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IN THIS ISSUE: Find Out More about Our 5oth Anniversary and Ways to Participate | Advocacy News Snapshot | Half-Century Summit | Member Case Study | Internet and E-Mail Communication Strategies

Americans for the Arts

THE SOURCE FOR ARTS PROFESSIONALS IN THE KNOW

LINK

arts

SPRING 2010


LINK

arts Arts Link Mission

Delivered quarterly to the professional membership of Americans for the Arts, Arts Link’s mission is to help you meet your professional goals and do your job better by bringing you the latest trends, resources, tools, and ideas in the field of local arts agencies and arts professionals. By sharing the aspirations, challenges, and solutions of your peers and leaders in the field, Arts Link aims to educate, inspire, and equip you with the means to create a world in which the arts can thrive. Arts Link Staff Kirsten Hilgeford, Editor Elizabeth Van Fleet, Assistant Editor Arts Link Editorial Committee, Spring 2010 Valerie Beaman Ben Burdick Kate Cushman Graham Dunstan Kirsten Gercke Allison Gilden Timarie Harrigan Mitch Menchaca Tim Mikulski Emily Peck Meredith Sachs Anthony Stepter Jaclyn Wood Arts Link Design Studio e2 Advertising Opportunities Arts Link is now accepting advertising. For information about rates, schedules, and discounted advertising packages, please contact Director of Marketing Graham Dunstan at gdunstan@artsusa.org. Tell Us What You Think At Arts Link, we value the input of our readers and are always interested in hearing your comments about what you’ve read or topics you would like us to feature. By telling us what you think, you help us deliver a publication that bet-

AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS CALENDAR Participate in these events throughout our 50th anniversary year!

JUNE 25–27 Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit (our 50th anniversary convention) Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel Baltimore, MD Including an Arts Education Preconference and a Public Art Preconference, June 24–25 convention.artsusa.org

OCTOBER National Arts and Humanities Month www.AmericansForTheArts.org/NAHM

18 National Arts Awards Cipriani 42nd Street New York City www.AmericansForTheArts.org/go/naa

NOVEMBER 4 THE BCA TEN: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America The Boathouse in Central Park New York City www.AmericansForTheArts.org/go/BCA10

ter meets your needs. Please e-mail your ideas, artsusa.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

12–15

Copyright 2010, Americans for the Arts.

National Arts Marketing Project Conference New Tech. New Tools. New Times.

recommendations, and remarks to ArtsLink@

Printed in the United States.

Fairmont San Jose San Jose, CA www.ArtsMarketing.org/Conference

ON THE COVER: Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955), Nomade, 2007, painted stainless steel, 324 x 204 x 216 inches. Promised gift from John and Mary Pappajohn to the Des Moines Art Center, Photography © Cameron Campbell. See page 15 for more about the Pappajohns’ new sculpture park.


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04

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50TH ANNIVERSARY

Welcome 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of Americans for the Arts! We’re so pleased to be bringing our members this improved member benefit—the redesigned Arts Link—as part of our yearlong celebration. To find out more about our planned 50th anniversary activities, including a video contest, please visit www.AmericansFor TheArts.org/go/50.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

contents

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

04 Making Your Internet Giving Program Shine

03 Working for You

Rich Mintz of Blue State Digital provides insights and five simple steps for improving your online fundraising and engagement strategy.

10 Discovering the Arts Ripple Effect Find out what the Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati discovered about public perceptions of the arts and arts giving as part of its recent research initiative.

Americans for the Arts News

Arts Advocacy Day and our 50 States in 50 Days initiative; National Arts Index; Half-Century Summit

08 MemberCenter

You Belong Here

Regional Arts & Culture Council of Portland; an arts tour of Wichita; What We’re Reading

14 Leadership in Practice

Inspiring Leadership through Example

KRIS Wine supports arts education; Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann; the Pappajohns’ new sculpture park

16 The Toolbox

Information to Help You Succeed

Research on women in the arts; an unlikely funding source; e-mail marketing tips; running a better meeting

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 1


From the President

H

appy New Year to all of you! I have high hopes that 2010 will be a great year for the arts, in part because we are celebrating some important milestones, including our 50th anniversary.

n

AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, 2010 marks not only the

to learn, connect with each other, and discuss

50th anniversary of Americans for the Arts, it

strategies that will make the arts more relevant

Americans for the

also marks the anniversary of the arts support

and valuable in rapidly changing American com-

Arts wants to know:

infrastructure in America as we know it today and

munities and the world. I look forward to working

affords us the opportunity to reflect on all that we

together in 2010 and during the next half century

have accomplished together throughout the last

to ensure even more access to the arts and arts

50 years. We have come a long way—and what a

education for every American.

Video Contest

Why do the arts matter to you? We invite you to celebrate the arts in America on the occasion of our 50 anniversary by th

difference 50 years of support for the arts makes!

