Notes from Crisis & Opportunity

Crisis and Opportunity Forum Notes 6/7

· What are your needs?
o In a state of crisis, to what degree do your supporters have a right to know what is
going on? Is there a balance?
o How should organizations address splits in board directions?
o The importance of conversing and moving on
o Split direction in boards
§ ex: Tylenol admitting mistakes to public: taking responsibility
§ ex: Alamo Drafthouse: don’t back down, stay true to your image

· What are good ways to communicate information about events, discussions, etc?

· What is the future of nonprofits?

o 950+ nonprofits in Austin

o Too many conflicting interests on boards

o Is the current system antiquated?

§ New models: LC3 = low profit that blends for and nonprofit models into one. Get tax breaks.

· What do we do with the old systems?

o Hesitancy to expose our vulnerabilities

o Current model forces you into hiding vulnerabilities

o Can we come up with something different that makes $, need think tank/volunteers

· Be willing to become business-savvy or find those that are

o Solutions:

§ Sharing what we’re good at

§ Efficiency in fulfilling mission

§ Connecting science and math education with arts education

· Why do we exist and who is our community and our audience, and who are we?

· How we communicate the importance of contributions needs to change.
• Hiding what you need v. begging with everyone else/ how to differentiate

· Talking is the first step

o Some organizations are screaming for help while others fear vulnerability

o Lack of generosity toward people who are honest and ask for help

o Organizations are being transparent, but are ignored

o ex) big corporations that stick with their goals through crisis

o How one asks for help makes a difference

§ Implement grant writing tutorials/ create connections to experience orgs

o Asking on a national level

o Know with who, what and where to apply

o Difficulty in sharing these life skills

o By giving a donor the opportunity to help someone, it helps everyone.

· Can larger orgs. take smaller ones under their wings?

o ticketing and services

o renting and offering performance/exhibition space

o cross-promotion

o resource: greenlights.org

· Important to know what other artists and orgs are doing/be aware of surroundings

· Is there a natural life cycle for arts nonprofits?

o Reflection and change

· Technique: showing the after instead of the before

o ex) hospital commercial/marketing

o ex)kickstart – a way to donate to a cause/movement/project you believe in

· Cultural Planning

o Engaging the arts in all aspects of the city through private and public partnerships

o Imagine Austin

· Innovations and collaborations are necessary to stay afloat.
· We can learn from other non-arts organizations?
o Integration and collaboration of similar organizations
· It’s difficult to put a dollar sign on the value of the arts.
o Are we too focused on the economic value?
o Importance of ethics in supporting artists and supporting quality
o Get involved with Cultural Data Project by the Pew Trust
§ Generates a report for a city
§ Measures value and impact
§ With the results, PA was able to increase patronage and impact
· Sustainability and Change

o Utilize social media

o Creative economies

§ What do these things mean?

o Supporters want to be in the conversation and see where their money is going
§ Specifications of what donations are being used for via social media
o Is the 501(c)3 model flexible enough?

· Jane Jacobs Systems of Survival:

o 2 syndromes=

§ 1. Guardian Syndrome – obedient, disciplined, respects loyalty, ostentatious, exclusive, treasures honor, hierarchical

§ 2. Commerce Syndrome – supports competition, collaborates, invests, optimistic, honest, innovative

· Are we oppressing ourselves in either of these models?

· What are we doing right?

o Are abstract models too complicated?

· Can we create a venue for news where artists and supporters can share and communicate?

o Culture map – an online publication for the arts in Austin, previously in Houston

o Can we create a different brand besides the “Live Music Capitol”?