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Russell Willis Taylor

Registration and Keynote Speakers

Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium
March 23, 2014
| creatively making our place |

We are thrilled to announce the Keynote Speakers for the
2014 Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium!

 

Russell Willis Taylor
Russell Willis Taylor

Opening our day in a David Frost/Inside the Actors Studio – style interview, Russell Willis Taylor (President and CEO of National Arts Strategies) talks with Francesca Zambello (Artistic Director of Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass Festival).

Francesca Zambello
Francesca Zambello

 

These two powerhouse women of the arts will take the stage to talk about how we as leaders keep the arts vibrant, vital, and alive. We will be collecting your questions as well, so put your thinking caps on. You’ve got an hour with two of the most influential arts leaders in the country. (See their full bios below.)

 

Jamie Bennett
Jamie Bennett

Closing out our day is newly appointed Executive Director of ArtPlace America, Jamie Bennett. Former Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts, Jamie was named one of 2013’s most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit arts by Barry’s Blog. Jamie will tell us about the exciting creative placemaking work being supported and pioneered by ArtPlace, and then will open up for discussion and questions with you!

 

Registration for the 2014 Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium is now open.
Get your tickets now! We look forward to seeing you March 23!

And don’t forget to join us for our Spring Benefit Brunchette on February 23!

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Russell Willis Taylor, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies since January 2001, has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she served as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 at the invitation of the English National Opera (ENO) to establish the Company’s first fund-raising department. During this time, she also lectured extensively at graduate programs of arts and business management throughout Britain. From 1997 to 2001, she rejoined the ENO as executive director.

Russell has held a wide range of managerial and Board posts in the commercial and nonprofit sectors including the advertising agency DMBB; head of corporate relations at Stoll Moss; director of The Arts Foundation; special advisor to the Heritage Board, Singapore; chief executive of Year of Opera and Music Theatre (1997); judge for Creative Britons and lecturer on business issues and arts administration. She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognized in this way, and has served on the boards of A&B (Arts and Business), Cambridge Arts Theatre, Arts Research Digest and the Society of London Theatre. She currently serves on the advisory boards of The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, Salzburg Global Seminar, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Charlottesville and the Arts Management program at American University, on the British Council’s Arts & Creative Economy Advisory Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2013, Russell was honored with the International Citation of Merit by the International Society for the Performing Arts, presented in recognition of her lifetime achievement and her distinguished service to the performing arts.

***

Francesca Zambello is the Artistic Director of Washington National Opera. Previously she has served as its Artistic Advisor. She has directed many WNO productions, including Of Mice and Men (debut in 2001), Fidelio (2003), Die Walküre (2003 and 2007), Billy Budd (2004), Porgy and Bess (2005 and 2010), Das Rheingold (2006), Siegfried (2009), Salome (2010), and Show Boat (2013). Since September 2010 she has also been the Artistic and General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York.

An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, Zambello’s work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Royal Opera House, Munich State Opera, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and English National Opera. She has staged plays and musicals on Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, BAM, the Guthrie Theater, Vienna’s Raimund Theater, the Bregenz Festival, Sydney Festival, Disneyland, Berlin’s Theater des Westens, and at the Kennedy Center.

She began her career as the Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera Theatre and as an assistant director to the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. She has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Juilliard, and Yale. An American who grew up in Europe, she speaks French, Italian, German, and Russian. She is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

She recently developed and directed the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier for San Francisco Opera, where she served as Artistic Advisor from 2006-2011. Her acclaimed production of Show Boat opened at Lyric Opera of Chicago in February 2012 and will open at WNO on May 4, 2013. Other recent directing highlights include a new production of La traviata for Opera on Sydney Harbor in March 2012 and a new production of Aida at the Glimmerglass Festival in July 2012.

She has been awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for her contribution to French culture, and the Russian Federation’s medal for Service to Culture. Her theatrical honors include three Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, Helpmann Award, Green Room Award, Palme d’Or in Germany, and the Golden Mask in Russia.

***

Jamie Bennett is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 14 foundations, 6 financial institutions, and 8 federal agencies dedicated to strengthening the field of creative placemaking, in which communities and their arts sectors work in partnership to shape their social, physical, and economic futures.  To date, ArtPlace has awarded $42.1 million in grants to 124 organizations in 79 communities of all sizes across the United States.

Until December 2013, Jamie was Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he was in charge of overseeing the agency’s external affairs, which included the national rollouts of the “Our Town” grant program and of new partnerships with the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development.

Previously, Jamie was Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs during Mayor Bloomberg’s administration where he oversaw the agency’s partnerships with the NYC Departments for the Aging, of Education, and of Youth and Community Development.  He also represented DCA on two public-private partnerships: the New York State Cultural Data Project and Materials for the Arts.

Jamie has also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation, served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University, and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College.

His non-profit affiliations have included the Board of Directors of Art21 and HERE Arts Center; the Foot-in-the-Door Committee of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation; and Studio in a School’s Associates Committee.  Jamie received his B.A. from Columbia College in New York City.