This year not only brings changes to Ameri-

Fifty years ago there was no National Endow-

cans for the Arts, it also begins a new chapter for

creating a video that

ment for the Arts or the $5 billion in arts funding

one of our most popular publications, Arts Link.

answers this very

it has since invested in the arts in America. In

About a year ago, Americans for the Arts asked a

question. Winning vid-

1960, there were less than 7,000 nonprofit arts

cross section of our members to take part in a sur-

eos will be featured

organizations—compared to roughly 104,000

vey about the products and services we provide.

on Americans for the

today. Five state arts agencies have blossomed

Your responses helped to shape the re-imagined

Arts’ websites and

to 50, and 400 local arts agencies have ballooned

Arts Link you’re reading today. We hope you enjoy

YouTube channels. For

to 5,000. Despite these staggering accomplish-

it, and we look forward to your feedback.

more information and key contest dates, visit www.Americans ForTheArts.org/

ments, we know we have a long way to go. I look forward to discussing the future of arts

I am so thrilled to be working with you all again this year, and I hope to connect with many

support in the United States with you throughout

of you at the Half-Century Summit in June. Thank

the coming year. We

you for all of your support and dedication. I know

will be paying partic-

the road has not been easy, but our work is so

ular attention to the

important and I truly appreciate all of your efforts.

go/50.

next 50 years and beyond at our HalfCentury Summit in

Thanks,

Baltimore this June. We will celebrate the accomplishments and advances of the arts and convene leaders from across the United States The first issue of Arts Link debuted in 1997.

2 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS NEWS

WORKING FOR YOU NEWS SNAPSHOT

Research & Information

NEWS SNAPSHOT

ADVOCACY

RELEASED IN CONJUNCTION with our 50th anniversary, the National Arts Index is an annual

measure of the health and vitality of arts in

ON APRIL 12–13, AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS hosts the 23rd Annual Arts Advocacy

the United States that you can use to garner

Day in Washington, DC. Coming off successful efforts to include the arts as

support for arts and culture in your commu-

part of the federal stimulus funding last year, participants will once again be

nity. In addition to maintaining the data set

trained on important arts-related issues to discuss during scheduled visits

over time, Americans for the Arts will be adapt-

with their members of Congress. If you are unable attend this year, please

ing the data for local use, creating tools that

visit www.capwiz.com/artsusa to send a message to your representatives on

community arts leaders can use to make lon-

April 13, and ensure your voice will be heard from your home state.

gitudinal measures of arts and culture activity

We also encourage you to start planning for participation in our new

in their regions and states. You can read the

program, 50 States in 50 Days. In conjunction with our 50th anniversary

full report and access an informational, on-

and launching during the congressional recess this summer (August-early

demand archive of our related webinar at

September), 50 States in 50 Days is a way for us to bring our arts advocacy

www.AmericansForTheArts.org/go/ArtsIndex.

efforts to members of Congress while they’re at home. Simply select one day or occasion on which to invite a member of your congressional delegation to a special arts and culture event in your home district or state. But you don’t have to stop there! You can also plan town hall meetings, forums, and visits to local congressional offices. Americans for the Arts will support these efforts with a tool kit, online resources, and research—and you’ll even be able to share your plans with other advocates through our website. You can find out more about this program by attending a “50 States in 50 Days” session at our Half-Century Summit in Baltimore or by exploring www.ArtsActionFund.org following the Summit in June.

A LOOK BACK

Did you know? Arts Advocacy Day

has been bringing arts leaders to Capitol Hill annually since 1988. In the mid-1990s, actor Christopher Reeve was one of our star advocates.

NEWS SNAPSHOT

Professional Development TAKE YOUR PLACE among more than 1,500 local, state, and national arts leaders and partners during the Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit in culturally vibrant and eclectic Baltimore. This milestone convention and celebration of our 50th anniversary begins with public art and arts education preconferences, June 24–25, and continues with the Summit, June 25–27, where together we will be charting the future of the arts in America. While this convention will feature the professional development training you’ve come to expect from 50 years of service from Americans for the Arts, it also aims to have a profound effect on the arts in our country and the health and vibrancy of our communities, as well as your organization. The future of the arts needs your voice. Take a closer look at the back cover of this Arts Link to find out ways to start par-

Photo from the Americans for the Arts achives.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

ticipating in the conversation now. Visit convention.artsusa.org for more details.

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 3


MAKING YOUR INTERNET

GIVING PROGRAM

SHINE

Five Things You Can Do Today By Rich Mintz, Vice President, Strategy, Blue State Digital, New York CIty


What distinguishes a good online fundraising and engagement program from an ineffective one? It amounts to respect—for your supporters and their time and money, and for the implied promises you make them. Learn more from these five steps any organization can take today to improve its Internet program.

