Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Game Changing the Model

WHO'S READY TO MOVE FORWARD? WHO'S READY TO EXPLORE new and effective ways of addressing the seemingly intractable problems of the arts and cultural community, -- too many of us, too few resources to sustain us all, too many fiefdoms, unpredictably shifting audiences (to name but a few)? Who's willing to dig in deep enough to ensure that new approaches are sustainable for the long haul?

Who are the arts and cultural game changers right now? Here are three that come immediately to mind:

Michael Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, created this year the “Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative,” a program providing free arts management consulting to non-profit performing arts organizations around the United States. The program has put Kaiser on the road to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, hosting management symposia.

Maxwell Anderson, Director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, has championed the use of multimedia and networked information to connect museum visitors with collections and promote greater transparency to the field and the public. His advocacy led the IMA to launch, in 2007, the first real-time museum dashboard, revealing over 50 fields of sensitive financial and performance data and soliciting commentary from the general public about the museum's commitment to openness. It is considered a gold standard among museums committed to transparency and accountability.

The Chattanooga Museum Collaboration has effectively proven that major institutions can pool functions and resources for the good of all and the community. The Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum and the Hunter Museum of American Art share common human resources, financial and technology management, as well as marketing -- even capital fundraising. A commitment to enhancing the city's quality of life, coupled with open and forward-thinking by board and staff leaders, has given this partnership resilience and staying power.

Who would you recommend? Yourself?

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