2018 Schedule

Relevancy & Responsiveness of Arts Service Organizations

Day 1 – Wednesday, May 2
Our Work as ASOs: Grounding in Justice

Location: Continental Club and Gallery, 1315 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX

8:30 am / Breakfast – at the hotel

9:00 -9: 15 am / Shuttles from Holiday Inn Town Lake to Continental Club and Gallery (a 7-10 minute ride)

9:30 am / Welcome  Remarks, Values and Agreements
Maud Lyon, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Program Committee Chair
Ashley Walden Davis, Alternate ROOTS, Program Committee Co-Chair
John Riedie, Austin Creative Alliance, Host

This year as we continue our journey  building community and taking on difficult conversations around racism and equity in art service organizations and beyond, we want to take time to be intentional about the ways in which we gather together and share space and create meeting agreements. Our goal is to create a brave space for authentic conversations and sharing. Meeting agreements are an evolving snapshot of practices we use to cultivate equity, community, and wellness when we convene as a group. They are by no means complete. We will use these agreements as a starting point and  add/change/invent new language to better serve the unique needs of our group.

9:45 am / A Moment for Sharing

Each morning, we will pose a thoughtful question for the day, ask for responses, and reflect of how we will be with one another. This is an opportunity to more deeply meet each other and to engage in the work of the conference. (This is a change from APASO’s previous tradition of the Round Robin.  This year, we will ask participants to report in advance on their key accomplishments or current major projects, to be shared in written form with all attendees.)

 10:45am / BREAK

 11:00 am – 12:30 pm / Opening Plenary Session: Cultural Equity in the Arts

As ASOs, we have to be the change we want to see in the world.  This session explores work being done to increase equity in the arts, first with an overview of cultural equity and then with the story of Women of Color in the Arts.

11:00 – 11:30 am / Marian Brown and Hanako Brais, Arts Connect International

Arts Connect International (ACI) is building equity in, and through, the arts. A Boston-based non-profit, ACI has become an ‘equity incubator’ focused on creating community-contextualized change through four social impact areas:  1) leadership development, 2) community programming, 3) consulting, and 4) research. Together these four areas leverage current capabilities and commitments that help close the equity gap in the arts.

ACI recently published a Community Findings report, a study examining cultural equity in the US arts landscape. This session will workshop through the findings; advocate for rigorous academic investigations of equity, homing in on ‘big ideas for change’ — working through with participants how to start addressing intersectional justice within their communities and organizations today. This includes directly discussing and unpacking race, disability, gender, sexuality, nationality, and class and how these components of identity interplay, affecting access to the arts.

11:30 am – 12:00 pm / Kaisha Johnson, Women of Color in the Arts

Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) is dedicated to creating racial and cultural equity in the performing arts field by promoting professional opportunities for arts administrators and providing a platform to give voice and visibility to women of color. By working to fortify leadership and reinforce a world where everyone has a seat at the table, WOCA aims to cultivate an inclusive field, one as varied in voice and perspective as the communities it serves. WOCA works diligently to move the conversation of racial and cultural equity forward with the intent of creating equitable systems for all to prosper inside and outside of the arts. In this address, Kaisha Johnson, Co-Founder, will share the history, goals and experience of WOCA to illuminate the ways the justice and equity centered organizations work in community and the arts field.

12:00 – 12:30 pm  / Questions and Discussion with Hanako Brais, Marian Brown, Kaisha Johnson

12:30 pm / Lunch
Delicious local Austin food, at the Continental Club and Gallery

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm / Breakout Sessions (at the Continental Club and Gallery)

Session A / Disability, Diversity, and Engagement
Christina Trivigno, Theatre Development Fund (TDF)
Beth Prevor, Hands-on

This session will allow participants to have an open discussion about disability, about how we think about disability- our misconceptions, our attitudes, our assumptions and fears we

have about disability. All too often, when we talk about disability and accessibility within our arts organizations, we think in terms of legal mandates of the programs and services we must provide to comply with the law but overlook the conversations we need to have about the disability communities we want to engage. We need to better understand disability from a community/multicultural perspective. By doing a deep dive into understanding disability, we gain a better understanding of the barriers they encounter, the attitudes they face and other issues that prevent their full participation in our arts organizations.

