Resource Library


Thinking About Nominations to Advisory Councils? Here are a Few Reasons Why You Should

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Sep 28, 2010 0 comments

Each year when we announce the opportunity to nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on an Americans for the Arts advisory council, the staff liaisons to those councils tend to get a wide variety of great questions from the field.  Questions such as:

  • Do I have to be a member of Americans for the Arts to be on a council? Answer:  Yes
  • How large are your councils?  Answer:  15 members
  • What time commitment is expected from council members?  Answer:  Click Here
  • If I’m elected to an advisory council, can I tell Bob Lynch what to do?  Answer:  No (okay, just kidding, we’ve never received that question)

A question we rarely get, and would love to answer, is:  Why should I nominate myself or someone else for an advisory council?  Here are a few thoughts to consider if you’re contemplating this opportunity:

  • Community Leadership

Being on a national council is a great way to be able to provide resources and in depth knowledge to your community.  Americans for the Arts council members work on issues that affect the field as a whole.  This work can help spark ideas for solutions that you can bring back to your own organizations and communities.  

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How Do You Become a Cultural Phenomenon? (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Alison French, Sep 22, 2010 0 comments

Alison Schwartz

I wonder what makes a product, a store, an experience, an artwork a HIT. I am particularly curious about how certain products make it big when they aren’t playing by the rules.

Why is Target a beloved low-price big box store when most big box retailers are demonized for displacing the business of mom-and-pop shops?

Why is In-N-Out Burger a revered fast-food chain when fast food is unhealthy?

How is Blue Man Group still selling out performances with anonymous performers who don’t talk? Without a celebrity to anchor the show (such as Tony winners Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington), why should anyone pay attention?

While I am no branding expert, here are a few possible answers.

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How To Increase Your Revenue By $1 Million: A Case Study

Posted by Ben Davidson, Sep 20, 2010 0 comments

Salina Arts and Humanities Commission in Salina, Kansas used AEP III to let people know the impact of arts on their local economy

Arts advocates don’t want to talk about jobs and tax revenue.  We want to talk about the fundamental value of the arts…how they foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality…how they inspire us, soothe us, provoke us, involve us, and connect us.  But elected officials want to hear about how the arts and culture create jobs and contribute to the economy.

The deadline to join our fourth national economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, is quickly approaching.  Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the most comprehensive study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture ever conducted.  In our Arts and Economic Prosperity III report, over 150 communities and regions participated in the studies, which continue to be among the most frequently cited statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on the local, state, and national economy.

The City of Seattle Office of Cultural Affairs, who participated in this most recently completed national economic impact study, provides the perfect example of what this report can provide.  The results were published in June 2007.  Here’s what happened next:

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The Illusion of “Evidence-Based” Practices

Posted by Michelle Dean, Sep 20, 2010 13 comments

Michelle Dean

As cited in the Green Pages: Does the intense federal focus on “evidence-based” practices results in a premature dismissal or disregard for therapeutic practices that are beneficial to many populations?

Let’s face it, value placed on evidence-based practices is not just because of federal funding but a cultural bias that values scientific method, in an attempt “to prove” or “validate” what is real. The economic origins of this long-standing bias are beyond the scope of this blog but none-the-less the question remains: How does art therapy fit in this model?  Well, not so well due to its very symbolic nature.  And why should it?

Although there have been great efforts to promote and conduct evidence based treatment (EBT) and research in art therapy, it may be said that art therapy (or any therapeutic relationship for that matter) is a symbolic process, which is embedded in a relation-based therapeutic practice. So when symbols or people in a relationship are taken out of context they lose their meaning. For example, it would be like taking two people in love and removing one person in the couple and plopping them down with someone else and expecting the same amorous feelings – this is clearly absurd.  Sociologist, Durkheim discusses the advantages of being in a relationship as a reduced risk factor to suicide. However, when an art therapist is actually working with a patient, the statistical risk factor is far less important than the qualities and meaning of the relationship. And it is those relationship qualities that are so elusive to measure.  Elkins debunks the validity of empirically supported treatments, by uncovering the insidious economic gains for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And Seife points out, in his soon to be released text, Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception, “Our society is now awash in proofiness. Using a few powerful techniques, thousands of people are crafting mathematical falsehoods to get you to swallow untruths”. Who is to say that what is being conveyed by the statistics of EBT are even measuring what they are claiming?

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NAMPRadio Episode 9: Customer Service the Cornerstone to Successful Companies

Chip Conley, hotel guru and a speaker at this year's 2010 NAMP Conference in San Jose, CA, talks with our panelists Ron Evans and Matt Campbell. Chip focuses on the importance of good customer service, but not just to customers, also to your board, staff, funders, and patrons. Chip shares wisdom from his book PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow and outlines how these concepts can be applied to arts and cultural organizatons. This is a great chance to get a preview of his NAMP Conference presentation.
FYI, Maris was on assignment for this episode, and we look forward to her joining us in the next one. Also, Ron was using a bluetooth headset that made him sound like a far-off robot, and he has since started to use said bluetooth as a doorstop, because that's about all it is good for. He sends his apologies!
NAMPRadio Recommends:

Outro music: “Fly Fly Fly'” featuring singer/songwriter Adrina Thorpe. Find out more about this artist via her homepage: or her page on the Podsafe Music Network:

Preview Image: 
Author Emails:,, and

NAMPRadio Episode 8: The Value of CRM for NonProfits to Help Build Customer Relationships

In this episode, the panelists Ron Evans, Matt Campbell, and Maris Smith talk with Tim Roberts from ARTS Australia about the benefits of using Customer Relations Management (CRM) database to help build relationships with your customers and patrons and how to catpure data and extract it from the CRM to improve your marketing efforts.

NAMPRadio Recommends:

  • Matt recommends: Made to Stick : Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. The 6 basic principles of what makes an idea (read: marketing campaign) "sticky," plus tips on how to put the principles into practice. Co-written by a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor (who isn't giving me kickbacks for plugging his book....). You might also want to visit the Heaths' own site .
  • Ron recommends: His video editing program, Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum as an inexpensive but full-featured video editor for Windows platforms.
  • Tim recommends: SpamDrain , a hosted Spam solution to solve the problem of the volume of Spam and virus laden messages when collecting email on an iPhone.
  • Maris recommends: Screengrab for Firefox as a tool to capture screengrabs of your sites (just for the Firefox internet browser though)

Outro music: “Greenwood Woman'” featuring singer/songwriter Arthur Hinds. Find out more about this artist via his homepage: or his page on the Podsafe Music Network:

Preview Image: 
Author Emails:,,, and
NAMP Resource Categories: 

The Power of Goals

Posted by Lara Goetsch, Jul 20, 2010 0 comments

I’ve discovered a number of return-on-investment (ROI) tools we use to maximize our resources at TimeLine Theatre, a non-profit theater in Chicago.

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