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Past Conferences


Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - Wednesday, April 29, 2009  Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento, CA


8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast (John Q Ballroom)

9:00 Opening Session, John Q Ballroom

  • Welcome – Introductions – Agenda Review
  • Session: Asset-Based Community Analysis: Maren Brown, Arts Extension Service and Mary Margaret Schoenfeld, Americans for the Arts

11:45 “What Those in the Know Need to Know” Patty Milich, Public Awareness Coordinator, California Arts Council

12:00 Lunch Break John Q. Ballroom

1:00 Peer-Led Sessions, John Q. Ballroom and nearby breakout rooms

  • Cultural Tourism -- Victoria Hamilton 
  • Collaboration and Contracts -- Jeanette Richardson Parks
  • Succession Planning--  Jeanne Bogardus 
  • Fundraising – being effective and not alienating constituent organizations -- Bruce Davis Arts Advocacy -- Rachel Osajima & Rick SteinCultural Equity Programs -- San San Wong
  • Local and Regional Networks Alberto Rafols 

3:00 California Arts Council Briefing John Q Ballroom
Marilyn Nielson, Deputy Director, California Arts Council  (Arts Council’s stimulus related work)

3:30 Facilitated Resource Sharing John Q Ballroom
A facilitated session on issues identified by the participants earlier in the day.

4:45 Final Announcements / 5:00 Free Time

6:30 Dinner Break, John Q Ballroom
Interactive Theatre Experience, (following dinner) John Q Ballroom

DAY TWO:  WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2009 Convene El Dorado/Diablo Ballrooms

8:30 Breakfast Buffet  
9:00 The Economy: National Trends and Local Impact  

  • Overview of National trends 
  • Regional breakout groups 
  • Reporting Back

10:30 Refreshment Break 
10:45 Instructional Sessions

Name of Session/Description Instructor Location
E-Marketing for Beginners
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 workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of marketing for arts and cultural programs with an emphasis on e-marketing tools and trends that you can use in your local arts agency and with your constituents. 
 Maren Brown, Arts Extension Service 

From Managing Change to Leading Change: Executive Director's Leadership Roundtable
The current economic and funding landscape has impacted nonprofit arts organizations in such a way that the question of how to manage change is no longer enough. The question has now become, “How do we lead adaptive change”? This session is for Executive Directors who are either responding to the shifting environment around them or initiating a change process within their organization. The session will provide practical approaches for leaders who are seeking to minimize risk and heighten results in achieving positive, sustainable change.  Participants will learn the stages of the change cycle and the principles of adaptive leadership in order to apply it to their own organizational goals and challenges. This session will be highly interactive and will provide a space for EDs to share questions and concerns, as well as strategies and successes.  (Limited to Executive Directors only) Michelle Gislason, CompassPoint 

CA Cultural Data Project
California joins a path-breaking group of States in implementing the Cultural Data Project.  In addition to it’s functionality in applying for grants, the Cultural Data Project provides your organization with powerful tools and information to assist in your day-to-day operations and community education efforts.  This session will walk you through some of those tools and demonstrate how to put your data to work.  
 Lauren Hooten, Cultural Data Project
LAA Boot Camp 
New to the local arts agency field, or trying to re-invent?  This session will outline the history of local arts support, provide an extensive overview of the current research, programmatic activity and financing of local arts agencies and other arts support groups, and provide time for brainstorming on practical steps to build local support for arts activity.  Mary Margaret Schoenfeld, Americans for the Arts 

12:45 Lunch Break 
1:30 Peer Led Break Out Sessions 
(repeat of Tuesday—see above for session leaders, topics and locations)

3:30 Concluding Session: report out on lessons learned, new action steps / 4:00 Final Remarks

Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.  With 45 years of service, we are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.  Visit for more information.

 The Arts Extension Service is a national arts service organization based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.    We “develop the arts in communities and community through the arts with professional education for arts managers, artists and civic leaders.”  For 35 years, our capacity building workshops, degree and certificate programs, publications and research have supported generations of our nation’s community arts leaders.   Visit for more information.


2006 Winter Institute in Arts Management
“Take Five: Survive and Thrive”

March 2-4, 2006
at the Marriott Palm Beach Gardens Hotel
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Thanks to all conference participants for a truly wonderful event!

Another reason to join us this Winter! AES' Summer Institute will not be held this year, as we work to integrate it with our Arts Management Online program. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

Where better to “Take Five” to learn about arts management and reflect on your agency’s future than by the ocean in March?! This year, AES teams up with some incredible partners—Americans for the Arts; Arts Council of Stuart and Martin County; Broward County Cultural Division; Florida Keys Council of the Arts;Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs; National Endowment for the Arts; Palm Beach County Cultural Council; South Florida Cultural Consortium and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs—to deliver an conference that will fill you with new insights and ideas.

The four tracks offer different insights and tools and one of them—or a little from each of them—may be just right for you. This year highlights emerging leaders in the arts. Emerging leaders, keep your eyes open for scholarship opportunities and sessions that are right for you.

