Blog Posts for Leadership

How ROI Strategies Can Work for Arts Organizations

Posted by Lara Goetsch, Oct 01, 2009 0 comments

Does any of the stuff we do all day actually work? Surely much of it does. And some of it surely doesn’t. So, how do we figure out which is which, and do more of what works?

As Director of Marketing and Communications for a small-but-growing Chicago theater company, these were the questions at the top of my mind nearly two years ago when an opportunity arose to attend an education series on the subject of return-on-investment, co-sponsored by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Wallace Foundation. What I learned in that workshop put me on a path to revolutionize several aspects of TimeLine Theatre’s marketing with the goal of measurement. Now I understand in much greater detail what works (and what doesn’t so much). And I am thrilled that I’ll get the chance to share some results and tools as a first-time presenter at this year’s National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

TimeLine Theatre is an Equity theater located on the north side of Chicago (just a few blocks from Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs), dedicated to presenting stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. With a budget of about $750,000 and just four full-time staff members, we are — like I’m sure all of you — required to make the most of limited resources. The more I learn about ROI, the more I understand that implementing techniques to measure the actual results of marketing tactics is not a “should do” toward this goal. It is a “must do.”

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The Only Thing to Fear...

Posted by Jenna Lee, Sep 23, 2009 4 comments

What is art? Why is art important? In a city of countless museums and arts institutions, you would think Washingtonians especially would have these questions answered.  But with access to so much information, examples and exceptions to the rules, the access to information makes these big questions even harder to answer.  And because art is so variable and different people have access to different kinds of art, it is hard for anyone to truly be an expert.

When exposed to art, whether through a gallery or theater or concert hall, most people are under the impression that somebody else in the room "gets it" better than they do: that somebody else, or perhaps everyone else, experiences the painting or play or song with a higher level of understanding.  Without concrete answers and with the potential opportunity embarrass him/herself, many people begin to show signs of fear.

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Learning to Take Risks in Life by Taking Risks on Art

Posted by Kim Willey, Sep 22, 2009 1 comment

My high school ceramics instructor thought I was crazy when I told him I wanted to be an orthodontist.  “No, I think you should be an artist,” He said sternly to me as I worked on my perfecting my pinch pot jack o’lantern that was suffering from a severe under bite.  That was a little over 8 years ago, and now I’m writing this blog.

Over the last 6 years I have been involved in multiple aspects of arts education; teaching Saturday art classes to youth, working at a youth museum, and working at a state arts agency for over three years.  I received both my BFA and MA from Arizona State University in Arts Education.  I recently relocated from Arizona to DC after experiencing a three-month travel adventure.

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Emerging Arts Leaders Respond in Droves to 20UNDER40 Submission Call

Posted by Graham Dunstan, Sep 18, 2009 0 comments

Edward Clapp, Project Director of 20UNDER40, has just reported that the project received 304 chapter proposals from 343 prospective authors on five continents—all under the age of forty.

From the 20UNDER40 website: "20UNDER40 endeavors to collect twenty essays about the future of the arts and arts education, each written by an emerging leader under the age of forty. In doing so, this anthology will provide a unique arena for new ideas by formally gathering the thoughts of young artists, teaching artists, administrators, researchers, and other arts and arts education professionals—legitimizing the talent of young leaders by bringing their ideas out of the margins and into the forefront of our dialogue."

To continue intergenerational dialogue,  20UNDER40 has established an online discussion board where you can answer this question amongst a cadre of international arts professionals.

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