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Speakers and Conferences


AES' staff are happy to appear at local (Western MA) arts organizations, and our staff and faculty are available to speak at your state or national functions for a modest travel/speakers' fee.  Topics include:  Strategic Planning, the State of the Arts, Creative Economy, Funding and the Arts, and more.  Contact us at or 413-545-2360.


Conference in a Box:

AES is happy to work with you to develop a multi-day conference or symposium that features a variety of speakers and topics. Drawing upon decades of experience in delivering community arts conferences, we bring our signature events to your site and deliver a full experience for your constituents. Additionally, AES can extend the experience through its online training programs that are available before and/or after the event.

Choose from a variety of full and half-day training programs:

  • Arts Programming
    • Arts for Everyone! Designing Programs that Work
      Quality arts programming is at the core of all arts and culture organizations, yet once they have developed an idea, many arts managers struggle with how to successfully present a program.  In this workshop, you will learn a step-by-step process for developing arts and culture programs. The session will examine culturally-specific and controversial programming, explore exemplary programs, and review technical and logistical support requirements.
  • Board Development
    • Bored or on Board?  Strengthening the Directors
      The board of directors is vital to the operation of a cultural institution, but many organizations do not understand the role of board members and do not effectively prepare board members to assume their responsibilities. This presentation will examine the role of the nonprofit board of directors, how they can best relate to the professional staff, and how to identify volunteer leadership needs.
  • Creative Economy Training Programs
    • Creative Economy
      What role can the arts play to revitalize your local economy?  How can you partner with others to build a stronger community?  How can the artist benefit from your success?
    • Workshops are designed to be highly interactive and practical, while providing participants with a solid theoretical framework for understanding creative economy initiatives.  Includes a workbook and companion CD.  A variety of training programs are available, including half-day, full-day and two-day formats.
  • Financial Management
    • Dollars and Sense:  Financial Management for Beginners
      Intimidated by math?  Unfamiliar with financial concepts? This workshop introduces you to developing a budget, how to read and interpret financial statements, including income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets.  You won’t become an accountant, but you may start to speak like one!
  • Fundraising
    • Show Me the Money!  A Fundraising Primer
      Recent statistics show that the largest source of revenue for arts organizations is individual donors. Now, more than ever, it is essential for arts managers to understand how to develop and implement an effective fundraising program. This workshop presents the principles and methods of raising funds for nonprofit arts organizations from individuals, business, government agencies and foundations.
  • Online Marketing for the Arts and Culture
    • Marketing/Online Marketing for Arts Organization’s Leaders 
      Marketing is the most important tool to build awareness of your programs and services and can help you to reach new audiences and cultivate loyalty in those you already serve. This 4-hour workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of marketing for arts and cultural programs with an emphasis on online marketing tools and trends. You will learn basic marketing concepts, such as the “4 Ps” of marketing (product, place, promotion, and price), how to better understand audiences and consider how to build participation in your programs and services. Emphasis will be placed on online marketing tools that arts organizations can use: website development, listservs, e-newsletters and social networking.
  • Program Evaluation
    • Are We There Yet?  A Program Evaluation Primer
      It is no longer sufficient to promise that you will change people’s lives with an inspiring performance and then report that the program seemed to go well. While accountability drives much evaluation, in this workshop presentation you will learn how evaluation can help you to improve your programs and report to your funders. Using the tools of outcome-based evaluation, this workshop teaches the language of evaluation and how to convert intangible intentions like “delight our audiences” into measurable outcomes.
  • Strategic Planning
    • Where Are We Going?  Strategic Planning for Arts Organizations.
      Strategic plans are essential to the long-term health of nonprofit organizations, allowing board members and staff to agree on a common organizational direction that will help guide future activity. This workshop will introduce you to the principles and methods of strategic planning for cultural organizations, and will introduce you to an eight-stage system for strategic planning developed by former AES director and consultant Dr. Craig Dreeszen.

….And many more!

Contact us today for more information at 413-545-2360 or


223 Middlesex House, 111 County Circle, University of Massachusetts Amherst • Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-2360 • Fax: (413) 545-2361 • Email:

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