I

f you’re concerned that your Internet giving program isn’t performing as effectively as it might, well, you’re probably right. Getting started online is easy, but fine-tuning your program to deliver the results you want takes time. Fortunately, there are five simple things you can do—starting today—that will help move you in the right direction. We’ll present them here, from the simplest to the most complicated. NUMBER ONE: MAKE SURE IT’S EASY TO SIGN UP AND GIVE MONEY ONLINE

Giving money is scary and painful, so you should make it as easy as possible. And signing up as a supporter should be ridiculously easy. (If it takes more than one click or more than 10 seconds, it’s probably too complicated. I’m not kidding!) When someone decides they’re ready to hand over their e-mail address, the sign-up form should be easy to find and easy to complete. If it isn’t, then some people simply won’t bother to do it.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

In almost all our large programs (including Obama for America, which had seen 13 million e-mail sign-ups by the time Election Day rolled around), we try to put a simple e-mail sign-up or registration panel somewhere obvious near the top of every page. This way, no matter when or where the mood strikes to sign up, an opportunity to take action is right in front of your audience. And for those who are ready to make a gift, the donation form should be easy to find, no more than one page long, and ask for only the information you absolutely need to process the gift. Again, if someone has to click more than once to finish the transaction, there are too many steps. NUMBER TWO: GIVE NEW REGISTRANTS AN EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE

Really, every supporter deserves an experience that exceeds their expectations, but this goes double for people who have just committed their e-mail address to your cause. So strike while the iron is hot! Provide some sort of >>

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 5


“ ” MAKING YOUR INTERNET PROGRAM SHINE

Small donors can turn into big donors, and more importantly, if stewarded properly, they can turn into recurring donors who have significant worth over time.

acknowledgment as quickly as you can (even if it’s automated), and follow up within 24 hours with a message of substantive value—perhaps explaining how to take advantage of benefits of membership, or making them aware of upcoming discounts or special performance opportunities. If your program sees enough sign-ups to make it worth the extra effort, consider developing a recurring “welcome” e-mail series. This is a series of three, four, or more messages spaced a few days apart that every new registrant goes through (on a weekly or bimonthly cycle) before being added to the main e-mail list. This special treatment of new sign-ups usually pays off later when you ask people to give money or to support you in other ways.

even a $25 gift: perhaps a thousand donors’ $25-gifts pay the cost of a new ticket booth, or $25 covers five schoolchildren’s admissions, or $25 keeps the lights on in the gallery for one day. NUMBER FOUR: GIVE YOUR CONSTITUENTS THINGS TO DO

Build variety into your online program. A good online fundraising and engagement program doesn’t just ask for money; it gratifies your supporters’ desire to feel needed by inviting and rewarding their participation and feedback. Here are some ways to get your constituents even more involved: n

n

NUMBER THREE: TREAT EVERY DONOR LIKE THEIR GIFT HELPS KEEP THE DOORS OPEN

Ensure your donors are recognized. Your $25-donors may not deserve a steak dinner with your board of directors, but your messaging shouldn’t trivialize them either. Small donors can turn into big donors, and more importantly, if stewarded properly, they can turn into recurring donors who have significant worth over time. So think of concrete ways to explain the value of every gift,

6 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

n

 ell supporters of your film festival T to write a few lines about their most meaningful festival memory from past years, then post them on a digital memory wall on your website as well as in the front window of your venue.  your members to refer their friends Ask to your sign-up page (and, if you can, give them the tools to do it in an automated way). Then, 10 days later, announce back to the group how many new friends joined thanks to their efforts, explain how much money that’s likely to mean for your organization during the next year, and challenge the group to refer even more people. I nvite people to submit a digital photo of something that symbolizes the arts in your city. Urge participants to be creative and interpret the contest in their own way. Then invite the public to vote online to pick the winners, take the winners out to dinner with a dozen prominent local artists, and publish their photos in the newspaper.

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


audiences are gathering for a performance; short clips of schoolchildren talking about the paintings they’ve just seen; and other evidence that your institution is a living, breathing mass of spontaneous human experience (not to mention good humor). Experiencing a good performance builds supporters; but watching online video of young people who have just left their first concert, quivering with excitement, creates fanatics who will give you money every year. So strive for more of that magic— It’s gold!

n

Putting candid video of backstage activity as well as video of performances online can help build engagement. Thanks to the Kansas Repertory Theatre for this photo of its Copaken Stage. Photo by Don Ipock.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

None of these tactics is expensive or complicated. What they have in common is that they harness your constituents’ latent enthusiasm and pride in the service of your organizational goals. And anyone can participate, even people who can’t afford to give money and don’t have time to show up at your events. NUMBER FIVE: SHOW YOUR CONSTITUENTS WHAT’S BEHIND THE CURTAIN

Everybody wants to be an insider, so convert outsiders into insiders. Fortunately, a Flip video camera now costs less than $100, and anyone can operate one. Buy half a dozen of them and put them in staff members’ hands to document what life is like inside your institution. We have worked with a lot of arts organizations that are determined to put fancy audio and video recordings of their performances online. But spontaneous backstage/front lobby content is even more important: short interviews with your performers; blog entries in which your staff talk in their own words about why they love their jobs; candid video shots out on the sidewalk as your

Blue State Digital (BSD) is the online agency behind Obama for America’s unprecedented online success in the 2008 presidential campaign. Today, BSD serves hundreds of clients, including dozens of arts and cultural institutions, NGOs, and issue advocacy organizations. Mintz has helped to shape many of BSD’s arts and cultural programs, including those for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, and the University of Florida Foundation. For more information about BSD, visit www.bluestatedigital.com. 4

QUICK TIPS

Internet Secrets Get started improving your online giving and engagement program today by discussing these five simple Internet secrets with your marketing and development staff: 1

M  ake it easy to give money and sign up online.

