 plus 262 455 in other compensation and benefits Five other staff members at AFTA made just about or more than the CEO of NASAA in that year What to look for in the new CEO at any price Vision passion tenacity and experience in that order I define vision as the ability to see what a future version of the world can or should be Passion is the will to make that vision a reality over time sometimes a long time And the more experience you have the more quickly you can make it come to pass But we ve all seen people without a lot of experience learn along the way and get there all the same So it needs to be someone at their sweet spot just enough experience to manage the politics and not enough to keep them from trying crazy wonderful things Scott Provancher A few thoughts for the search committee for the CEO of NASAA If the search committee believes that the SAA sector is changing and the role of NASAA will require new ideas and strategies to support its members and strengthen the Arts in America then they should hire someone who has proven experience in developing designing executing and realizing new ideas organizational change and social innovations However if NASAA believes that the model is not broken and only needs someone to sell the existing value proposition of NASAA harder the worst thing that they could do is to hire a proven innovator or change agent I recall a personal experience of mine when I was hired as the CEO of an orchestra The Board s selling points during the search process was the need for a new model and someone who could revolutionize the role of the orchestra in the community Drawn to the opportunity to design a new path forward for an art form that I loved

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/blog-forum-on-future-of-state-arts_17.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: Blog Forum on the Future of State Arts Agencies and NASAA - Day #4
    Helping the sector to find resources for R D developing a national platform for experimentation and new strategy development are paramount to ensure that the sector continues to grow its impact and resources NASAA identifying this need and putting resources behind it would be a bold first step on a path to innovation Anita Walker The biggest challenge for NASAA is that it is an association of a very small group of members The biggest benefit for NASAA is that it is an association of a very small group of members The 50 states plus territories members provide a very focused point of advocacy But this small group of members does not in and of itself have the capacity to provide the level of financial support NASAA needs to provide the robust services we all want and need Nevertheless I think NASAA excels at research and case making which is essential to the work all of us do NASAA s collaboration with government related groups like the National Governor s Association is a great example of collaboration at its best The big question for me is whether and where the line gets blurred between NASAA and AFTA It is essential that NASAA focus on what is essential about state arts agencies see question 1 and tailor its case making to underscore that Randy Rosenbaum NASAA operates in a world of relationships Maintaining and advancing those relationships is mission critical It s essential for example for NASAA to have a strong and productive relationship with the state arts agencies and regional organizations So services are key I ve participated in conversations with the state arts agencies where the quality and availability of service is an important factor in the field s impression of NASAA and its effectiveness In this I believe that NASAA s role is as a provider of services But change happens in different ways and as an organization NASAA can also play a role as a change agent For example the field expects NASAA to have a relationship with the NEA where NASAA is respected as a colleague and collaborator on behalf of the states and regions The states through their partnership with the NEA help to distribute over 40 of federal funds at the local level We should expect to play a part in the way that policy is developed at the federal level in the same way the NEA expects states to make policy and plan with the full engagement of their principal partners at the local level If we accept that changes happens through collective efforts and not unilaterally then a respectful partnership between NASAA and the NEA with regular consultations and coordinated planning will result in change With the change in leadership about to happen at NASAA that change could be significant What are the key services that are the most needed by and valuable to SAAs and to what extent does NASAA need to rethink how it can provide those services We need to know what works What are our colleagues doing that we can emulate and gain inspiration from What are the great ideas that are constantly being explored and tested in the different states I almost wrote in the laboratories of democracy NASAA is the best mechanism for sharing that information and they have progressed from written reports to webinars and other kinds of distant learning NASAA should take more advantage of new technologies and means of communications from Twitter and Pinterest which it doesn t use to video conferencing and small group learning experiences organized around regional gatherings I personally take great value from NASAA s amazing Research department The quality of information we receive at request or as part of the regular distribution of data is first rate and very important And NASAA staff has been going directly into states to provide help on everything from advocacy to grants management All very valuable I m not sure how much we need to rethink what NASAA provides as much as the ways in which it is provided I think these services will always be important to state arts agencies What needs to change in the NASAA business model and what steps can NASAA take to diversify or expand its income in order to increase the resources available to it to pursue its mission and insure its financial sustainability and capacity to serve