Session B. Using Data for Systemic Change
Katie Ingersoll and Michelle Higgins, DataArts

DataArts is a national service organization, collecting financial and programmatic data on arts and cultural organizations across the country. Over the last year, we have been working with Third Eye Cultural Collaborative on a project to evaluate our data collection and programs, centering the question: are we reflecting and serving the entirety of the arts sector? In this session we will share our process to identify and code organizations in our data set who are systematically under-resourced and under-represented, and our internal considerations about leveraging our data, resources, and relationships to support and provide value for these organizations. DataArts’ process, which we are very much in the middle of, will serve as a starting point for a discussion about the capacity that service organizations have to affect systemic change.

This session will address and prompt discussion on the following topics:

How does a service organization utilize a “systems-change” mindset when evaluating their offerings?

What are the challenges in translating the core values of a project to the core values of an organization?

What are the barriers in thinking about systemic change?

3:00 pm  / BREAK

3:15 pm – 5:00 pm / Breakouts

Session A.  Transformational Service: Core Values and Practices for the #MeToo Movement
Corinne Woods, Ann Marie Lonsdale and Hope Chavez, A.R.T./ New York
Hannah Fenlon and Devon Berkshire, Theatre Communications Group (TCG)

This session will create space for a conversation around how service organizations can play a special role in the #MeToo and NotIn Our House movements and present on initiatives in NYC.  We will discuss frameworks we have found useful in planning programming to address sexual harassment and abuse in theatre and the arts field, and some of the specific challenges working in this community.  How does a service organization speak difficult truths to the members we serve? When does prudence cross over into complicity? Because so many of the stories we all have heard are about silencing the victims and re-traumatizing survivors, service organizations have an opportunity to flip the script and create a space for dialogue, healing and resolution.  Our sharing will spark a larger dialogue between colleagues on how the arts field can and must take a leadership role in ending sexual violence and misconduct; and how our communities must have direct buy-in and leadership in the planning and implementation of such programming to ensure that it is equitable, intersectional, useful and necessary. The workshop will conclude with an open discussion between attendees about how we as service organizations can collectively create change across the field.

Session B. Implicit Bias is Persnickety Conundrum
Kibibi Ajanku, Baltimore

Implicit bias is racism that is sneaky. It often hides behind seemingly harmless acts. It is   the ever-present, non-productive gift that keeps on giving. Just when we think there is progress, implicit bias rears its ugly head. Difficulties abound for all sides, but solutions are never one size fits all. There can never truly be racial justice where there is implicit bias.

This workshop will foster authentic, candid discussion and a safe space for authentic feelings as a way forward for those who see the value of inclusivity and equity.  It will articulate innovative strategies to identify implicit bias in the workplace;  help organizations learn how to address obstacles; and describe the benefits of workplace equity and inclusion.

5:00 pm / End official day

6: 30 pm – 8: 30 pm / Cocktail Party
Location: Austin Creative Alliance Offices and Courtyard, 81 San Marcos St, Suite C, Austin, Texas 78702 (a 15 minute walk from the hotel, shuttles also available)

9:00 pm – Midnight / Hospitality Suite Open at the Holiday Inn Town Lake


Day 2 – Thursday, May 3
How ASOs Connect the Arts to Community Concerns

Location:  Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Rd Suite 122 Austin, TX  78702

8:30 am / Breakfast at the hotel Holiday Inn Town Lake

9:15 – 9:30 am / Shuttles to Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Rd Suite 122 Austin, TX   78702 (10-15 minute drive)

9:30 – 10:15 am / A  Moment for  Sharing
We will begin with the question for the day, to set our intentions for our time together.