2

Reward

3

Communicate

4

Create online participation opportunities,  don’t just ask for money.

5

Give people a sense of what’s going on  backstage—and in your back office.

people who have just signed up with useful e-mail content. how much donations matter (even small ones).

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 7


YOU BELONG HERE

MEMBERCENTER MEMBERCENTER

Burgerville’s employees are part-time,

for Art and was so moved by the story

minimum wage earners, a total of

that it wanted to extend its appreciation

A Sustainable Fast Food Chain Also Sustains the Arts

133 employees donated $8,891 to the

to the Burgerville workers on behalf of

Work for Art campaign in 2008. For the

the entire arts community. The sym-

2009 campaign, Work for Art brought

phony made free tickets available to

in artists from LiveWire! Radio for an

Burgerville employees for the sym-

“Artists in the Workplace” presentation,

phony’s holiday concert in December.

Member: Regional Arts & Culture Council of Portland, OR

during which they spoke with the restau-

In all, nearly 120 employees and family

rant’s senior executives and managers

members enjoyed the performance, and

about the role that arts and culture

the symphony made a point of acknowl-

play in a vibrant community like the

edging its special guests from the stage.

Portland metropolitan region. The result

Many of the attendees from Burgerville

was a whopping 80 percent increase in

had never attended a symphony concert

THE REGIONAL ARTS & CULTURE COUNCIL

donations and a 61 percent increase in

before, but based on the enthusiasm

of Portland’s workplace giving program,

donors. In total, 214 employees across

that night the symphony surely has a few

the Work for Art campaign, supports

34 different locations raised $15,963

more fans now than it did before!

more than 80 vital arts and culture

to make Burgerville one of the top five

organizations in the city of Portland and

donors of Work for Art’s campaign!

Clackamas, Multnomah, and Wash-

About a month later, Jackson met

If you’re looking for arts funding, don’t overlook small businesses. They often have more invested in a commu-

ington counties every year. With only

with management from the Oregon

nity than a larger corporation. As Work

six fortune 500 companies in Oregon

Symphony, one of the core organizations

for Art notes, Burgerville is only one of

and few large corporations in the area,

it supports, and shared the Burgerville

many minimum wage organizations that

Kathryn Jackson, Work for Art’s man-

story. The symphony receives unre-

supports the Portland region through

ager, approaches businesses both large

stricted operating support from Work

Work for Art.

and small to support workplace giving campaigns that benefit the diverse arts organizations in the tricounty area. And Jackson’s approach has paid off, literally. The comparatively small number of big businesses in the Portland

Photo courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council of Portland.

region, combined with the area’s high unemployment rate, may lead one to think that Work for Art’s annual campaign would be in decline. Not so. In 2008–2009 the campaign actually saw an increase. One of the business long shots Jackson took was Burgerville, a sustainable fast food chain established in the 1960s. Burgerville has restaurants in Oregon and Washington and a total of 1,150 employees, most of whom work at the 34 (of 39) outlets in the Portland area. In 2008, the restaurant opened its workplace giving campaign to Work for Art and Earth Share to unite in a combined campaign. Although many of

8 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


Photos left to right: A performance of Aida by Music Theatre of Wichita. Historical recreation at Wichita’s Old Cowtown Museum. Photos courtesy of the City of Wichita, Arts and Cultural Services Division.

MEMBERCENTER

What We’re Reading WE ASKED SOME OF OUR MEMBERS to tell us about which books are capturing their attention right now.

I’m reading What People Want: A Manager’s Guide to Building Relationships that Work by Terry MEMBERCENTER

Bacon. I heard this book men-

WELCOME: WICHITA

tioned several times recently, so I thought I should give it a read. In this very stressful era of layoffs and

AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES JOHN D’ANGELO to his new position as president of the United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF). As head of the

great political change, this book

City of Wichita’s Arts and Cultural Services Division, we knew D’Angelo was just

has some very basic reminders of

the right person introduce us to Wichita’s vibrant arts community.

how to be a more humane leader

n

The Wichita Art Museum is the largest art museum in the state of Kansas, and it’s in the midst of a yearlong 75th anniversary celebration that recognizes its role in stimulating Wichita’s creative life. The museum’s collection spans three centuries of painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts.

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Wichita’s performing arts community offers world-class experiences, the heart of which is

A LOOK BACK

the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center, managed by the City of Wichita. At any given time, Century II is host to touring

Wichita Symphony, Music Theatre of Wichita, and Wichita Grand Opera. n

Heritage and history are recurring themes throughout Wichita’s arts and culture landscape. The Old Cowtown Museum, Mid-America All-Indian Center, and Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum serve Wichita citizens of any age by preserving history, promoting diversity, and expanding viewpoints.

