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  • Barry's Blog: Blueprint for Professional Development in the Arts
    our people need access to ongoing professional development training opportunities It is essential not only to effective organizations but to our recruiting and retention efforts as well Moreover what you learn one year may well be outdated the following year The most promising tool we and all businesses really have probably lies in the online offerings as a way to complement the in person offerings which for a variety of reasons may not be available to everyone But we must address the issues of cost access convenience of access and scheduling ease in identifying what we need and then finding the opportunities to address that need and breadth of content we ve got to offer a much larger range of knowledge learning or we will continue to have a hodgepodge of in person and online offerings excellent though some of them may be which are underutilized by our people We have made inroads into our online offerings and the potential is there to greatly expand what is available to our people Sources of potential online offerings include Universities both arts and business administration degree programs for a fee and general relevant university offerings at no cost Nonprofit both arts specific and otherwise class offerings seminars workshops webinars podcasts lectures presentations etc offered by our own organizations by nonprofit umbrella groups by university programs and others Independent coaches and consultants from our field and beyond Some of whom already create available online content The potential is huge for more from those coaches and consultants and from the growing pool of experienced recently retired arts administrators who haven t yet created online content professional development Authors of books periodicals articles speeches et al Peer networks independent mentoring coaching Newly created offerings specifically designed to be online Our own sector s online offerings are already increasing dramatically We need to manage that growth so that 1 The finances make sense to both those creating and offering the content and those to whom that content is aimed Bottom line Those offering the skills training need to make money and we need to incentivize all of those who might create valuable content to do so Those availing themselves of those offerings need the cost to them to be affordable RECOMMENDATION Two things need to happen First we have to build a culture in our sector that recognizes and embraces the idea that continuing skills training and opportunities to gain more knowledge is critical to our survival and must be available to everyone at all levels of their careers throughout their careers Second that attitude needs to manifest itself in every organization irrespective of its size age focus etc having an annual line item in its budget that amply provides for professional development opportunities for everyone in the organization board staff and sometimes even for volunteers and interns Note I m not being unrealistic I do not envision a Utopia wherein anyone can have a professional development option at will irrespective of the cost But I am talking about making a meaningful ongoing investment in training the organization s people so that they can do their jobs at a high level That may require funders to recognize that the provision of professional development opportunities is a sector wide challenge and key to their grantees succeeding in realizing the overarching goals of the funders Funders must work towards moving organizations to think in terms of professional development as an essential expenditure like rent and salaries Some subsidy may be necessary The danger in not spending the money for the sector is a situation where the very richest organizations expand their skills training opportunities while the have nots don t which will create an inequity that we will all ultimately pay the price for 2 What we offer needs to be much broader in terms of content and focus than what is currently available We have to have a much richer deeper level of content as part of our overall professional development paradigm We need our skills training to at least follow if not equal the private sector model We are currently in the midst of the beginning of a major transition from one generation of arts leaders to others The number of organizations that have experienced a change in senior leadership in the past two years has been eye opening The turnover in middle level management continues to churn The wholesale transition isn t something on the horizon we are right smack in the center of it We need to figure out a way not to lose all of the knowledge of those that are leaving Offering training in the basics isn t enough We have to go deeper RECOMMENDATION We need to mount a major effort to expand offerings that go well beyond the basics of arts administration Those offerings need to focus on leadership qualities as well as nuts and bolts management issues And we need to include the new century skills that are embedded in the new economies and marketplaces both technological and people oriented We need to figure out how those who are leaving the field can share their experience and knowledge with those moving into the front ranks of our organizations 3 We need to figure out some way so that all the online offerings ours and from other fields and areas can be somewhat centralized so if you are looking for a specific kind of training you can find out what is available in a one stop process That entails identifying and aggregating on an ongoing basis all the content out there that might be relevant to our people That will take time and money Moreover we need to make sure that all that our field already offers online is made available on demand not just on predetermined dates and predetermined times The on demand element is absolutely essential This almost certainly will necessitate widespread cooperation and collaboration among lots of entities and moreover probably will need a consortium of funders

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2014/04/blueprint-for-professional-development.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: The ARTS Dinner-Vention Project
