Arts Leadership: Making Connections

The Leadership Track at the Annual Convention is about vision and inspiring others to think and work differently. Examples of leadership can be seen in every session at convention, but in the Leadership Track it is on stage and under the spotlight. Come learn how to lead by cultivating the best in oneself and in others, and how to lead an organization through a new initiative or institutional challenge.


March Membership Benefit of the Month

Ever wonder where you can find the latest grant opportunties? Or legislative news affecting you? Or what your peers around the country are up to? It's all in one place: The Monthly Wire. But you must be a member of Americans for the Arts to get it. All members, and all staff at member organizations, can receive The Monthly Wire, an e-newsletter that pops into inboxes the third Friday of each month.


Selling and Moving a Public Art Giant?

Today, one of Washington, DC’s most recognizable, oversized sculptures is being uprooted and moved across the river: The Awakening – one of the more iconic public art pieces in Washington, DC.

Last year, the owner of the sculpture sold it to the developers of National Harbor, a glitzy convention center complex slated to open in April farther south along the Potomac in Prince George's. The sculpture will be reinstalled there Wednesday. According to the Park Service, it had been for sale the duration of its time at Hains Point.


Personal Evolution: Peer-Coaching Circles

There's been a lot of buzz lately about coaching and I thought I'd extend this invitation to anyone who is interested in finding out more about and actually experiencing peer coaching circles. You'll have an opportunity to find out more at the 2008 Annual Convention in June.


Emerging Leadership

Leadership happens at all levels throughout our sector - none is more amazing and courageous than by those in the beginning stages of their career.  Having met hundreds of emerging leaders through Americans for the Arts, I am convinced the arts and cultural landscape will remain vibrant and relevant for years to come. Our future is bright. There is no leadership gap.

 We know there are unsung young leaders in our midst. The radical act of leadership is claiming it for yourself or making it happen for someone else. Brilliance abounds – let’s celebrate for all our benefit.

Super Bowl Throwdown: Arts-Style

In a classic eposide of the 80's sitcom Cheers, Diane tries her luck at betting on sports games. While Sam naturally uses athletic prowess when setting his wagers, Diane uses a different strategy—she makes her selections based upon the artistic strength of the team's city. And she does really well.


February Membership Benefit of the Month

No matter what level you join at, all Americans for the Arts members receive discounts of 20-30% on some of the leading publications in the field. These journals are key resources for arts administrators, arts education professionals, public art managers, and artists.

Do you know someone who is making a difference?

Do you want to acknowledge an exceptional arts education leader?
Do colleagues call you an arts advocacy superhero?
Did a business executive in your community go above and beyond for the arts this year?

It's time to recognize their hard work.


Peer Leadership - Council Election Results

Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce our Council election results. Below are your peers from across the country who will be serving on the following Councils starting next year. Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations and who voted online. We are looking forward to working with these leaders throughout their terms.

Taking Stock: Connecting the Dots

Americans for the Arts and NonFiction Media presents "Taking Stock: Connecting the Dots", a video chronicling the Puget Sound Region's Emerging Arts Leaders' dynamic series of Creative Conversations.

Ride along as young arts administrators grapple with the shifting landscape of arts funding, advocacy and space use models.

Thrill to the strains of peer networking, collaborative problem solving, and mutual edification!

ArtCast: Episode 4

In this month's ArtCast, Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, discusses the organization's work toward the 2008 presidential primaries and election. Find out how Americans for the Arts is focusing its efforts to impact the dialogue of the presidential primaries, including the creation of a new arts position issue brief for all the presidential candidates.

Arts Education Documentary Released!

The wait is over! On October 16, Class Act, the documentary feature film on the state of arts education in America's schools, became available. For those of you who haven't heard, Class Act tells the story of Jay W. Jensen, Miami Beach's legendary teacher to the stars, a public school drama teacher who launched the careers of Andy Garcia, Roy Firestone, director Brett Ratner, and countless others both in and out of show business.

Vote NOW! Americans for the Arts Council Elections Close Friday

Americans for the Arts has several peer-elected Councils. These Councils advise and assist Americans for the Arts in developing programs and resources to promote the growth and development of arts professionals networks nationwide. Four Councils are having elections for new seats and their candidates represent considerable professional expertise, leadership potential, and advanced practice. Their terms will start in January 2008.