Track One: Fundamentals of Arts Management

New to arts management? Need a refresher? Want the formal vocabulary for what you’ve learned by doing? The workshops, and their content, are:

  • Where Are We Going? Strategic Planning for Arts Organizations. Your roadmap is essential to ensure cohesion in your organization, to help you decide where to put your money, and to create your community image.
  • Are We There Yet? A Program Evaluation Primer. Can you tell your public with confidence at you’re spending their money responsibly in achieving the lofty goals you’ve set for yourselves? Do you know whether you’re doing a good job?
  • Show Me The Money! A Fundraising Primer. When money is tight, fundraising must be especially thoughtful and systematic, and everyone in the organization must play their part. So what, exactly, does this mean?
  • Bored or On Board? Strengthening The Directors. How do you ensure that you are selecting the right members for your board? Or that they will work together cohesively to guide your organization?
  • The Arts For Everyone! Designing Programs That Work. You’ve got the vision. You’ve got the plan on paper. But, how do you really connect the arts to audiences?

Track Two: Beyond The Basics

You’ve been on the job or on the board – for a while. But funders’ vocabularies are changing, laws are evolving, audiences are changing, and you need to keep up! To help, we offer:

  • The XY Factor: Marketing to Youth. We all worry about the graying of our audiences. Survival may depend upon knowing the needs, habits and style of the audience that wasn’t born until Ronald Reagan was out of office! scholarship opportunities
  • The E Factor: Electronic Marketing. Even if you have a good website and a good e-mail list, you’ll need to use them to their fullest – and stay in touch with the ever-growing array of electronic opportunities.
  • So What? Demonstrating Results. The tighter money gets, the more you’re asked to “prove” that investment of funds is achieving a desired result. But how on earth do you prove the value of an arts education program? Of a good museum exhibit?
  • The Myth Of The Silver Bullet: Issues In Fundraising. An endowment? A for-profit affiliate? Perhaps a capital campaign. The CD that everyone wants to buy for holiday giving. How do you choose a technique – or should you? What are the pros and cons of each? Meanwhile, what happens to your annual campaign?
  • How To Stay Out Of Jail: Laws You Need To Know. What is “Sarbanes-Oxley” and why should you care? Can you save money by turning your Executive Director into contractor? What if you’re too small for an audit – what should you do instead?

Track Three: The Human Touch

If we can’t work well with other people, then our organizations simply can’t be their best. Time is wasted, and maybe worse, people – our most precious resource – are wasted too. So, we’ll address:

  • If I Just Count To Five: Managing Difficult Personalities. You’ll probably encounter personality “types,” some of which drive you nuts. What makes them tick? How to manage them? How to get the most out of the relationship?
  • In The Door, Up The Ladder, Out The Window: The Office. How do you position yourself for successful entry to a new opportunity - pitching for the job and getting off to a successful start? What are the does and don'ts of the “promotion game?” What if you get laid off? Or What if you have to fire someone?
  • The Never-Ending Story: Organizations Moving Through Time. Even if your organization doesn’t have the proverbial “founder’s syndrome,” you need to be consciously preparing for the people who will come next. When you are “up to here” coping with today, how can you think about tomorrow?
  • The Once & Future Arts Administrator: Designing Your Career. So you’re new in arts management. Everyone says, “Do you really want to work 80 hour weeks and be poor?" Does it have to be this way?
  • A Many-Splendored Thing: Diversity On Staff and Board. It’s easy to talk the diversity talk. Walking the walk is a lot harder. What are the real implications of saying, “We want the community represented in our organization?”

Track Four: Hot Topics

Let’s face it. If you don’t know what “creative economy” means at an arts administration gathering today, you’re in trouble. What are some of these topics that you need to be conversant about?

  • A Tale Of Three Cities: Their Creative Economies. What are cities in Florida doing to define and develop a “creative economy?” Can any of this apply to your community back home?
  • The Quest for the Guest: Cultural Tourism. The economies of so many cities seem to depend upon tourism. What can the cultural sector do to make the visitor experience meaningful – and benefit in the process?
  • Money Talks: Economic Impact and Advocacy. How often have you heard, “We need to do an economic impact study if we want public money!” Is it true? What are the pros and cons of doing these studies, and where do you start?
  • Of People And Places: Our Changing Demographics. We hear about small school systems dealing with an influx of families speaking 20 different languages. Retirees with two homes. Migrant workers seeking a permanent home. Arts groups must address these issues to survive: what do they need to know?

Wake-Up Calls & Keynote Address

Each day will include food for thought, with big ideas.

  • “Why We Do What We Do?” Donna Wissinger (artist, educator, athlete). We share a passion for the arts, a love of our places, and a belief in human beings. Many of us feel that this work is almost a “calling,” as well as a job. What is it that keeps us going?
  • “Where Did We Come From?” Families have a common last name, ancestors that everyone knows. Countries have stories and heroes, as do states and cities. So do professions. Learn who your “spiritual ancestors” are: they will inspire you, ground you, and maybe serve as “guardian angels” to prevent burnout.
  • “What Is Meaningful Work?” Two emerging arts leaders will converse with two seasoned leaders: Regardless of the changing world, what in our field is consistent through time? What do we look forward to, as we enter the profession? What do we hope to have left, as we leave it?
  • “What’s All This Talk About Charitable Reform?” We’ll hear from President & CEO of Americans for the Arts, Bob Lynch, about the buzz in Washington about charitable reform, possible legislation, and implications for the nonprofit sector.

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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