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Arts Professionals' Breakfast Shows Art Innovation

Posted by Chad O'Connor  April 25, 2012 11:30 AM

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Veronique Le Melle, Executive Director at Boston Center for the Arts welcomed guests to the First Annual Arts Professionals' Breakfast featuring presentations on new technologies and cutting edge practices in the administrative side of the art world. This year's juried presenters were ArtsBoston, Boston Dance Alliance and Cambridge Community Foundation.

The keynote presenter Kara Miller, who hosts the Innovation Hub on WGBH Radio Boston, focused on where ideas come from and addressed three trends shaping our future in the era of the crowd. Through crowd sourcing, crowd funding and mobile technologies, tapping the wisdom of the crowd, telling your story and getting the word out will be an integral part of these democratizing technologies.

John Beck, Deputy Director of ArtsBoston, discussed market knowledge programs. Arts Boston launched an audience initiative which takes the data of an organization’s membership, overlays it with demographic information and outputs it back to the organization to turn research into action. It works within a city or regional community to build capacity and assist audience development by defining patron behavior. By working with cultural nonprofits in a region to share this information with each other, they create a culture of collaboration and advocacy for the arts.

Ruth Birnberg, Executive Director of the Boston Dance Alliance, shared her Calendar on Cue software. The focus is on putting the tools of marketing into the hands of local dance company productions to enable them to plan for their online, social media, box office strategy. The software can be uploaded into Google Calendars or iCalendars or printed out as a PDF and it has many variable fields, depending on the size of the organization, the work flow and the type of event.

Last but not least was a presentation about Cambridge Creativity Commons by Director Martha Barry McKenna and Project Coordinator Kyle Brown. This community arts education project was modeled on Le Laboratoire, a project created by David Edwards at Harvard that involved creating a space for artists and scientists to collaborate and develop new innovations. The Cambridge Creativity Commons brings arts and education together by bringing together public schools and practicing artists in the community to help administrators and teachers become better at what they do. One of their primary goals is to address the high dropout rate of middle schoolers from the arts by providing support, mentoring, modeling and real life experiences to young learners.

The Chair of the BCA board, Philip Lovejoy, closed the program by recognizing the too often under-recognized innovative practices of arts administrators and arts organizations that are crucial to the continuity and vitality of the arts and culture sector. The event provided the opportunity for participants to learn new innovative and successful methods to take back to their organizations and created an atmosphere where participants could meet and network with other arts professionals from across the state. This year’s Arts Professionals' Breakfast continued the BCA’s commitment to workforce development and sector unity. Judging by the crowd at the sold-out breakfast, Boston can look forward to this event next year!

Donna Dodson graduated cum laude from Wellesley College in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts. Since 2000, Dodson has been honored with solo shows nationwide for her wood sculptures. Dodson enjoys public speaking, and has been a guest speaker in conferences, panels and forums at museums and universities in North America.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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