    who have something to say and ought to be heard Hopefully you would give a little thought to where these people came from their backgrounds and areas of expertise how they might complement each other and all of that so that there would be great diversity at the table and that the conversation would be lively and provocative The primary candidates any good dinner party host seeks are people with ideas dynamic thinkers and communicators with new ways of thinking about the challenges we face In short this would be a dinner party of people you would like to hear from because you think they would have something to say people you would invite to your fantasy dinner party It s a chance to identify a group of people that might differ from the Most Powerful list and acknowledge and recognize all those folks and give them a platform As a way to help you think in terms of who you might want to invite we suggest that people who fit any of the following categories would likely make for a memorable dinner party and hope you might include as many people who would fit one or more of these categories as you can though you are free to nominate any 8 to 12 people you like on your guest list The Connector the person who links us to the world those with huge networks of contacts and who span different spheres and sectors the bridge builder with multiple perspectives The Maven the person who accumulates knowledge the one who is the information broker and wants to share their new information The constant thinker The Salesperson the charismatic person with powerful negotiation skills who plays the role of the persuader the first three categories are Malcolm Gladwell s the Tipping Point categories Here are some others The Provocateur the person who provokes and pushes towards new solutions and acceptance of upending the status quo The Power Broker the person who can move other people and organizations to act based on knowledge insider position and the ability to identify and implement what kinds of influence are necessary to effect change The Visionary the one with the long range big picture in mind the person who sees the future what it will be and what it might be a realistic dreamer The Organizer Ring Leader the person who provides on the ground leadership to get things done The take charge leader with experience under his her belt The Cynic Skeptic the person who plays Devil s Advocate and asks the hard questions and keeps in check unbridled enthusiasm based more on passion than reality The Risk Taker the person who argues for bold moves and action now The Master of Bureaucracy and Detail the person in the trenches who actually makes things happen the one who knows how to get things done and wade through all the detail The one who works with the Organizer The Policy Wonk Geek the theoretician the

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2012/09/the-arts-dinner-vention-project.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Announcing The Dinner-vention Dinner TOPIC
    that if every arts organization in every community in America or even just 20 of that number would join their local Chamber of Commerce and become active in its committee system and governance the arts as a field could virtually take partial control of the national Chamber and that would then allow us a powerful base and platform for our advocacy efforts and our efforts to build meaningful partnerships with business Again good idea or stupid idea but at least a then new idea We hope for specific new ideas to come out of the dinner discussion and hope each of the guests will bring one to the table II Negative We do NOT want the dinner conversation to be a rehash of the points about the topic or sub topics with which everyone in the field is familiar We do NOT want to engage in the same analysis of the problem s that seems to happen at every conference and every gathering to discuss our challenges We ve heard it all before It s BORING We want to break new ground and talk about what we can do NOT where we are at We want a lively and unscripted discussion but we don t want chaos and we do want to bear in mind that we are videotaping the discussion and it has to have some form so that it will ultimately be engaging to those who we hope will watch it We also of course want to bear in mind that a two or three hour discussion even with preparation and substantial aforethought isn t enough time to consider all the aspects of any topic let alone all the implications of any suggested approach to addressing one or more challenges So we want to dig as deep as we can as quickly as we can given the time constraints We are in the process of now determining what protocol for organizing the dinner conversation will work best All of the dinner guests will be submitting briefing papers one page narrative or bullet points as each prefers on what they think are the major issues within the topic and or the direction or perspective they want to take in discussing the topic We have advised the guests that they can stake out any territory they wish given their own thinking on the topic I will post all of those briefing papers on this blog sometime in August before the actual September 5th Dinner vention Thank you all for your continuing interest in this experiment Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 10 00 AM 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/07/announcing-dinner-vention-dinner-topic.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Announcing the Dinner-vention Party Guest List
    where he is active in the areas of performance arts education and artistic curation In the fall of 2007 Joseph appeared on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine as one of America s Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences He is the artistic director of the seven part HBO documentary Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices and is an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship which annually recognizes 50 of the country s greatest living artists He is the 2011 Alpert Award winner in theater and he was one of 21 artists to be named to the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists in 2012 Joseph has developed several poetically based works for the stage that have toured across the U S Europe Asia and Africa Joseph s current evening length project red black GREEN a blues is among the anchors of the Kennedy Center s 2013 2014 programming season He is the founding program director of the non profit Youth Speaks and is a co founder of Life is Living a national series of one day festivals designed to activate under resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip hop arts and focused environmental action After graduating from Morehouse College in 1997 Joseph earned a master s degree in education from San Francisco State University Lex Leifheit Lex Leifheit is the executive director of South of Market Arts Resources Technology and Services SOMArts a hybrid of a cultural center arts service provider co working space and contemporary gallery Founded in 1979 SOMArts has a history of nurturing small and mid sized culturally specific organizations as well as counterculture arts movements such as the first Burning Man exhibition in 1994 At SOMArts Leifheit has established programs such as the Commons Curatorial Residency and Feast of Words A Literary Potluck She also has served as a member of the steering committee for the development of San Francisco Bay Area Emerging Arts Professionals and was a member of the Emerging Leaders Council of Americans for the Arts from 2007 2009 She previously held positions at the Eugene O Neill Theater Center Wesleyan University s Center for the Arts and the Green Street Arts Center Leifheit received her master of arts degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and attended Drake University where she received a bachelor s degree in theater performance Clayton Lord Clayton Lord is the vice president of local arts advancement for Americans for the Arts In that role he works to further the goal of making all of the arts accessible by empowering local arts agencies service organizations civic minded arts institutions artists and patrons to make the arts more relevant to their communities Previously Lord worked at Theatre Bay Area where he created a robust audience development and research program including the Bay Area Big List