Learn more about Wichita’s arts scene at http://Wichita.gov/CityOffices/Culture.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

—Michael Killoren, Director, City of Seattle, Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

I’m working my way through The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the

1961

Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin.

“While civic pride is important as a reason for community support of the arts, it is not all. In the whole picture, the most important element is this indi­ vidual effort—the recognition of the creative needs of man.”

bringing to life a very important

Broadway musicals and theatrical productions, and it is proud to be home to the

and strengthen team morale.

George M. Irwin, President, Community Arts Councils, Inc.

He’s a good writer and researcher, component in our nation’s balance of law and politics. —Nancy Boskoff, Executive Director, Salt Lake City Arts Council

Do you have something to say? We want to

hear it. E-mail ArtsLink@artsusa.org with your comments and story ideas.

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 9


DISCOVERING THE ARTS RIPPLE EFFECT: A Research-Based Strategy to Build Shared Responsibility for the Arts By Margy Waller, Vice President, Arts & Culture Partnership, Fine Arts Fund, Cincinnati

M n

Participants in the Spontaneous Dance in Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, August 2009. Photo by Scott Beseler for the Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati.

10 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

any of us in the arts community have spent years searching for the strongest possible message and the best case on which to build support for the arts. Yet the messages we have used, and successfully integrated into the national arts dialogue, have not yielded the broad support of the arts that we seek. While most people feel positively toward the arts, at the Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati we recognized the need to change the conversation in order to motivate action by the public for the arts. In late 2008, leaders of the Fine Arts Fund embarked on a research initiative designed to increase our knowledge about the public’s views and assumptions regarding arts and culture. With this research, we could craft a new communications strategy—one built on a deeper understanding of the best ways to communicate with the public about the arts. This communications approach could lead to increased shared responsibility and actually motivate the public action in support of the arts we’ve been seeking. In order to create a more constructive public dialog, it is necessary to explore the dynamics in the current public conversation—in the media, for

instance—as well as in the thinking of the majority of people who do not focus on the arts in their daily lives. Understanding attitudes and beliefs more deeply is a key to negotiating them more successfully in future efforts. A new argument, or lens, on the issue is useful to the extent that it can move people to shared action. When legislators, business leaders, community leaders, and so forth all take in the same core message seen through the same lens—and in turn repeat this message to their own constituencies—the resulting echo chamber can begin to transform the accepted common sense on the issue. WHAT PEOPLE REALLY THINK ABOUT THE ARTS

After a year of investigation and interviews with hundreds of people in the Cincinnati region and surrounding states, this research—conducted with the Topos Partnership, a national communications framing organization— found that public responsibility for the arts is undermined by deeply entrenched perceptions. Members of the public typically have positive feelings toward the arts, some quite strong. But how they think about the arts is shaped by >>

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


The Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati embarked on a research initiative designed to develop a communications strategy that would yield a broad sense of shared responsibility for support of the arts. Find out what they discovered.


DISCOVERING THE ARTS RIPPLE EFFECT

QUICK LOOK

Facts Tell your own story about the surprising benefits of the arts using this checklist. Ask yourself, does my example:   n

Offer people a clear picture of how one thing leads to another— how did the benefit(s) happen?

n

n

n

n

Include examples of vibrancy/vitality or bringing people together? Point out potential benefits to everyone—even people who are not participating in a particular event? Focus on benefits created by organizations, not individual leaders? I llustrate the way organizations of different size provide benefits (e.g., the art museum and a neighborhood art center)?

a number of common default patterns of thinking that ultimately obscure a sense of public responsibility in this area. For example, it is natural and common for people who are not insiders to think of the arts in terms of entertainment. Problematically, entertainment is a matter of personal taste, not public responsibility, and perceived as an extra, not a necessity. We found several prevalent assumptions about the arts work against the objective of positioning the arts as a public good: n

T he arts are a good to be purchased. There-

fore, most assume that the arts should succeed or fail, as any product does in the marketplace, based on what people want to purchase. n

P eople expect to be passive, not active. People

expect to have a mostly passive, consumer relationship with the arts. The arts will be offered to them, and therefore do not need to be created or supported by them. n

The arts are a low priority. Even when people

value art, it is rarely high on their list of priorities. Perceptions like these lead to conclusions that government aid, for instance, is frivolous or inappropriate. Even charitable giving can be undermined by these default perceptions. RECONSTRUCTING THE ARTS MESSAGE

The existing landscape of public understanding about the arts, in the end, is

12 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

n

n

n

T he arts are a private matter. Arts are about

individual tastes, experiences, and enrichment and individual expression by artists. n

not conducive to a broadly held sense of shared responsibility for the arts. To achieve this objective, we need to change the landscape by employing a message strategy that:

n

 ositions arts and culture as a public P good—a communal interest in which all have a stake;  rovides a clearer picture of the kinds P of events, activities, and institutions we are talking about;  Conveys the importance of a proactive stance; and I ncorporates all people in a region, not just those in urban centers.