its membership I think NASAA s business model is basically sound As an association we represent the interests of our field and advance the role of the arts and the role that state arts agencies play in supporting the arts locally nationally and perhaps internationally NASAA represents a community of agencies that have deep roots in every state and locality In that I believe NASAA is in a better position than AFTA to speak about economic impact and vitality of the arts at the state level AFTA has monetized there data collection and manipulation and this may be something for NASAA to look at We may also be able to seek foundation support for the kinds of projects and initiatives where having network of state and regional arts agencies is an advantage On the other side of the coin what new kinds of approaches might NASAA take to support state legislative budget increases to state arts agencies I admire the work that AFTA has done in developing a network of state arts advocates with state captains and the like Aside from the occasional meeting between NASAA members and these state captains there really hasn t been any great exchanges in this area and I think NASAA in collaboration with AFTA or on its own could do more direct training and support for advocacy There are a lot of good tips but this effort needs to be revitalized Anthony Radich I think of state arts agencies as the manifestation of a successful movement the movement to involve states in a meaningful way in cultural development As with most movements over time energies change and areas of emphasis are altered For many years now NASAA has been the leader of a defensive strategy designed to ensure the the preservation of state arts agencies While such defense is understandable considering the huge pressures the agencies are under I would argue that the time for defensive posture by the agency is over and it should once again take its rightful place as head of a movement a movement to expand the power and influence of state arts agencies Ra Joy First and foremost a tip of the hat is due Jonathan Katz for his trailblazing leadership and his fierce and effective advocacy for the arts In November Jonathan will retire after 29 years of distinguished service at the helm of NASAA His professionalism wisdom and willingness to go that extra step helped take NASAA to unparalleled heights Everyone who cares about culture in America owes Jonathan a tremendous debt of gratitude for all that he s done to elevate the arts as an essential public benefit In thinking about the next chapter for NASAA I am reminded of the Brazilian proverb that says When we dream alone it remains just a dream when you dream together it is the beginning of a new reality NASAA should continue to create space for SAAs to dream together and to create a new reality and agenda for the arts Since 1968 NASAA has maintained a commitment to providing useful tools timely information and strategic support to cultural leaders at the state and regional levels When considering the reinvention and evolution of NASAA three key roles come to mind Policy Development Right now many of the policy areas that impact the creative economy and arts stakeholders exist in counterproductively separate silos NASAA should continue to work with partners to identify and advance crosscutting policy initiatives that strengthen the economy and our communities Positioning Message Development NASAA should build public value for the arts by creating compelling messages that highlight the ways that the arts impact community By developing and testing messages that matter NASAA can empower SAAs and the citizens they serve to better communicate why the arts are an important public asset Data Informed Decision Making As a sector we ve done a good job of establishing clear goal posts for federal appropriations to the NEA and state legislative appropriations to SAAs Based on this time tested framework we consistently monitor progress and keep stakeholders informed NASAA should work with partners to create an evaluation and accountability framework for assessing the impacts of state and regional creative economies To make this happen NASAA should collaborate with stakeholders to research existing strategies for developing and using benchmarks and metrics select appropriate models and conduct ongoing monitoring assessment and identification of improvement opportunities In order to seize these opportunities NASAA should play a more active role as a change agent for the field in addition to a professional association for SAAs Arni Fishbaugh NASAA is a membership driven organization and the role it should play should be determined by its membership In my experience on the board of directors and as the recent president of NASAA I have observed that NASAA is both a change agent and a provider of services to established practices in response to these needs NASAA has a strategic planning process that deeply involves its membership and this helps identify current priorities that can provide the kind of service agencies find of greatest value There is no one size fits all role The most fascinating thing I ve learned on the job is how different each state arts agency is There is not a one size fit all solution for any of us That is why all the work NASAA has done to be on top of current issues for its membership has been invaluable I can t say enough wonderful things about the entire staff and how incredibly smart and helpful they are to state arts agencies Working as both a change agent and assisting in established practice The largest agent of change work I ve seen done over the last decade is the institutionalization of the public value concepts brought forth by Harvard professor Mark Moore as part of the Wallace Foundation s START initiative NASAA saw the transformational change that this work brought about in state arts agencies participating in that program and the enormous benefits it provided to them and was a catalyst for expanding this work in other states and institutionalizing public value as a best practice The research NASAA has done with state arts agency work in arts education