10:15 am / Break
Transition to Individual Sessions

10:30 am – 12:00 pm / Breakout Sessions

Session A. AGENDA: Social Impact, A New Approach to Advocacy
Michael Norris, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

This session will explain the Cultural Alliance’s new Agenda initiative and invite other ASOs to benefit from this work by replicating it in other places. Agenda broadens the case for arts and culture by linking our sector to timely and important civic issues – demonstrating how arts and culture impacts the social and community issues that civic leaders care about. The initiative includes issue-specific publications highlighting existing research and local stories of impact, complemented by communications campaigns and partnerships with relevant

non-arts organizations. The initiative has also proven to be an effective way to develop individual and corporate donors, who often hesitate to support advocacy. The first two issues of Agenda have focused on Pre-K and Health & Wellness. Future topics may include Veterans, Workforce Development, Criminal Justice and the Environment.

Session B. Baltimore Mayor’s Safe Arts Space Task Force
Jeannie Howe, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance

Immediately following the tragic fire at the Ghost Ship in Oakland, CA, the Bell Foundry in Baltimore was closed due to safety concerns. For years, artists in Baltimore had flourished in DIY spaces with very little official scrutiny, but suddenly things changed. This event coincided with the swearing in of Baltimore’s new Mayor Catherine Pugh, who immediately declared her support for artists as a vital part of the community. This presentation will explore our learnings and experience as leaders in the Mayor’s Safe Arts Space Task Force managing through relationships with marginalized artists (LGBTQ and POC), the underground arts community, developers, city agencies, and funders. We will also discuss the vulnerable balance of formalizing an arts ecosystem that has flourished underground.

Session C. Working as One: Building Innovative Audience Strategies Around EDI
Victoria George, ArtsBoston

Building Innovative Strategies around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is a project of the ArtsBoston Audience Lab and the Network for Arts Administrators of Color (NAAC Boston). Join ArtsBoston to hear how to leverage innovative partnerships in the quest for diversification. As cultural change cannot be done in a vacuum, the ArtsBoston Audience Lab and NAAC Boston bring together arts organizations, data analysts, and the civic engagement world to tackle both audience diversification and organizational change. Learn who is doing the work, why community-wide commitment is integral to change, and how we must support and grow future leaders of color in the arts. Together, these two programs are helping ArtsBoston adapt to the changing needs of our members and the sector as a whole.

Noon / Lunch at the Ground Floor Theatre

12:45 pm / Walk to Canopy, 916 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78702 (5-10 minute walk)
An art gallery and studio complex with retail stores and a cafe.

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm / Open Space

Continuing the APASO tradition, Thursday afternoon is an opportunity to engage in conversations that more deeply explore the ideas that conference participants are thinking about.  The Open Space process allows everyone to propose topics, which are then swiftly organized into opportunities for group discussions – from large groups to just two people.

3:00 – 5:00 pm / Tour Austin Arts Spaces (or time on your own)
Shuttles will take participants to the Long Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Austin, ArtHouse at the Jones Center, and other locations.

5:00 – 7:00 pm / Community Conversation on Cultural Displacement / Arts in Rapidly Changing Environments (back at Canopy)

Panel of leaders in the Austin cultural community, who will share their experience and the challenges the arts community faces.  Facilitated by the Austin Creative Alliance and NALAC.

8:00 pm / Dinner on Your Own / Dine Arounds

To facilitate small-group discussions and to enable everyone to meet new people, APASO will make dinner reservations for 6-12 people at a number of nearby restaurants – from soul food to seafood, Mexican, Japanese, EastIndian, French and more!  Some of these gatherings will have a theme, such as a particular topic that could be a starting place for conversation. (Likely topics include Media Arts Exchange, to share experiences in arts journalism; ASO business models; and others TBA.) Some dinner themes may gather

people with similar job responsibilities: executive directors/leaders, marketing staff, community programs staff, membership manager, etc. Dine Arounds are informal, opportunities to break bread with fellow APASOites. Participants will split the bills as agreed by each dinner group:  this dinner is not included in the conference registration.

 9:00 pm – Midnight / Hospitality Suite Open at the Holiday Inn Town Lake


Day 3 – Friday May 4
The Future of ASOs – and APASO

Location:  Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

8:45 am /  Shuttles to Hideout Theatre

9:00 am / Breakfast tacos at Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

9:30 – 10:00 am / A Moment for Sharing
We will begin with the questions for the day, to set our intentions for our time together.