Holding typical arts messages up to these standards clarifies why some messages, even emotionally powerful messages, fail to inspire a sense of collective responsibility. Art as a transcendent experience, important to well-being, a universal human need, etc., all speak to private, individual concerns, not public, communal concerns. While many people like these messages, the messages do not help them think of art as a public good, and therefore do not inspire action. Messages that are more communal in nature, such as the commonly used economic investment message, or a message about creating a great city, fail for other reasons. For instance, traditional economic messages often compete with other (usually more compelling) ideas about how to bolster an economy. Of the many communications approaches explored in our testing, one stood out as having the most potential to shift thinking and conversations in a constructive direction.

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


n

When legislators, business leaders, community leaders, and so forth all take in the same core message seen through the same lens—and in turn repeat this message to their own constituencies—the resulting echo chamber can begin to transform the accepted common sense on the issue.

n

People come together to share ideas about innovation during a gathering at Cincin-

This approach emphasizes one key organizing idea: A thriving arts sector creates “ripple effects” of benefits throughout our community. We learned that the following two ripple effects are especially helpful and compelling messages to convey about the arts:

nati’s Contemporary Arts Center. Photo by Scott Beseler for the Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati.

n

A vibrant, thriving economy: Neighborhoods

are more lively, communities are revitalized, tourists and residents are attracted to the area. Note that this goes well beyond the usual dollars-andcents argument and becomes about creating an environment where people want to live, work, play, and stay.

A more connected population: Diverse groups

share common experiences, hear new perspectives, understand each other better. This ripple effect approach has proven clear and compelling to many Cincinnatians. They are able to repeat the gist of the point, and they find it a compelling argument for widely shared responsibility for the arts. While the focus of this project is specific to the Cincinnati area, it is fair to assume that at least some of the default patterns of thinking, as well as responses to new messages, reflect patterns that would be repeated elsewhere. While we cannot assume that this strategy is identical in other cities or regions, we believe this project provides a head start for those planning to embark on similar efforts in other parts of the country and at the national level. Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of Americans for the Arts during the Half-Century Summit in Baltimore this June. We’ll be featuring the communications research you’ve just read about alongside other research initiatives. The Summit features an in-depth professional development workshop entitled “Business Leaders: What Are They Really Thinking?” which will deconstruct a variety of new research studies on business attitudes toward giving: convention.artsusa.org. 4

QUICK LOOK

Resources 4 You

can read the entire research report from the Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati at www.fineartsfund.org.

4 Interested in conducting a similar research

effort in your community? Please contact Margy Waller at mwaller@fineartsfund.org.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 13


INSPIRING LEADERSHIP THROUGH EXAMPLE

LEADERSHIP IN PRACTICE

As winemaker and co-owner of KRIS Wine, Franz Haas takes a hands-on approach to wine production. Photo courtesy of Winebow, Inc.

Mayor Hannemann at the Honolulu Family Festival at Magic Island, with hula dancer Piilani Smith. Photo by Tom Hisamura.

LEADERSHIP IN PRACTICE

Speaking of Leadership: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann FOR MORE THAN A DECADE, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has taken the lead in creating opportunities to use the arts as a catalyst for economic development and community revitalization. Hannemann’s leadership in Hawaii has led to remarkable achievements, including three arts-related, cabinet-level positions in LEADERSHIP IN PRACTICE

his administration and revitalization of Hono-

COMMITTING TO THE ARTS

Hannemann is chairman of The United States

lulu’s Chinatown as a culture and arts district. Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) standing committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports, and he recently received the 2010 Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors National Award for Local

FRANZ HAAS, WINEMAKER AND CO-OWNER OF KRIS WINE (with

Arts Leadership.

Winebow, Inc.), is as passionate about the arts as he is about

Mayor Hannemann spoke at the release event

wine-making. The labels for KRIS Wine’s bottles were designed

for our inaugural publication of the National Arts

by Italian artist and family friend, Riccardo Schweizer, and it

Index at the National Press Club in Washington,

is because of this artistic heritage that KRIS Wine has made a

DC, on January 20, 2010. Hannemann suggested

commitment to promoting the arts. This spring, KRIS Wine will

some ways arts organizations can make it easier

donate $25,000 to organizations that support the advance-

for government officials to support the arts:

ment of arts education programs in K–12 schools. KRIS Wine’s national partner for this program is Americans for the Arts, while local partner organizations include these Americans for the Arts members: The Center for Arts Education—New York City; Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education; Arts Learning of Massachusetts; and Arts Horizons of New Jersey. www.KRISwine.com.

n

“It’s important that you incorporate sound business principles. Let’s face it. The perception

of some in the community is that if you invest with nonprofit groups or if you partner with those who promote the arts, it’s not a good business investment because artists are not trained in the business world and the like.

14 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


I say phooey to that. We have shown time and

LEADERSHIP IN PRACTICE

time again that when you work with nonprofit groups, with the artists, and incorporate sound business practices, you can show a return on the investment.” n

“If you’re seeking government funding, if you

Mark di Suvero (American, born China, 1933), T8, 1985, painted steel, 343 x 288 x 444 inches. Promised gift from John and Mary Pappajohn to the Des Moines Art Center. Photography © Cameron Campbell.