cultural tourism cultural districts agency structures among so many other topics has allowed state arts agencies to move forward with their own advancement in these arenas A Godsend NASAA s crisis assistance I can t underscore enough how valuable the NASAA staff is for all state arts agencies when we face the next brilliant idea that will in our view maim or cripple our efforts and our impact NASAA staff has a compendium of information on every possible threat state arts agencies face and they respond in SOS fashion to whatever crisis looms next And they respond immediately OMG I can t tell you how many times they have helped us with threats of elimination consolidation privatization among so many other trials and tribulations Let s not reinvent the wheel Because NASAA has such a tremendous clearinghouse of examples from states around the country on such a variety of topics its resources are immensely helpful to us all as directors and councils commissions investigate what else is out there what others are doing not to mention sharing their own great new ideas What are the key services that are the most needed by and valuable to SAAs and to what extent does NASAA need to rethink how it can provide those services Each year as part of the nominations process for the Board of Directors of NASAA the nominating committee interviews every single executive director and chairman of all 56 state and territorial arts agencies or tries to Two of the questions asked of these individuals are what are the most valuable services that NASAA provides and do you have any suggestions for ways to improve those services What do we hear In speaking to both people who are and who are not on the board regardless of whether or not they are chairs or executive directors there are some services that always rise to the top as most valuable Research Advocacy and representation of the state arts agencies as having a powerful voice with partners and the NEA Convener at the national conferences held once a year Providing a clearinghouse of information An incredibly fabulous staff that helps us with anything we need and does so immediately There is no hue and cry from the field about re thinking how NASAA provides these services at least through the interviews and conversations of which I ve been part But I would envision that technology will undoubtedly play a larger role in many ways What needs to change in the NASAA business model and what steps can NASAA take to diversify or expand its income in order to increase the resources available to it to pursue its mission and insure its financial sustainability and capacity to serve its membership NASAA s agenda for the future includes the need to develop more earned income as part of diversification of its revenues The key will be to establish product lines or program offerings that augment the core services already provided The need for revenue diversification will be a key charge for the new executive director On the other side of the coin what new kinds of approaches might NASAA take to support state legislative budget increases to state arts agencies The right people saying the right things to the right people From my perspective as an executive director in a state with significant political challenges I have found that the largest help in garnering legislative budget support has to do with having the right people have the right relationship with the right legislators in leadership positions and or their staffs and the right people delivering the right message that is compelling relevant and meaningful On the NASAA front we have a treasure in NASAA s lobbyist Isaac Brown who has done a most capable job of stepping into the huge shoes worn by NASAA s long time and highly beloved lobbyist Tom Birch We have an enormously valuable group of state arts agency executive directors and council commission members who have been essential in maximizing support for state and federal arts budgets Rubbing the genie bottle Arts Champions If I were to rub my genie bottle out would come a cadre of Arts Champions for lack of a better term consisting of private sector leaders in business and innovation industries that include science and technology as well as education These Arts Champions would carry the advocacy message about the value of the arts and the importance of public funding for the arts to colleagues in their own fields It would be important to have a mix of political parties as champions We need the presidents of major corporations talking to other corporate heads about this we need keynotes about the importance of arts and its public funding made by non arts people in non arts settings One of the most critical messages that needs to be conveyed in my mind is that arts creativity innovative thinking This idea certainly isn t new It does ride on the back of the invaluable work done by the National Governor s Association through help with NASAA about the importance of the arts in economic development and education Those Best Practices Reports have been the single most effective case making tools in our conversations with Governors here in the past Caveat emptor The most important aspect of this is the understanding that what works in one state may not work in another and it can be extremely destructive to try to force one standard approach everywhere NASAA does not do this but there are others that try with highly problematic outcomes Mark Hofflund Should NASAA s role be that of a change agent or a provider of services to an established practice Depends on time circumstances and needs in the field NASAA might better reflect its identify as a nonprofit and cultivate a national influence representative of all Americans and specifically artists orgs unions schools service orgs philanthropies etc while maintaining its historic role as a D C watchdog and national trade association What are the key services that are the most needed by and valuable to SAAs and to what extent does NASAA need to rethink how it can provide those services Connections for SAAs to the greater world and opportunities of the nation through an infusion of and connection