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Largest EALS Ever Proves Success

Steven Dawson, EALS Executive Chair, reports on the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium and the growth the organization has seen. From article written for American University News.

Once again, the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium at American University has proven to be a smashing success. The Symposium, known by the acronym EALS, is in its sixth year of existence. The event is an annual meeting of students and young professionals who work in the arts that is held at American University. As national partners with Americans for theealsoutside Arts, EALS is the official kick off for Arts Advocacy Day, and is held the day before.

It is an opportunity to engage in quality discussion about issues, unique or universal, that affect arts organizations with students, peers, and experienced leaders in the field. Past keynote speakers have included Rachel Goslins, Ben Cameron, Bob Lynch, and Adrian Ellis. All symposium activities and planning is organized and executed by a selected committee of American University Arts Management students.

The framework of EALS 2013 was “Looking to the Horizon.” Each speaker and panel discussed the new and innovative strategies and ideas coming down the road in each of the topics addressed that day. These topics included international arts management, marketing, audience engagement, career advancement, innovative organization models, and fundraising.

As the Executive Chair, I am elated to report that EALS 2013 was by far the largest and most successful Symposium ever. Counting the speakers, attendees, staff, and volunteers, 225 people walked through the doors on Sunday, April 7. That proved to be well over double last year’s number, a record growth for the Symposium. EALS also extended its reach throughout the country. Previous years saw attendees mostly from the surrounding DC metro area and within a few hours’ driving distance. EALS 2013, however, saw attendees from geographical locations spanning the entire eastern coast, the mid-west, and as far west as Utah.

What caused so many people from so many locales to flock to American University? The EALS Executive Committee’s focus on quality programming. At the beginning of the planning process, the Executive Committee made the decision to host big names from the industry that have valuable knowledge and experience to share. Doing so would be a financial gamble, but they had faith that presenting the highest quality programming would pay for itself by attracting more attendees. They were right.

The morning began with opening remarks and a welcome from myself, and jumped right in to the Opening Keynote Address by Karen Brooks Hopkins, the President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Since taking over as president of BAM in 1999, Hopkins has led the organization with stunning competency, riding the waves of financial and philanthropic ups and downs. The annual attendance has exploded, the budget has over doubled, and the organization’s endowment has almost tripled to over $80 million. Her address connected the ideas we were discussing at EALS 2013 with her real and successful organization. A perfect start to the day.

The attendees then split off, as they went to the morning breakout panel session of their choice. One morning panel was International Arts Management. In this panel, Gail 151Humphries Mardirosian (American University), Todd Dellinger (Rider University), Stacy White (US Dept. of State), and Arts Management professor Ximena Varela discussed the newest research and issues in this growing area of the arts.

The other morning panel, Marketing for Today’s Organizations, saw leading marketing specialists discuss new strategies, as well as multiple points of view on some hot topic issues, such as subscription plans. Panelists included JoAnn LaBrecque-French (The Washington Ballet), Jennifer Buzzell (Strathmore), Khady Kamara (Arena Stage), and American University Museum head curator Jack Rasmussen.

After a networking lunch, the attendees split again into their choice of three panels. One afternoon panel, Audience Engagement, discussed the importance of engaging audiences…not selling to them…and the strategies to do so. Those panelists included engagement experts Margy Waller (Topos Partnership), JR Russ (Dance Place), Alli Houseworth (Method 121), Doug Borwick (ArtsEngaged), and AU’s Ximena Varela.

The second afternoon panel provided attendees the opportunity to pick the minds of 201younger arts leaders about starting and advancing their careers in the Career Beginnings and Advancement panel. Panelists included Jojo Ruf (National New Play Network), Christopher K. Morgan (Christopher K. Morgan & Artists), Allison Peck (Freer|Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian), and AU’s Anne L’Ecuyer.

The Innovative Organization Models panel rounded out the afternoon selections. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about some of the most cutting edge organizations, and to pick the minds of the leaders of these organizations. Those leaders were Rachel Grossman (dog&pony DC), Thaddeus Squire (Culture Works Greater Philadelphia), Margaret Boozer (Red Dirt Studio), and AU professor Andrew Taylor.

fr panelAfter a coffee break, attendees headed into the Abramson Family Recital hall to attend a panel that discussed one of the most important parts of arts management, yet one of the most uncomfortable parts: Fundraising. Panelists, moderated by Andrew Taylor, included leading minds in the field: Barbara Ciconte (Donor Strategies), Kendall Ladd (Sitar Arts Center), Pete Miller (Local arts board member and philanthropist), and Russell Willis Taylor (National Arts Strategies)

The day was concluded with Aaron Dworkin’s Closing Keynote Address. Dworkin is the founder and President of The Sphinx Organization, the leading organization focused on cultural diversity in the arts, and President Obama’s first ever appointee to the National Council for the Arts. His poignant dworkinand invigorating address discussed racial access to the fine arts, and how we as arts leaders must work to make the arts represent the true diversity that is the United States.

For more information on the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, and to hear audio recordings of the conference, visit http://www.american.edu/cas/arts-management/eals/index.cfm.

Below is the map of EALS 2013 attendee geographical locations. Where did you come from?

