NASAA Notes: October 2018

October 10, 2018

South Carolina, Michigan: Capacity Building through Cohort Learning

One way state arts agencies can foster the capacity of arts leaders and arts organizations is by harnessing the power of cohort learning. This approach—based on the active and interactive dynamics of group learning—fosters community, creativity and leadership skills as a pedagogical strategy. In this way, cohort learning facilitates ongoing supportive relationships that both reinforce content mastery and lay the groundwork for future partnerships that strengthen the creative sector. This month, State to State considers two recent examples of state arts agencies leveraging the benefits of cohort learning.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) has partnered with the South Carolina Arts Alliance and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to provide specialized capacity training to nonprofit arts organizations. The goal of the program, A Stronger Bottom Line, is to help arts groups in South Carolina become more effective and efficient in their financial operations, which, in turn, enables them to more fully contribute to the state’s arts ecosystem. Through the program—open only to current grantees of SCAC or the foundation—teams from six art organizations participate over the course of six months in three full-day trainings focused on financial management, financial planning and performance management. They also receive tailored coaching from FMA Consulting. With funding from SCAC and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the fee for the program, which provides technical assistance services valued at $3,500, is only $200. The South Carolina Arts Alliance is managing the day-to-day aspects of the program. To learn more, contact SCAC Executive Director Ken May.

2018 Rising Leaders cohort. Photo courtesy of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Rising Leaders is a new personal development program that focuses on cultivating Michigan’s next generation of arts, culture and civic leaders. A collaborative effort of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and Partners in Performance—a consulting firm specializing in designing and facilitating leadership development in the arts and culture sector—the program aims in particular to support the growth of young leaders from diverse backgrounds and geographies. It provides rigorous, in-depth leadership training to 15 participants over the course of six months. At three two-day workshops, participants engage each other and trainers in interactive exercises that foster self-awareness, self-management and mutual influence. The goal is to develop not only leadership skills, but also a cohort of supportive arts managers who can learn from each other as they advance the arts in their own communities and, collectively, build a statewide arts infrastructure that increases access to creativity in communities across Michigan. For more information, contact MCACA Arts Education Program Manager Chad Swan-Badgero.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

Announcements and Resources

Legislative Update

State to State

Research on Demand

More Notes from NASAA

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