to women and men beyond SAAs own internal auspices What needs to change in the NASAA business model and what steps can NASAA take to diversify or expand its income in order to increase the resources available to it to pursue its mission and insure its financial sustainability and capacity to serve its membership The membership probably needs to release some of its control in order to benefit from the greater support of other interests Release control and gain more leverage from other spheres and other sources of influence On the other side of the coin what new kinds of approaches might NASAA take to support state legislative budget increases to state arts agencies Help model statewide grassroots populist support networks whose primary goal is increased participation to gain matching legislative interest Use the NEA model of matching state appropriations with federal dollars from above by creating a similar grassroots effort incentivizing the state from below Kris Tucker Assuming NASAA continues to be a membership organization NASAA must be responsive to member needs Some

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/blog-forum-on-future-of-state-arts_16.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: Blog Forum on the Future of State Arts Agencies and NASAA - Day #3
    more likely to thrive when they are embedded into the goals of multiple public agencies and partner organizations Rocco Landesman referred to this all hands on deck approach as the insertion of the arts into the everyday business of sister agencies Here in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Commissioner Michelle Boone of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events refer to this holistic strategy as Planning Culturally This comprehensive approach values culture for its transformative power and for its strength to inspire express and unite SAAs should partner with other state agencies and regional planning organizations to achieve shared goals and incorporate the arts as an essential ingredient in economic development education public safety public health and strong communities Unfortunately many SAAs are woefully underfunded relative to the demand for services More funding and bandwidth would be needed to help close the gap that exists for some SAAs between the current state and the desired future state described above Arni Fishbaugh One big town With just more than a million people Montanans think of our state as one big town Despite its immense geography which west to east is comparable in distance as Chicago is to Washington D C there is frequently only one or two degrees of separation between knowing others from anywhere in the state I think this is a critical factor in how we relate to our public In rural America people help each other It s wise to never be really mean to your neighbor because you don t know when they may be the one to save your life Nimble ness and bureaucracies When I first read Barry s memo about this blog one of the things he asked us to think about was how state agencies remain nimble and refrain from bureaucracy which I think relates to the question above a bit To address the nimble and bureaucracy elements I asked my staff how they would speak to this They are models of being nimble and a far cry from being bureaucrats They all are working artists or arts managers or educators or they have been doing their jobs long enough and well enough to truly empathize with the needs of our constituents From KarenDe Herman Administrative Specialist I think the key to our nimbleness is our relationship with the arts organizations and artists across the state When they recognize us as fellow artists and trust us to look out for their best interests they make allowances for and work with us to overcome the constraints of governmental bureaucracy This gives us the opportunity to innovate in a safe space as viewed by our constituents From Cindy Kittredge Folk Arts and Market Development Specialist Although nimbleness innovation and risk taking can be endangered by government bureaucracy thoughtful and deliberate action based on the points that follow can help to achieve balance so that it doesn t become an either or issue By thoughtful I mean actions that have been carefully considered in terms of end actions and which are responsive to the public By deliberate I mean actions that aren t taken flying by the seat of the pants but which look to strategic goals and a strong vision that doesn t demand changes that occur overnight Incidentally I don t see strategic plans as carved in stone but as guideposts in a world where reality can quickly change Keeping the expressed needs and wishes of the artists at the forefront provides the wind at the back to make the right decisions Although there are those who feel that approach may be based too much in the whims of the masses I believe that there is a strength in the collective knowledge of the public If this forms the core of a strategic plan then that plan will be strengthened and decisions can be made that will carry the group forward in a cohesive way Maintaining awareness of and respect for the members of the public will provide the mindset to be open to the creative and innovative ideas that come your way I always try to hold to Myles Horton s advice in teaching Start with where the people are It really isn t about those of us in the bureaucracy although we may be pressed and stressed but it is about the people we serve Sometimes collaborative work can be extremely difficult or suggestions may not initially seem to be a positive However in the end this kind perspective allows for the open space that new ideas need to grow It also may require nimbleness and creativity in how such difficult situations are handled and that can lead to great innovations From Cinda Holt Business Development Specialist The nimbleness we have comes from the philosophy of the agency to hire senior staff based on their expertise more so than on how well they fit a previously set job description By taking advantage of that staffer s real world experience they act as an actual professional development technical resource to the field It is much easier to learn on the job the bureaucratic functions that are required to fill out the position than it is to gain the range of experience needed in order to provide true technical assistance In our strategic planning work we look to specific non arts folks in growth industries to provide us with broader POVs about how the arts and creativity link to their lives and successes including scientists and technology experts Because we aggressively go after private funding for certain initiatives we are able to test pilot programs in ways we couldn t if we didn t have private funding From Emily Kohring Arts Education Director I don t really feel constrained here first of all I worked for an arts organization for nine years with a tiny budget and I never had enough resources I was under constant pressure to bring in enough earned income in my programs so we wouldn t be in