Attendee Geographical Locaitons
Attendee Geographical Locaitons

“But I hate asking for money….”

Regardless of the organizations mission, values, programs, etc., what is the ONE common factor that is needed to execute an organization’s purpose?Nervous Wreck

Money!

As much as we dislike connecting our important work to the dollar, the simple fact is that without it, we cannot pay our staffs, purchase materials, and pay the electric bills…and thus provide our services. So there we have it, we must have funds to fulfill our missions. However, unless you are the lucky few, earned income doesn’t even come close to covering your budget. So to take the statement even further; we must have CONTRIBUTED funds to fulfill our missions.

Now with the Sequestration set to go into effect, the NEA budget will be cut by 5%, or $7.3 million, and the grants will decrease. (But lets be honest, NEA funds have really just become a stamp of approval…and important stamp, that is…rather than actual difference-making funds) Foundations are changing the focus of how and what they fund. And corporate philanthropy, while rebounding, will not cover the balance. So, lets take that earlier statement even deeper. We must have INDIVIDUAL contributed funds to fulfill our missions. 

This can be a problem, though, because this all important aspect of non-profit management is most likely the most uncomfortable aspect of non-profit management. It is just human nature to avoid asking for money, even from people you know.

But proper cultivation, care for the mission, and honest inclusion in the organization (letters, tours, meetings, asking for advice, etc.) makes the potential donor WANT to give to the organization. This is all a team effort, though. It should include multiple levels of staff and board members. I won’t get into the role of the board in fundraising…..that is a whole other topic for another post. But I do encourage you to look up the 9 things a board can do in fundraising. Those include (courtesy of Sherburne Laughlin):

  • ID prospects
  • Write thank you notes
  • Write notes on annual appeals
  • Go on a site visit
  • Make an introduction
  • Make an ask
  • Give $$ themselves
  • Cultivate donors
  • Know enough about the organization to talk about it

This April 7, you have an amazing opportunity to discuss this all important topic with leaders in the field. The Fundraising and Development panel at the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium will provide the chance to ask your questions and pick their minds.

The Fundraising and Development panel will include:

russell willis taylor pic

Russell Willis Taylor – National Arts Strategies: Russell Willis Taylor, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies since January 2001, has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she served as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 at the invitation of the English National Opera (ENO) to establish the Company’s first fund-raising department.

Mrs. Taylor has held a wide range of managerial and Board posts in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognized in this way. In 2013, Russell was honored with the International Citation of Merit by the International Society for the Performing Arts, presented in recognition of her lifetime achievement and her distinguished service to the performing arts.

Barbara Ciconte – Donor Strategies, Inc.: For thirty years, Barbara L. Ciconte,ciconte place holder CFRE, has helped nonprofits think strategically and work smarter.  She has experience in all facets of nonprofit management and resource development. Barbara has worked with local, regional, and national organizations in strategic planning and assisted them in building more effective resource development programs in annual, capital and endowment giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, chapter/affiliate relations and special events.

Prior to becoming a consultant in 1999, she spent thirteen years at American University, where she served as the law school’s director of development and was responsible for managing the college’s successful $20 million capital campaign, which was part of the university’s $100 million Centennial Campaign. A leading national educator on fundraising and board development, Barbara is the co-author of Fundraising Basics: A Complete Guide, Third Edition 2009 published by Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Pete Miller pic Pete Miller – DC area arts donor: Pete became an enthusiastic playgoer after a high school class brought him to the Folger Library to see a production of Love’s Labours Lost. During his seven years in the Air Force, theater availability varied – pretty good in Austin, Texas, not so easy to find English language plays in Kaiserslautern, Germany, great DC theater available during his final tour at the Pentagon.  He continued to see a lot of DC theater while working for KPMG for four years, during which time he moved into the District.  He worked for AOL for eleven years, mostly in network operations, at the same time working his way up within Woolly Mammoth from volunteer usher to board member.  With his long time partner Sara, he co-chaired the Breaking New Ground capital campaign. Pete averages around 100 evenings of theater per year.  In addition to volunteering for Woolly, Pete also works on a volunteer and occasionally paid basis with a number of other DC area arts organizations.

Kendall Ladd – Sitar Arts Center:Ladd pic Kendall Ladd currently serves as the Donor Relations Manager at Sitar Arts Center and works on individual giving & stewardship, events, and grant programs. Sitar Arts Center provides needed arts education opportunities for disadvantaged children & youth in the District. In addition, Kendall has served as a consultant with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. She holds an MA in Arts Management from American University and a BA in Studio Art from Columbia College.

Panel Moderator:

Andrew taylor

Andrew Taylor – American University: E. Andrew Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Arts Management Program, exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Andrew has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Overture Center for the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Prior to joining the AU faculty, Andrew served as Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business for over a decade. Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, and is a consulting editor both for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and for Artivate, a journal for arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, “The Artful Manager,” hosted by ArtsJournal.com (www.artfulmanager.com).

Attend EALS 2013 on April 7, 2013 at American University for an entire day of panels and speakers like this one. Click HERE for more information, and register for the Symposium HERE.

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