Change Agent Making a Difference for the Arts in America

have government funding, please be open and transparent with your finances. That’s very, very

important, because there are those out there who would like to dismiss what the arts community contributes. I have a challenge right now at home, and I’ll be very blunt about it: Our Honolulu Symphony is in danger of going by the wayside. And one of the reasons, despite the well-intentioned efforts of a lot of philanthropic organizations in the past and good businessmen and -women, is that they haven’t done a good job in running the organization of the symphony. The symphony has world-class symphony conductors, world-class musicians, but it’s the business practices that are keeping it from being a viable entity today.” n

“D  o your homework. Find out about those who you are trying to appeal to and find out what

TO SAY THAT THE PAPPAJOHNS are stalwart arts supporters would undervalue their unprecedented contributions to the Des Moines, IA, region. Perhaps the greatest example of their gift to the arts in Des Moines is the recently opened John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The Pappajohns have always had a strong sense of community, and they recognized early on that the arts are a powerful partner in bringing communities together. The Pappajohns also realized that they are uniquely positioned to offer the people of Des Moines and its visitors a common space to enjoy each other and wonderful works of art. Mr. Pappajohn noted, “My wife and I have always been involved with the arts and feel strongly that all forms of art should be shared with the public.” Believing that the arts are part of the solution to many of the problems we face, the Pappajohns saw value in investing in the arts especially in these challenging times. So when the city razed several old buildings and indicated that two acres

makes them tick. There are ways in which you

of downtown Des Moines were available for use as a park, the Pappajohns

can appeal to them so that they’ll want to be a

didn’t hesitate. They were not deterred by economic conditions: “It did not

part of it. Because at the end of the day, it’s all

make a difference to my wife or me whether the gift was in ‘good times or

about the ‘ask.’ I have a friend who told me this

bad times.’ As a matter of fact, it helped to uplift the community.” That positive

maxim that I’ll always remember: Ask a favor,

feeling may not have been possible without the Pappajohns’ major sculpture

gain a friend. The ask is very important, but I

collection—a collection that Mr. Pappajohn noted was “hiding in our back-

think that doing your homework in that regard

yard” until the sculpture park was created. He continued: “The sculpture park

is very important too.”

provides the opportunity for the public to observe modern and contemporary sculpture in a user-friendly environment. It is very attractive, easy to maneuver, and the response by the public has been phenomenal.” As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Americans for the Arts and the 10th anniversary of our Public Art Network, we are reminded of the farreaching benefits of public art spaces. This sculpture park is a great example of how truly important investment in public art is to our communities. The Pappajohns’ gift has given so much to the people of Des Moines and its surrounding businesses. Mr. Pappajohn mentioned: “It has engendered a great deal of activity and several employers have already commented that it is a plus, as a Des Moines attraction for potential employees.”

Mayor Hannemann gives congressional testimony on the importance of creativity, Arts Advocacy Day 2008. Photo by Jim Saah.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

John and Mary Pappajohn have committed a great deal of time and resources to ensuring access to the arts for everyone. Their sculpture park will continue to benefit the people of the Des Moines community far into the future.

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 15


INFORMATION TO HELP YOU SUCCEED

THE TOOLBOX THE TOOLBOX

GET PAID

THE TOOLBOX

Reporting from the Field

ALTHOUGH THE MOST COMMON federal

Women in the Arts

grams come from the National Endowment

sources of funding for arts and culture profor the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, there are a number of other

AS WE REFLECT ON THE PROGRESS THE ARTS FIELD has made during the last 50 years and plan for the future, it is important to take stock of those areas that still need improvement. A recent study from the National Endowment for the Arts, “Artists in the Workforce: 1990–2005,” and its follow-up research note highlighted findings on women artists in the workforce:

agencies where you can find funding. One such resource is the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS). IMLS has an extremely helpful grants website set up for everyone from first-time applicants to veterans, allowing users to

 Women are underrepresented in several professions, including the highest n

search for grants in a variety of categories

paying occupation (architecture). The most male-dominated professions are

and eligibilities: www.imls.gov/applicants/

architects and announcers, but producers, directors, and musicians are also

applicants.shtm.

Some of the grants that may be

mostly male professions. n

W  omen artists are less likely to have children than other working women, but are just as likely to be married. Only 29 percent of women artists had children

under 18, compared with 35 percent of women workers in general.

most useful to Americans for the Arts members include: n

C  oming Up Taller

www.imls.gov/about/taller.shtm

W  omen artists are clustered in low-population states. Women make up n

the majority of the artist labor force in Iowa, Alaska, New Hampshire,

n

Librarian Program

and Mississippi. n

L  aura Bush 21st Century

www.imls.gov/applicants/grants/

W  omen artists make less than their male counterparts. These women

21centurylibrarian.shtm

artists earn $0.75 for every dollar made by male artists. Earnings are slightly better for women performing artists ($0.92).

n

N  ational Leadership Grants

www.imls.gov/applicants/grants/ To get a more complete picture of women in the arts today, download the research note: http://nea.gov/research/notes/96.pdf.