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/blog-forum-on-future-of-state-arts_15.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barry's Blog: Blog Forum on the Future of State Arts Agencies and NASAA - Day #2
    as drivers of non grant based initiatives With largely stagnant budgets many are faced with dong neither well What is the role of the state arts agency in supporting or working to reduce in size overbuilt arts ecosystems Public sector funders of cultural activities have a special responsibility to reduce or eliminate funding to cultural organizations that are no longer audience viable Unless the public clearly indicates it wants its money to be allocated to cultural organizations that are museum pieces public sector funders need to find the courage and the bureaucratic skill to lead in the defunding of nonprofit arts organizations that have outlived their audience base The re envisioning of state arts agencies faces many challenges Chief among them are 1 Fear of failure within the agency staff and the among agency governing board members Arts agency staff usually work for a living and stirring the waters of change always has the potential to cost them their jobs In addition most arts agency governing board members don t usually sign on to be change leaders tend to be fearful that major change on their watch could blow up the agency and part of their reputations with it 2 The lack of a big enough idea has challenged many agencies seeking to re envision A big idea around re envisioning is not simply more money for a state unless it is a great deal more money to do some really exciting things Even though state governments continue to be somewhat stressed the leaders in state government still seek out innovative ways to approach challenges Especially in times of budget stress new creative ideas usually get a hearing provided they are big enough ideas 3 For a field of hard working people who fund creative activities the state arts agency field is actually very administratively and policy conservative New ideas do not easily take root in the field and the occasional arts agency director who steps forward with something new is often greeted with blank stares The national culture of state arts agency administration will need to change before any kind of field wide re envisioning of the agencies can occur Randy Rosenbaum I don t think we should move totally away from grantmaking These grants and the process by which they are awarded continues to be important for our field Even if the amount is insignificant the connotation that this is an organization judged by the state and their peers as worthy of support is consequential And to sound just a tiny bit crass it it important for us to have a mechanism to reward or influence the direction of arts organizations A tweet referenced acomment made by Peter Brosius of the Children s Theatre Company at the recent TCG conference We receive public funds we have public responsibilities And that is ultimately good for the arts and for its role in our states and communities If I were to imagine a new kind of state arts agency I might move away from operating support or even responsive grants I would concentrate on funding projects and collaborations that emerged from a collaborative planning environment We all come to the table with certain things some with connections others with expertise others with money We actually come to the table with all three but usually the money is the weakest part for us It should be as strong as our ability to connect with people and organizations throughout our state and the knowledge we can bring to important issues We should be able to invest in ways to diversify audiences not just talk about its importance when reviewing grant applications We should be able to invest in new works and the performances and exhibits by major institutions who wouldn t talk the time or risk to present this work on their own We should be able to invest in increasing the visibility of the arts help with professional development of artists use the arts to make a difference in economic development strategy in our state The state arts agency of the future would be more overtly investment oriented than it is now Obviously we depend on the good will of our elected officials who determine the budget we have to work with and to some extent the conditions under which we operate Their good will depends on our doing our job well no damaging headlines no scandalous art funded with the taxpayer s money It also depends on the good will of the people in their districts who vote for them If we eliminate funding for those people without their concurrence then our lives are in jeopardy The challenge therefore is to build a new system of funding the arts with their support I ve found this requires their participation in the construction process They may not all think they ll do well or better under the new system but they may agree with it if they respect the nature of the construction process and the need for change I haven t quite decided whether the best time to do this is when you have less or little money or when you ve had an infusion of new money In Rhode Island I m thinking about something I m calling