the Free Night of Theater and the DataPoint Research program Lord is a prolific blogger at ArtsJournal com NewBeans and has edited and contributed to the work Counting New Beans Intrinsic Impact and the Value of Art for Theatre Bay Area His essays and research papers many of which center on issues of equity access and impact around art in America have been published in Artivate ArtsBlog Theatre Bay Area magazine HowlRound In Dance Stage Directions and other publications Lord holds a bachelor s degree in English and psychology from Georgetown University Nina Simon Nina Simon serves as the executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History where she led an institutional turnaround based on grassroots community participation She teaches in the University of Washington Museology graduate program and is the author of The Participatory Museum 2010 and the popular Museum 2 0 blog Previously Simon worked as an independent consultant to over 100 museums and cultural centers around the world She has been described by Smithsonian Magazine as a museum visionary for her audience centered approach to design She began her museum career as an experience development specialist at the International Spy Museum in Washington D C Simon holds a degree in electrical engineering from Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts Devon Smith Devon Smith is the director of social media and analytics at Threespot a digital engagement agency in Washington D C that builds online tools and interactive experiences for clients At Threespot Smith leads a staff of social media managers and digital analysts who help clients build long term high value relationships with their constituents and measure the impact of those connections Smith has recently led engagements with clients such as the Smithsonian Institution BBC America UNICEF Pew Charitable Trusts and Planned Parenthood She has spoken at numerous conferences covering topics from social fundraising and online personal branding to social media metrics and an industry wide social media survey Smith has worked for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting World Science Festival Actors Theatre of Louisville and arts organizations across the U S in marketing development and general management roles She holds an MBA and an MFA both from Yale University as well as two bachelor s degrees from the University of Washington Kristin Thomson Kristin Thomson is a social researcher musician and organizer and a consultant for the national nonprofit Future of Music Coalition FMC which advocates on behalf of musicians Thomson co directs FMC s multi method Artist Revenue Streams research project which is examining changes in musicians sources of income Thomson joined the Future of Music Coalition in 2000 and served in a number of roles ranging from project management and research to overseeing event programming including Future of Music Policy Summits from 2002 to 2006 She was also the primary author of Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies which was released by the Pew Research Center s Internet and American Life Project in 2013 Thomson holds a bachelor s degree in sociology from Colorado College Margy Waller Margy Waller is an advocate for the creation of community through the arts She is a Senior Fellow at Topos Partnership a national strategic

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/05/announcing-dinner-vention-party-guest.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: The Arts Dinner-vention Guest Briefing Papers - Part I
    audiences need to become audience members from the beginning having access to the same traditions and rituals that make up the art experiences regardless of how traditional or avant garde to borrow a early 1970 s phrase the art or artist From this knowledge of form and experience of participation comes appreciation understanding and the ability to engage with the work to be in dialogue with the art which is the essence of what we call the new art movement This new movement around art requires that we create a transition period where we provide these learning experiences that feel more like participation and engagement than teachable moments for audiences between 18 and 99 by point blank asking them what are you interested in seeing on the stage on the wall on the pedestal on the Marley floor It might mean for a time that we shift the paradigm making work that we are asked to make rather than work that we are inspired to make It might mean that while making work that is in dialogue with the audiences we think we need we open ourselves to the possibility of being inspired in new ways The two pronged solution is to provide daily in school experiences of literacy art music dance theatre while at the same time engaging new audiences in dialogue asking them to participate before creation looking to find inspiration for our future as we transition into a new way of creating presenting and seeing art in all its forms Clayton Lord Vice President Local Arts Advancement Americans for the Arts In my mind the decline of the traditional institutional arts audience base is a direct result of the rise of the idea self perpetuated of the arts as 1 not for everyone and 2 not necessary simply nice That idea emerged from what I would articulate as three progressive and overlapping occurrences over the past 50 or so years namely 1 The creation by an elitist class and by arts organizations hungry for their money of major arts institutions as exclusive places This was reinforced not only by price but by the creation of mores and peculiarities that are now part of the artsgoing vocabulary but which were not always stand up sit down clap or don t what to wear when to speak etc and which included some while excluding others 2 The ensuing shift in rhetoric particularly from the right in the 70 s and 80 s from art being a societal good to art being an elitist luxury good and the interesting oxymoronic set up of art and artistic expression as against morality and radical 3 The subsequent attack first by politicians and eventually by whole swaths of people who felt disconnected from institutionalized art on both arts funding and arts education funding which was made possible by this shift from necessity to luxury and by the corresponding shift from societal good to societal ill the fruit of which now is an entire generation or more who have never been inculcated into institutional arts loving and so find their lives full without institutionalized art All of this has not been at all helped by a historically reflexive reaction from the art community to its ongoing marginalization namely a pulling away from art as a driver of community engagement change and dialogue and towards art as a means and end in itself Add on top of that the long standing and difficult history of American institutionalized art as primarily for all of its perceived radicalism a mechanism for reinforcing white in its more expansive class and wealth based definition points of view a problem that is at this point tied up in the very form and presentation of the art the buildings the stories that we try and tell and which contributes to a further marginalization among many of the fastest growing populations in America populations who have their own incredibly vibrant artistic traditions and don t find