nationalleadership.shtm n

S  ave America’s Treasures

.73

.74

.75

.81

.75

.83

.85

.92

.88

.87

.84

.75 .66

In addition, IMLS offers grants to more specific groups such as museums, preservationists, Native American/Native Hawaiian assistance organizations, and historical societies. ber, when it comes

Writers and Authors

Photographers

Announcers

Entertainers and Performers

Musicians

Dancers and Choreographers

Producers and Directors

Actors

Designers

16 | ARTS LINK | SPRING 2010

Fine Artists, Art Directors, …

Architects

All Artists

Source: U.S. Census

And always rememCivilain Workers

PERCENTAGE OF MEN’S EARNINGS

www.imls.gov/about/treasures.shtm

to grant-seeking, it never hurts to look in unlikely places for funding opportunities!

Celebrating 50 Years of Advancing the Arts


THE TOOLBOX

Building Blocks Running a Better Meeting WILLIAM KEENS’ NEW BOOK, Herding Cats and THE TOOLBOX

Cougars: How to Survive the Meeting You Are Running While Mastering the Art of Facilita-

STEP BY STEP

tion, is a smart, funny, pocket-size guide

E-Mail Marketing

in the nonprofit field and Principal at the

full of gems about how to successfully lead meetings. Keens, a well-known consultant consulting firm of WolfBrown, has concen-

WHETHER YOU’RE AN E-MARKETING PRO or have never hit “send,” here are five steps to help you on your way to successful e-mail marketing. 1 What Are You Saying? Decide why you need to market your product or ser-

vice via e-mail. Here’s a hint: the answer shouldn’t be just because everyone else is doing it. Also, determine if you have the capacity to manage an e-mail marketing campaign. 2 Do Your Homework. Start by visiting websites like eMarketer.com and

MarketingSherpa.com to read up on reports. Next, check out some of

trated years of facilitation experience into easy-to-read nuggets of information for nonprofit professionals, executives, leaders, teachers, and anyone leading a meeting. From the chapter “Running the Meeting,” these are the criteria by which Keens determines your meeting will be judged and remembered. And all of them are within your power to influence: n

the providers that are out there, like Magnet Mail, ConstantContact, PatronMail, MailerMailer, and Campaigner. Some providers offer a free trial to ensure their product is what you’re looking for.

n

anyone dominating? n

like your future core audience to include and develop a message for them n

Was there time to socialize, to get to

that is useful to your audience’s work.

know one another, to bond?

4 Send It! Craft your enticing subject line (35 characters or less) and

message with collaboration from all involved parties and decide when your

Did sessions start and stop on schedule?

too. What does that different content look like? Marketing e-mails have to constantly fight the delete button, so try to offer some nonmarketing content

Did everyone participate to some degree without

3 Determine Who Your Audience Is. Develop a strategy for how to talk to your

current core audience and your past core audience. Figure out who you would

Was the meeting productive? Was anything accomplished?

n

Was the mood posi-

message will make the most impact. Numerous statistics show that 2:00

tive, energetic,

p.m. (EST) is the best time of day to hit down time on both coasts and that

and even fun?

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to send. Don’t forget to send tests to different e-mail clients (such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.) to make sure your message looks good for all your constituents. 5 Take Stock. Keep a close eye on your open rates and click through rates to

see what works and what doesn’t. Also, according to MarketingSherpa.com, about 33 percent of addresses on a “house” list will become outdated annually, so work with your provider to determine the best subscribing and unsubscribing policy.

n

Did people feel listened to, taken seriously, treated respectfully?

Interested in finding out more? Order the

book from the Americans for the Arts Store at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/ Store or by calling 1.800.321.4510.

Product #: 003525 / Member Price: $14 / Nonmember Price: $15.

Don’t forget to revisit these steps regularly, and Happy E-Marketing!

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

SPRING 2010 | ARTS LINK | 17


1000 Vermont Avenue NW 6th Floor Washington, DC 20005 T 202.371.2830 F 202.371.0424 ArtsLink@artsusa.org www.AmericansForTheArts.org

Mixed Sources Product group from well-managed forests, controlled sources and, recycled wood or fiber. www.fsc.org Cert n. XXX XXX XXXXX © 1996 Forest Stewardship Council

50TH ANNIVERSARY CONVENTION

Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit June 25–27 In preparation for our Half-Century Summit in Baltimore this June, we’ve created a number of new ways for you to engage in planning and discussing the future of the arts in America. n

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Sign up for webinars on different arts-related and professional development topics (free for Americans for the Arts members and Summit registrants). Visit ARTSblog, where you can comment on Green Papers—short vision papers crafted by more than 20 national arts service organizations and peer groups about the future of the arts. Engage in a number of weeklong blog salons, which will feature 50+ bloggers from across the country addressing topics including public art, leadership, arts education, and private sector affairs.

We hope you use these tools leading up to and following the event to get the most out of your Summit experience. Find these ways to engage at convention.artsusa.org.


Artslinkspring2010