The Grand Reboot I have the general impression that we have locked everyone into a grant amount that no longer has any relationship to reality It s not based on the size of the organization or its relative ranking as compared to its peers in our state If anything it s based on what they may have received 10 or 15 years ago increased or decreased over time as our budget has ebbed and flowed The largest organizations do very well The small and medium sized organizations not so much Our budget has not increased in a way that we can address this through the age old remedy of throwing more money at the problem So we will have to start from scratch a form of zero based budgeting It will be difficult and traumatic for some but absolutely necessary I m not sure I agree we have an overbuilt arts ecosystem in Rhode Island but if we do our little part of the solution might involve the redirection of funding Is there a better way to balance the provision of grants and the provision of other kinds of services It all depends on what you want to accomplish If you can use grants to achieve programmatic needs that s great If we need to get into the direct provision of services so be it But I worry about state arts agencies playing too much of a role a a provider of services This is something I think we can only do in limited ways since other organizations are better suited to running programs Anita Walker Grant making is the philosophical heart of what we do We are the stewards of our states most precious treasures our art and our history Only an investment of state tax dollars gives ownership of this common wealth to the people of the Commonwealth Consider the alternative cultural nonprofits reliant of the generosity of wealth patrons or corporations Then the only art and history we have would be decided by the wealthy few Alternatively art and history funded entirely by the government would deprive us of the risk experimentation and truth that the wealthy can afford Our system is really the best of both worlds But our work of beyond grant making is not only something we imagine it is something we practice Our financial investments are core they give ownership to the citizens in the best we have to offer they give confidence to private donors and leverage private investment they connect the field to us and allow us to connect members of the field to each other and they connect the field to elected leadership and to important policy issues affecting every community But our shrinking budget has forced us to consider the levers we can push to enhance the field in the absence of money Creativity before capital is our motto Case in point our cultural district program We established the program two years ago with no funding whatsoever With no money or grant of any kind at the end of a rigorous application process more than 100 communities have applied for state designation as a cultural district Twenty five have been designated so far These communities have build strong partnerships established cultural planning as an integral part of city and town planning and created a cultural brand that is real special and authentic We are now being approached by legislators looking for ways to provide funding for this program By re designing our grant making we have uncovered ways to harness the collective capacity of the field and put it to work to raise all boats Our operating support program is no longer a competitive grant program We provide formula funding to 400 non profits and require all recipients to participate in building the sector All must advocate They must participate in site visits to colleague organizations and they are called upon to mentor others By eliminating the competition we are building a true partnership relationship that is honest and supportive And this partnership is delivering more innovation and intellectual capital to the field at large than the largest grant could buy Is the field overbuilt I don t even know what that means The field is an ecology There are large mature organizations with deep roots and big endowments medium sized organizations that struggle to make ends meet with fixed labor and facilities costs like most middle class families and there are young agile organizations that may flame out or may become rooted All contribute to our cultural landscape I haven t the slightest idea how to decide who should live and who should die who is redundant who is sustainable The merge or die message has been sent loud and clear from other funding leaders in Massachusetts But the truth is successful mergers are expensive and rare A better message might be two turkeys do not an eagle make Laura Zucker First of all I take issue with the notion that the field is overbuilt As my nephew pointed out when I expressed my fear that as a step grandmother I might be an un needed extra grandma you can t have too many grandmothers Grandmothers are a good thing and so are arts organizations The only people I ever hear complain about there being too many nonprofits are foundation program officers who don t want to deal with so many applicants But the reality is that the greater market place made up largely of individual donors and ticket buyers attendees determines if an individual arts organization fulfills a need in the universe not government agencies or private funders I often think there s a direct line to public funders from the medieval feudal system From Wikipedia An oath of fealty from the Latin fidelitas faithfulness is a pledge of allegiance of one person to another In medieval Europe this took the form of an oath from a vassal or subordinate to the lord It also referred to the duties incumbent upon a vassal that were owed to the lord which consisted of service and aid Usually the lord also promised to provide for the vassal in some form either through the granting of a fief or by some other manner of support So the relationship was a two way street in which both parties gained The California Arts Council CAC pioneered what was a groundbreaking program the State Local Partnership back in the 1980s that was fundamentally based on the feudal system The CAC