themselves lacking for not attending institutional artistic performance In a nutshell and forgive an oversimplification there are absolutely exceptions to this many artistic institutions have managed to alienate people of color poor people conservative people young people less educated people We should not be surprised that our audiences and our public value which I actually think is much more crucial continue to dwindle To address this issue some suggestions the beginning of a conversation surely not the end Start from a place of embracing how small a part of an ever expanding arts universe institutional art really is and then move from there to expand that relevance with a better understanding of why most people don t particularly care about such art and with an acknowledgement that they do likely have rich artistic lives on their own terms Encourage funders to take into account community engagement and impact and therefore we must learn how to better measure community engagement and impact more than they take into account longevity budget size or abstract artistic quality and encourage artistic institutions to re embrace their core role as non profits devoted to the public good not to art itself Engage in a frank dialogue about which organizations are making movement towards addressing the equity issues that now sit at the core of our public value issues and who isn t while also embracing the fact that change of this magnitude takes time and that incremental stable progress is more important than forced sudden destabilizing change Engaging in that conversation respectfully aggressively and truthfully with thick skin and a belief in a common shared purpose and myriad uncommon unique missions Reward risky innovation with funding models that provide cover with increased length of funding better training in evaluation during development of the innovation and a more open and honest national system within the arts field for discussing successes and failures Better disseminate the incredibly strong research into public value and community engagement through the arts by crafting a clearinghouse of interpretations of that research that turn them into bite sized consumables like executive summaries infographics short explanatory cartoons podcasts etc all in an effort to allow more people points of access into the pertinent findings so that they might then translate them into their own work arguments and practice Margy Waller Senior Fellow Topos Partnership The Pursuit of Happiness is a Constitutional Right By starting with a discussion about creating a movement we will naturally develop plans that also promote audience expansion engagement all kinds and greater equity and diversity Where and on whom we focus our energy and resources matters Creating a movement requires focusing on the broad public even those who don t and some who won t ever go to traditional venues and many who won t think of themselves as goers even though they engage in arts activities all the time Expanding audience engagement and equity means focusing on smaller more targeted groupings I m proposing that we start our discussion at the widest part of the funnel Imagine these changes some huge some less so Start thinking about happiness of neighborhood city audience as the goal Encourage and reward innovation and risk Stop thinking and talking about our art as so terribly precious Start creating large and or high profile public experiences designed to change the way people see the arts and make sure that even those who aren t present learn about these events it pays to find a good videographer Accept that people will use smart phones and other digital tools while they are at arts events and find ways to make it work integrate the mobile for added value don t fight it Stop leading with and highlighting economic impact in the ROI dollars cents way that we ve all been taught to do because i t isn t working for us Reconsider the resources we re putting into developing so much economic impact data not that we should discard it altogether necessarily but that we should decide whether all of the resources money and time going into it are yielding better results than other research might Promote measuring community success by how happy people are utilize the economics of well being to develop the value of arts for creating places where people are happy because we should be able to compete well on that playing field We spent a lot of time working on uncovering a strategy for communicating about the arts designed to shift the landscape of public understanding We did our research with the goal of culture change toward the notion that the arts are important enough to all of us to be our shared responsibility even for those who don t participate We sought to identify the barriers that have made sharing the value of the arts difficult for us and a new way to talk about the arts could yield broad public support We learned that people already believe the arts change places making streets and neighborhoods busier and more fun and connecting people allowing them to get to know each other better and strengthening civic bonds Get this We don t need data to persuade people we don t need to have a debate These are already the reasons they value the arts The problem is they don t tend to think of the arts this way because we don t usually present or promote the arts as the thing that brings people together and makes places special Yet Unfortunately for most people even people who are goers and lovers of the arts the transcendent experience the beauty of art and educational value are not compelling as reasons for PUBLIC support of the arts and arts organizations The public sees these individual experiences as something we are all personally responsible for obtaining It s fine if you want to do that but our TAX dollars shouldn t have to support it Moreover they are put off by the palaces where the art happens These are not places they want to be or are comfortable going So it doesn t help that when most people think about art this is where they think it happens Our goals movement audience sustainability are inextricably tied together Importantly we can t just talk about the role of arts in creating vibrancy and community We have to do it too We have to work hard to show and give people something different from what they imagine the art will be That shouldn t be hard it s already happening But it s not usually what the media highlights and it s not even the way we are trained to share the ar If we fund and highlight what people love about the arts it can become the way they more naturally think about our category And it may have the additional outcome of making the art more appealing to today s non goers You know like marketing materials that feature people having a fun experience not how famous or old the art is or dozens of staged musicians in black and white sitting frozen on a stage Our goal in changing the way we present the arts to the public the purpose of sharing the communications strategies in the Ripple Effects research is to build broader support for shared funding of the arts But the answer to why change has to be real impact in our communities more connected people and places we want to be We will never compete well on the playing field of ROI and economic impact in the traditional sense However if our measure of success is happiness the arts have much to contribute the evidence is already coming in We can build a movement for things that make us happy And we can get people to go there too Tamara Alvarado Director of Community Access and Engagement School of the Arts and Culture Mexican Heritage Plaza I m thinking about a lot of things these days as I am sure is everyone else Here are a few bullet points Certainly I am open to your feedback if only one is of interest or none for that matter On the topic of leadership development I ve been thinking about it intensely for about 7 years Two colleagues and I conceived of the MALI program for POC with the idea that we needed to equip ourselves with the tools to lead our communities in a collaborative way while recognizing that communities of color have particular challenges that only we can address On the topic of reciprocity and how as a concept and practice it interacts with our practices in communities of color it s been two years and change Ever since I ve held the responsibility with a team of course of bringing a 32M investment back to life it has been a foundational philosophical piece to our success It s in fact in our Guiding Principles It is about valuing what everyone brings to the table not just money but time and experience as well It has worked really well increasing audiences and creating meaningful partnerships where artists arts orgs and audiences feel valued In terms of the topic of race and privilege and an assortment of connecting issues for my whole life But recently with the case of Trayvon Martin I think it s been at the forefront of a lot of people in our sector I m not exactly sure what take I would take on this except to say that if anyone in the room thinks we are beyond race we will definitely need to continue to have conversations We are not beyond race and we still need to work on finding commonalities versus differences and I know the arts play a significant role in establishing neutral ground where that conversation can be had Look at the conversation artists had here about race in 1963 http www youtube com watch v mdIHBod9nT4 Darse su lugar as a concept In the Spanish speaking latino communities we talk about dares su lugar A direct translation is to give oneself one s place This is at the root of the creation of the MALI program It was by POC for POC What I mean when I talk about it in the arts entertainment culture sector is the consistent surprised reaction I receive as ED of an ethnic specific multicultural organization when I strongly request that the ED or Business owner also is present on an equal basis As an example recently I was asked by an ED to meet with herself and staff about the potential for partnership The day came and the ED did not show and sent along staff I cancelled the meeting and asked for it to happen when the ED was available I received an email from a person I consider my colleague stating that in her 12 years of being an ED she had never been required in this way This is connected to race and privilege but she would never see it that way It s on me I suppose to show my colleague that her privileged background as a white woman allows her to think it s ok to require my presence but not hers Open source I realize that this is about the tech sector but I feel it applies strongly to what we are trying to accomplish in the arts Before I was an Arts Administrator I was a college grad with limited real world skills I was and am bilingual am first generation and knew a thing or two about turning on and moving around a computer With this set of advanced skills I got a job teaching computer skills in East Palo Alto CA at Plugged In one of the first non profits focused on bridging the Digital Divide More importantly they greatly influenced me by throwing me into these workshops where I was completely in over my head taking computers unpacking them and installing Open Source software while online and learning to do so by people who felt that it was important to put a computer and internet access in everyone s hands We were working with Redhat Linux etc Bottom line is that I took on the spirit much more than the tech aspect of the open source movement I saw how they shared technology with each other in order to make everyone s work more effective That is something that I talk about now with the access to space and the how to As an example do I lose something if I introduce you to a funder or do I gain You have registration forms I don t I speak read and write Spanish but you don t Should we share Of course these are simple examples however it is surprising at times to see how little sharing goes on in our sector Is there a way to share that goes beyond the occasional trip to a conference that half of us may not have the money to attend More to this Nina Simon Executive Director Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History Imagine this situation You go to an arts event one of a type you rarely or never take part in Maybe it s a museum exhibition or a play You have a great time What will it take for you to do it again I ask this question because I think there s a pretty big gulf between the occasional arts experience and the idea of art and art institutions as part of your life For me this gulf rears its head every time I go to a live music concert Each time I go about four times a year I have a fabulous time But it never makes me want to increase the frequency of my participation Each time I get a flyer in the mail I feel like I m weighing a new opportunity price time commitment who

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/08/the-arts-dinner-vention-guest-briefing.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Arts Dinner-vention Guest Briefing Papers - Part II
    say we live in the new normal meaning that the days of unrestricted and abundant funding from the 90 s and early 2000 s are over and that we are living in a new reality in which we have to be creative about funding and everything else for that matter Still there are a lot of people who don t like this idea and keep thinking that we ll be back to those golden years of ambrosia But perhaps the most important challenge in my point of view is the Format of the art experience Most are based on 18th century traditions museums that open from 10 am to 5 pm when most people are working two hour concerts that start at 8 pm on Friday dance performances that you cannot leave until the end etc and we re still having a difficult time trying to adapt to the realities of the modern world All those traditional formats were based on the bourgeois lifestyle from the 18th century Then came the next F s Finances and F Ph ilanthropy Ph sounds like F and at this point I was basically playing Finance refers to how we spend the money we raise or earn Something that it s in my mind a lot is the incredibly redundancy of organizations in the non profit sector The way we elect to spend our money is incredibly impaired in my point of view by the fact that we are conducting exactly the same functions of a lot other non profit organizations with very limited resources If we d elect to share what a concept we d be much more effective and could generate much more efficiency Another option would be to share resources in order to provide educational programs for children The other F rather a F sounding word Philanthropy refers to the seismic shift in the way people support and take ownership of the mission of an organization It is not about donations only although for some people it still is about the tax deduction but about feeling like being part of something bigger than ourselves and people especially young people tend to elect to be part of something that has an immediate impact The days of investing in the new generations are over now people want to invest in the now generations And the final two F s Friends I needed to include audiences and friends is the closest I got to using a F word and Facilities Audiences Friends are the reason why a lot of our arts organizations exist not all but a lot Audiences Friends are behaving differently and they demand to be catered to their needs more and more The days of attracting people to an experience based on our needs are over and nowadays people want organizations products or brands to adapt to their needs or they will go elsewhere It is not like there s a lack of activities or experiences and the ones that will survive are the ones who cater to the needs and wants of new audiences It s called audience centered missions yet we are still having a lot of trouble understanding this concept Beyond that audiences are looking for experiences in which they are not passive observers or contemplators of the art form With the advent of the social web era in contrast to the TV era people expect now to be part of and mold the experience So the result is the spectrum of audience involvement described by Alan Brown in the Getting In On the Act report commissioned by the Irvine Foundation Following this trend then is the last F Facilities which refers to the place time where the art experience is delivered and which is more and more a challenge for the field I m referring specifically to the duality between the real and the virtual experience Of course the place and time of the delivery doesn t stop there it also refers to the important challenges of adapting physical spaces to what people want and expect flexibility seems to be the key concept here So summarizing everything in a few words here s what I came up with Format Delivery of the promise Funding Where resources come from Finances How resources are spent F Ph ilanthropy How we generate ownership Friends audiences Who cares Facilities Where is the promise is fulfilled So now the question is Which part of the system s do we have to change in order to enact the most change in the whole system Obviously in order to answer this question we need to understand how the ecosystem interacts and which components are dependent subservient to others One option is to center on the experience itself and the people who demand it Friends and Format The other option is to center on the resources that make it possible to create the experience Funding F Ph ilanthropy and Finances The key is to understand which part of the system would effect the most change when altered and by all means I think it is the Format It is what I d call the Apple model give something to people that they don t know they want but that significantly impacts their experience and they will become evangelists affecting the whole system in the process Let me give you an example Zo Keating is a cellist based in Northern California who s not only incredibly talented but is incredibly savvy when it comes to engaging her fans She sells her music directly from her website tours around the globe in alternative flexible venues where programming can be done in a matter of weeks so they can always present what is trending and she communicates via email with her fan base Not long ago Keating sent the following email to her list basically asking them to find a gig for her Hello Listeners I have a private gig in Cincinnati in late October Rather than fly straight home I would like to play a few concerts So where should I go Since you re the ones I want to play for I m going to ask you I ve setup an online poll with a list of cities in the region that I ve either never or rarely visited Some of them are North ish and some of them are South ish If you would really come to see me perform in any of these cities please vote and then we ll crowdsource a week long October tour If you have a reasonable suggestion for a city not on my poll please enter it By reasonable I mean a place no more than 500 miles from Cincinnati If you re not within 500 miles of Cincinnati don t despair I am going to be touring more extensively once my new album is done and we ll do something like this again for the rest of North America and beyond This is still a work in progress so thank you for doing this experiment with me I hope to play near you sooner rather than later Thanks for listening Celloly yours Zo The key here was you re the ones I want to play for I don t know you but there s nothing more enticing than hearing an artist saying that she ll be playing for me you become anevangelist just right there This completely breaks the boundaries between artist and fans and transforms fans into booking agents It is participatory at its core and most importantly brings the artist back to the community Aside from BARRY Article in today s newspaper on an internet site http www giggedin com that takes this idea to reality GiggedIn works like this A musical act offers to hold a concert and fans prepay for tickets If enough tickets sell the concert is on If not the show is cancelled and fans aren t charged anything Everything in the arts ecosystem is being affected by changes in society but nothing is more important and connects with all the other parts of the system like its format Flexible adaptable real virtual valuable convenient engaging these are some of the adjectives that come to mind It is time to bring forth the format in which we deliver the promise of arts involvement and move from the 18th into the 21st century The diagram above represents how I think the system should work based on the definitions that I gave earlier Important to note is that Friends and Format are interdependent under the assumption that there s a pulling energy between the two Then Friends will be the grounding force behind generating resources Funding and ownership F Ph ilanthropy basically creating stakeholders for the organization which will determine how the resources are spent Finances The decisions made on how to spend the resources will feed the art format again generating a cycle that starts with the interdependency between Format and Friends Devon Smith Director of Social Media Analytics Threespot I believe the arts ecosystem needs a free flow of cash to survive at its current size I believe that investment is going to need to come from a source external to the industry whether that is the government venture capitalists or radically new revenue streams cost structures I ve spent the past two years taking a step back from the arts world and instead helping all manner of nonprofits government agencies foundations and think tanks learn how to better engage with their audiences online and use the data generated by that engagement to better inform their business practices I would like to bring to the dinnervention conversation solutions that other industries have used or had forced upon them to survive a decline in traditional audiences revenue streams and or their perception of relevance overall First a clarification about what exactly it is we re trying to save the product the distribution channel or the livelihoods of the professional product makers By example The revenue stream of traditional media organizations and therefore the job security of mainstream journalists is in significant decline And yet there are more citizen journalists a faster spread of breaking news wider access to information and a more informed citizenry than in most times in history As Napster Pandora Rdio YouTube and the rest decimated the revenue streams for record labels recording artists struck out on their own to make money touring selling the experience and essentially giving away the product vinyl sales are at record highs and more musical artists have more exposure to the public via YouTube Television ratings are at record lows and yet critics are calling this the golden age of TV across cable networks and streaming services even as two decades of mostly terrible reality television has ruined the perception of network television quality Movie studios are addicted to sequels and yet independent artists raise millions of dollars on Kickstarter to fund their own films and tour them around the world in an increasingly networked festival circuit Video game companies have been pushed in opposite directions to survive longform cinematic morality stories that take 3 years hundreds of staff and tens of millions of dollars to create Bioshock Infinite 4 million users versus one of the most successful iPhone games which only took a few weeks to create by a single designer Dots 2 million users In all of these examples the product itself is doing just fine It s the distribution channel that has been forced to change the amateurs that have subverted power from the professionals The following are several tangible suggestions I m exploring for how to substantially move the needle in the direction of a healthy arts ecosystem For each I would speak to how this would work legally how to convince key stakeholders to join the movement what it would incentivize organizations funders audiences artists etc to do differently better and what sorts of useful data would be created as a result A theatrical stock market Let me buy shares in arts organizations and let them use the cash to fund profitable operations as well as research development Open source everything from scripts to marketing materials to choreography to the ticketing and fundraising software Incentivize arts organizations to adopt a freemium business model The less frequently you attend or the less you use it the cheaper it is Offer your core product for free and raise prices for all other related services Turn individual artists into rock stars much like the tech world does with startup founders through massively popular and profitable blogs and industry related media coverage Lex Leifheit Executive Director SOMArts When confronted with a question about traditional audiences declining and the deleterious effects of changing participation on traditional revenue streams I feel pulled in two directions on the one hand there s a desire to be constructive and address the question in the spirit it was intended On the other hand how can one respond to a question of traditional audiences and revenue streams without questioning whose traditions these are The first thing that leaps into my mind is a guest post that Tucson Pima Arts Council Executive Director Roberto Bedoya wrote for the blog Engaging Matters last spring He was participating in an online dialogue about diversity and the question why aren t there more butts of color in these seats and responded with the question which seats are these and where When it comes to survival I think the question Bedoya asked later in his essay is a key jumping off point fundamental to exploring shifts in participation and revenue and infrastructure how does our sector understand and validate different worldviews and phenomenological experience that enliven our plurality To survive now I believe arts workers must shift their perspective from one of diminishment to one of growth while acknowledging that this growth will involve risk reward and failure and will take us far outside our comfort zones Points for further discussion exploration at dinner People at the dinner vention are successfully introducing new populations into their audiences boards and workers What does this look like How are they innovating I am especially interested in hearing about Marc Bamuthi Joseph s Creative Ecosystem concept that brings leaders in different public sector categories together How do support services play a role in increasing participation and revenue At SOMArts support services have always been our primary way to support many cultures skill levels and perspectives in the arts Fractured Atlas Etsy Eventbrite and Kickstarter all provide technological support services and they have grown exponentially in recent years Is the nonprofit sector missing out or succeeding in this area As a sector do we adequately measure the impact of our support services I am approaching this with the perspective that there are some big data initiatives such as the Cultural Data Project that fall short in this area I would love to hear what Clay Lord has to say in this area due to his expertise in the area of measuring impact What role does participation and partnership play in investing or divesting in programs Who is using participation levels and partnership MOUs as a means to evaluate their programs alongside artistic merit and artistic excellence I d love to hear what Nina Simon has to say in this area Marc Bamuthi Joseph Director of Performing Arts Yerba Buena Center for the Arts The Creative Ecosystem The Creative Ecosystem integrates disparate players from the Bay Area community into a single collaborative multi year endeavor The ultimate thesis is that art is not just the object or the outcome but art is a process and opportunity for community By partnering with community leaders from diverse public sector categories such as Academics Arts Business Community Organizing Design Environment and Holistic Health Food and Food Justice Politics Sports Technology Youth and Social Service for each Creative Ecosystem theme YBCA will incorporate grassroots momentum into its audience development strategy exponentially broadening its constituent circle with each Creative Ecosystem project and transforming the audience arts center paradigm from the transactional into one centered on collaboration The themes we plan to explore include Future Soul in 2012 13 Body Politics in 2013 14 Climate in 2014 15 Gaming in 2015 16 and Economy in 2016 17 The ecosystem begins with YBCA inviting a core group of at least 20 community leaders who repeatedly convene at YBCA over a 12 month timeframe participating in four YBCA organized facilitated discussions which are focused on a theme emerging from a performance project in YBCA s performing arts season After the first Creative Ecosystem discussion each participating community leader invites other influencers from their sector to join in the next discussion so participation by community leaders in The Creative Ecosystem grows over time Later The Creative Ecosystem culminates in a day long Field of Inquiry giving the newly created network of community leaders an opportunity to take charge of YBCA s campus inviting their various constituencies to attend a dynamic day of free activities that animate YBCA s indoor and outdoor spaces ranging from a pop up magazine of performative reflections to keynote speakers to panel discussions to participatory art making and more The Creative Ecosystem cohorts are organized around the deconstruction experimentation and physical response to emotionally potent artist endorsed questions derived from intellectually challenging macro topics For instance the Body Politics cohort is spending its first year of inquiry working with the question What is on the other side of your body s shame The question was developed in consultation with playwright Young Jean Lee whose Untitled Feminist Show will be presented at YBCA in coincidence with the Body Politics Field of Inquiry This process engages both the intellectual and emotional intelligence of diverse community members representing an investment in a complex reciprocity of ideas and forming an activated sustained relationship between the art we present and the thought leaders who have not had a previous

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/08/arts-dinner-vention-guest-briefing.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Dinner-vention Part 1
    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 4 June 8 May 5 April 3 March 5 February 4 January 4 2014 68 December 6 November 4 October 7 September 6 August 4 July 10 June 4 May 9 April 4 March 5 February 5 January 4 2013 64 December 5 November 3 October 12 Bryce Merrill reports from the Social Theory Poli Dinner vention

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/dinner-vention-part-1.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Dinner-vention Part 2
    people who are friends with those persons or who are their family THIS makes the community stronger Or we miss that finding a way for troubled youth to express themselves nonviolently is a good for the whole and not just the parts So ultimately it seems that the need to kill organizations is borne out of frustration at the seeming disproportionate investment rather than actual needs addressed in the community Needs are not voided simply because they are not shared widely And relevance for even only one person still makes a thing relevant none the less If we water down our offerings to have greater mass appeal we may suffer the consequences of no longer challenging our audiences to be inspired as Marc Bamuthi Joseph suggests and end up merely as entertainment Pablum in other words Is that what we truly want Personally I would rather have art that was special in the sense of being unexpected or surprising that teaches me something than special in the sense of wildly popular The two may overlap but we should be careful that we are not measuring for the one when we think we are looking at the other I can t wait to see where the discussion heads next I for one am inspired by what I have witnessed so far Reply Delete Alex Randall October 22 2013 at 10 15 PM First off Carter I want to second your enthusiasm for where this conversation is heading I ve only watched the first two parts and I m very much looking forward to catching up on the rest Secondly thank you for responding to this segment so thoroughly I too am interested in this discussion of the distinction between an arts organization and a community center or if there is should be one and I think both your point about Clay and Nina s exchange as well as your comment on Salvador s statement get at the heart of it To your first point I would ask you do you feel like there is still room for passive art As someone who has enjoyed his fair share of interactive art exhibits I am all for the idea of engaging audiences more thoroughly and providing them with means to be active with art and I would also argue that Nina s use of the couch and paper created an artistic experience I wonder though what does this mean for the proscenium stage The walls of art exhibits When you talk about us finding relevancy in art do you see that being the responsibility of the artist the audience or both To your second point I would wonder whether an arts organization that serves other needs within the community be it by running diabetes campaigns or serving as a voting center would start to lose its sense of identity as an arts organization I definitely agree that organizations should be conscious of the communities they exist in and how they might contribute but I also think organizations should focus on their areas of strength since it s in these areas that they ll likely make the biggest difference If there s a diabetes awareness campaign that needs to be run should it be the responsibility of the arts organization to do so Or if they are the ones to notice the need would they be better off finding others in the community to spearhead the campaign and instead support the campaign with whatever resources strengths they have to offer I worry that it would be easy for a proactive organization be it arts or otherwise to stretch itself thin over this kind of work What I would then ask is if an arts organization is engaging in other issues within a community be it a diabetes campaign or Reply Delete carter gillies October 24 2013 at 9 14 AM Hey Alex I think those are all good questions The last bit apparently got cut off but you directed most things to what I thought personally so I ll go ahead and respond to what made it in Me personally I think there is no natural limit on what art should be made I would say that even if there were absolutely no audience for passive art it still should be made That s me as an artist talking But I can see how it might come into question from an arts organizational perspective when there are obligations not just to the art but to constituents employees and to the survival of the institution itself at stake Which makes it complicated I suppose But the signs are that relevance challenged institutions will probably find themselves in a tough corner if they simply rely on passive engagement as the only source of public interest The fact that this model may be failing in the marketplace is not a judgment against the quality or the nature of the art itself Just on how it fits today s audience expectations and needs Is it the responsibility of the audience or the artist to find relevance I guess it depends I wouldn t expect one answer for all circumstances It may not even be the job of some art to be broadly relevant Or even successful Take Nina Simon s example from this video One of the arts organizations that really inspires me Machine project in LA Mark Allen who runs it once said We have a deliberately unsustainable business model At some point its not gonna work And I feel like any endeavor you undertake that you re really passionate about its not about the business model Yes eventually you want to take care of your staff and all those kinds of things But I always really resonated with that idea Just do something really amazing and don t worry about this other stuff And sometimes it will work and sometimes it won t but you re gonna feel a heck of a lot better about what

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/10/dinner-vention-part-2.html (2016-05-01)
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