10:00-11:00 am / APASO Business Meeting – and APASO 2019

APASO is an informal network of arts service organizations – it is what we make of it, as volunteers and as people concerned about arts and culture in our communities. This session is our opportunity to talk about how we can continue to support one another after APASO 2018 – and for Maura Sheffler and Greg Oertel to share plans for APASO 2019 in Dallas, Texas, hosted by TACA – The Arts Community Alliance.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm / Breakout Sessions

Session A. Equity in Funding: Tips for Arts Service Organization Funders
Wendy Shenefelt, Program Manager, Alternate ROOTS
Stanlyn Breve, Director of National Programs, National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network
Adriana Gallego, Chief Operating Officer, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures

This session will offer concrete tools and processes from organizations who work to eliminate barriers within the re-granting process.  We will uplift practices that support arts applicants with limited resources and time. We will discuss the nuts and bolts of the application process, increasing access as well as overall equity in the way funding is distributed.  Panelists will share practices from Alternate ROOTS; National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.

Session Organizer: Ashley Walden Davis, Managing Director, Alternate ROOTS

Session B. Attracting Individual Donors for Arts and ASOs
Maud Lyon, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
John McEwen, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Individual donors are the key to funding arts and culture – but how do we convince them to give? And how do we get them to give to arts service organizations? The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has researched the motivations of individual donors and has studied trends in charitable giving. The Cultural Alliance’s Cultural Cabinet now has over 70 members, each giving $1,000 a year or more to support advocacy for the arts. The New Jersey Theatre Alliance is finalizing its endowment campaign with $800,000 cash and pledges – 95% has come from individuals, and the NJ Theatre Alliance has plans for an ongoing major giving program. Join this discussion to learn how you can attract individual donors too.

Session C. Advocacy North of the Border
Jacoba Knaapen, TAPA, Toronto

Local government support is essential for the arts to thrive. Toronto’s entire arts and culture sector has advocated tirelessly to encourage Toronto City Council to increase investment in arts and culture to $25 per capita, to begin to approach the level of support for the arts in other major Canadian cities. They recently succeeded in achieving this goal after a 15 year effort!

The session will break out how TAPA has let arts advocacy with these five initiatives:

Friends of the Arts Network: a volunteer coalition that represents a dozen arts organizations, working toward a common goal with shared This year the message focused on ACCESS for all Torontonians, and COLLABORATIONS that act as agents of social change (i.e.: Dancing with Parkinsons)

‘ARTS DAY AT THE CITY’: Advocates to Toronto city councillors with strategically cast Arts Teams

The TAPA STATS REPORTS (Phase 1, 2, 3, 4): Tells the funding story by the numbers

The Mayoral Arts Debate (every 4 years in timing with the municipal Toronto election) in partnership with Toronto International Film Festival

ARTSVOTE: a non-partisan coalition of volunteers that evaluate survey results and voting records on arts-related issues (for incumbents) in assessment to give candidates and incumbents a final

The consistent advocacy across all 4 of these platforms resulted in a 61% increase in cultural funding from 2012 – 2016, and then most recently the success of funding $25 per capita after 15 year effort that was recently approved. Looking toward the future now to instate annual increase of $2 million to account for population growth and inflation.

12:30 pm / Lunch at the Hideout Theatre

1:30 – 3 :00 pm / Closing Plenary Session: Bring the Conference Home:  the Internal Journey of Our Organizations
Courtney Harge and Lauren Ruffin, Fractured Atlas

For three days, we have been discussion ways to increase equity in the arts.  But equity begins internally. How does an ASO activate these principles, and navigate the difficult waters of changing itself?  Fractured Atlas has done this, with great thought and intention, and offers experience that other ASOs can benefit from.

3:00 – 6:00 pm / Time on your own and Exploring Austin
Shuttles will be available for groups to visit area attractions, such as:

Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Mayfield Park and Mount Bonnell
Barton Springs, Zilker Park, Umlauf Sculpture Garden
South Congress
State Capital

6:00 – 8:00 pm / Closing Night Dinner – Stubbs BBQ, 801 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

9:00 pm – Midnight / Hospitality Suite Open at the Holiday Inn Town Lake


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