distributed funds to every one of the 58 county local arts agencies in the state for many rural agencies it was the lifeline that enabled them to be staffed In return the California LAA s were both a method to disseminate information for the CAC across the state and a way to collect information and send it back up the chain of command Even though the amount of money was not large for an urban LAA like the Los Angeles County Arts Commission we knew what was expected of us in return for the grant and it reinforced our fealty When the CAC convened all the LAAs annually we were there Unfortunately this program is a vestige of its former self due to the lack of funding the current allocation doesn t provide enough money to insure staffing for every LAA in the state making the CAC s job harder by not having boots on the ground everywhere Grant programs not only provide necessary sustenance to the field they create a binding force that enables the arts agency whether local or statewide to literally hold things together It is the role of being a grantmaker that gives the agency the ability to convene all stakeholders assuring that all summoned will attend to address field wide issues Of course the grant making process must be carried out in an exemplary manner in a transparent fair and explicable way When the grant making process devolves into political cronyism all credibility not to mention political capital is lost and the agency can be irreparably compromised by its grantmaking role But without the grantmaking role the agency is just another service provider and we all know what a hard row that is to hoe Oh wait that s one of the questions to come Kris Tucker Every advocacy message for SAA funding makes me wish we were asking for ten times as much Why aren t we asking for 5 million not 500 000 And if we did get 5 million what then Sad to say the reality is that our discussions are more often about how to cut another 10 of our budget not what to do with a new 5 million Even so we are afraid to end grants programs We are afraid our colleagues and constituents would quit caring about us if we don t provide the same mix of grant funding that we ve tweaked endlessly over the years And SAAs fear they don t have the expertise or resources for a different mix of programs and services If all that you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail So goes the old adage SAAs have for too long seen grants as our only hammer ie the primary tool in our toolbox Surely we need to see that with limited dollars general operating support is a much lower priority GOS disproportionately supports urban organizations that have the best access to other support and fails to incentivize anything but what has worked on the past Grants can be part of SAA strategy as incentives not entitlements Power2Give and Art Place are two innovations in grantmaking more should come Every SAA is different but it s timely for SAAs to become far more different to meet the specific and unique needs of a particular state with its geography and demographics authorizing environment and operating capacity Bold budgeting may be required so that funds are set aside for initiatives Contractors may be needed to serve as experts for hire that expand the skill set and capacity beyond SAA staff And SAA leaders may need to rethink processes if they are going to take on different roles within state rules and requirements such as for purchasing contracting convenings and product sales Here are a few SAA roles that I see have huge potential and should be priorities in SAA budgeting whether funds are growing or shrinking We can more clearly focus WHAT we do In some states that might mean arts education is the primary function with strategic partnerships incentives leadership development In some states it should mean no more grants to organizations not necessarily because of shrinking resources but because SAA resources are more effective elsewhere We can rethink HOW we do what we do Instead of project support grants use dollars and staff expertise to incubate and nurture local efforts by providing customized support and a well crafted mix of services Helping local leaders include the arts in city comprehensive plans is one such opportunity with a relatively small investment a SAA could provide professional development such as training sessions online resources webinars white papers expert consultations etc networking of participating communities to encourage self organized learning and support research and or messaging financial support as a grant to support related project s or for reimbursement of related expenses We can expand WHO we work with far beyond our focus of the nonprofit arts community How about developing policy partners with colleges and universities with professional organizations with economic development offices Mark Hofflund Were SAAs to move away from grant making as their central role what would the new structure of an agency look like Perhaps a research institute An educational org A census bureau A marketing and promotional entity A visitors center An immigration office What is the role of the state arts agency in supporting or working to reduce in size overbuilt arts ecosystems I don t think it needs a regulatory component but it could provide information and data that might be useful to businesses foundations and private interests in measuring the effective use of civic resources What other ways might a SAA re envision its way of doing business Decentralize decisions and funding to occur in as many local areas as possible while maintaining statewide standards What are the state arts ecosystem political constraints both within the sector and outside of it that bear on any kind of re envisioning and re organizing of SAA s missions and priorities and how can they be dealt with Populist sentiment recognition and demand are needed along with greater and more numerous sources of private support What is the role of State Arts

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/07/blog-forum-on-future-of-state-arts_14.html (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive



  •