Stuck in the Elevator with You at NAMP

Well, a dozen of us gave new meaning to term "ArtVenture" at an Americans for the Arts conference. A group of emerging leaders headed out for our dine-around only to get struck in Miami's MetroMover elevator for 25-minutes. Of course, we began by denying our situation. Let's press more buttons! Something will kick this box into gear! The only thing that rose was the temperature and, in some instances, panic levels. But, magic also appeared. We made the most of the situation. Here are the top ten reasons to get stuck in an elevator with emerging arts leaders.


A House of Creativity

Over lunch today, Elena Park, from the Metropolitan Opera, gave a richly textured case study of how an organization, steeped in tradition with a deeply loyal constituency, innovated over a 2 year period without sacrificing its values or standards. The Metropolitan Opera is not your average venue it is one of the largest opera companies in the world, yet it has been artistically and socially isolated. Since 2001, the Met experienced an audience decline from 90.8% box office sales to 76.8% box office sales in 2005.

Worth Our Time? J. Walker Smith @ NAMP

In his keynote kickoff of the NAMP conference, J. Walker Smith (a.k.a. Research Rockstar to Julie Peeler) explained that time is the new currency in a time-starved world. He studies lifestyle trends and ultimately seeks to understand the ways in which people understand the 'good life' what people want to get out of their lives. To marketing directors and brand developers, this information is the Holy Grail. But it keeps shifting and, in fact, Walker proposes that the extent and range of this change in consumer behavior has not been seen since World War II.


What Makes a Viable Non-Profit Website?

Jay Wilkinson of Firespring has developed a list of criteria to assess whether your non-profit website is strong or not. By the way, most non-profits score between 60-65 on Firespring's website scorecard. He cautions that many non-profits fall victim to the common mistakes of web design. In organizations with small staffs and small budgets, they typically develop websites in house or by volunteers; by necessity, they have to do it cheap.

Public Art and Value Added Sponsorship

Recently, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) celebrated 25 years of sponsorship of the arts and they decided to celebrate the public art way. Since they wanted greater logo real estate as corporate sponsors, they decided to commission original works and installations on their own. This session presented a case study of UTC's sponsored public art in Madison Square Park, NYC and Broadgate Arena, London, UK.

More than Child's Play

I am at the NAMP pre-conference and have been hearing a lot about the sponsorship-partnership continuum between arts & cultural non-profits and corporations. The afternoon kicked into full gear over lunch with an address by Brenda Andolina, Director, Public Relations and Brand Marketing at Fisher-Price. She emphasized that we approach corporations as partners and not sponsors, noting that when the mission and the values of the two parties overlap well, we establish (and reinforce) mutually beneficial outcomes.

Are you an American for the arts?

And no, I am not asking if you are for the arts. I have a hunch that if you are reading this blog, I already know your answer. I could write about all of the reasons that I, and probably you, support the arts and arts education, but I would just be preaching to the choir.  Instead, I want to write about the gray line is that separates Americans who are for the arts and Americans for the Arts.


Creative Conversations: October 22-26

In celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month, we have 39 Creative Conversations scheduled in 21 states. Some cities, like Washington, DC and New York, are hosting a series of events. As of today, over 500 people have attended Creative Conversations. There are more Creative Conversations this week than any other this month.
REGISTER NOW for a Creative Conversation in your community!


Creative Conversations: October 15-20

Creative Conversations are continuing to sweep the country this month. To date, there are 39 events on the calendar in 20 states. Emerging leaders are using this moment within a national movement to develop local networks in their communities and to cultivate the unique leadership potential of young arts professionals.

Creative Conversations: October 8-12

Due to the incredible dedication in putting together thoughtful and relevant Creative Conversations for emerging arts leaders, young/new arts professionals in communities across the country now have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue at the local level. These hosts are making a difference and we truly believe that, through these Creative Conversations, local emerging leaders are positively impacting the national arts community in a significant way.

Finding the Leader in You

Ann Daly recently gave a women's business conference keynote, Finding the Leader in You. She also also spent several days with a think tank on arts leadership sponsored by the Americans for the Arts. Those experiences have got her to thinking.

If you want to be a leader, below are her top ten pieces of advice. Would you add any? Leave a comment.


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