A! Magazine for the Arts

Art Works Conference and Arts Advocacy Day in Virginia (Register by Jan. 18)

January 2, 2007

RICHMOND, VA - The annual Art Works for Virginia Conference and Arts Advocacy Day with the state legislature will be held Jan. 25-26 in Richmond. Who Should Attend? Artists, board and staff leaders of Virginia arts organizations, arts educators, and arts advocates.

Please register for the conference no later than Jan. 18. Registration, including meals, is $70 for Wednesday and Thursday events, $40 for Wednesday only, $20 for reception only, $15 for Thursday events. To make hotel reservations, call 1-800-228-9290 (conference rate: $94 plus tax). For more information or to download conference registration forms, click here.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Art Works for Virginia Conference will include the following presentations:

Audience Research in the Performing Arts. The Barter Theatre of Abingdon has conducted a series of focus groups with potential ticket buyers to learn how they decide which performing events to attend. Richard Rose, Producing Director of the Barter, will present the findings, which are important information for any performing arts organization looking for a larger audience.

Marketing the Arts on a Shoestring Budget. Artists are entrepreneurs, and arts centers are small businesses when it comes to marketing the arts. How do you get the word out when you do not have a big business budget? All it takes is resourcefulness injected with creativity. Robert J. Holland, of Holland Communication Solutions LLC, will share some of the marketing secrets of his own five-year-old business, plus other proven creative strategies. You will leave this fast-paced session with a long list of ideas that you can adopt or adapt.

The Arts and Healthcare. Learn how innovative organizations use the arts to improve the health and well-being of their communities through partnerships for healing. Gay Hanna of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare will lead a discussion of case studies of arts programs in different kinds of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, medical schools, and mental health, hospice, and long-term care facilities.

Founders and Succession. "Founder's Syndrome" is a challenge throughout the nonprofit field. Charismatic founders can offer dynamic vision, enormous knowledge, a wealth of contacts, tremendous energy, and a great passion for the work to which they have devoted their lives. When the founder moves on, however, what needs to be done to ensure that the work of the organization continues? Laura Lewis Mandeles, of Wolf, