Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Arts in Crisis?

Michael Kaiser spoke in San Antonio today. I've never heard such a delightful optimist make arts management and marketing sound so easy. He has an amazing track record and gave sound advice:
1. Plan ahead - way ahead! Minimum of 3 years, try to be 5 years out.
2. Talk about success and excitement, not about trouble and dispair.
3. Take risks, don't cut programming.
4. Be frugal, cut corners - but never do so at the expense of your mission/programming.
5. Don't just push for the next event/concert, but be in the public eye for what you do, not just specifics.
6. Have a board that is engaged and always focus on what you do at each meeting (if its a ballet company, have some dancers; an orchestra - a musical performance, etc etc)
7. Board members should keep up their support (in whatever manner your nonprofit has set in the bylaws) and should be the cheerleaders for your group - inspire them and they will inspire others!
8. Talk to your audience and get to know them, let them know as much about your organization. Kaiser gave an example of an audience member who had given $50 yearly, then once $500, came to a donor party, giving $5000, and then went to $500000 and now at a 1 million dollar gift, just from to your audience and supporters!
These are a few points - and are not as refined as Mr. Kaiser, but are some of the highlights of the morning. Here is a short excerpt of the talk:

His talk will be available in the future from KSTX and the NewsMaker Hour with Ernie Villareal.

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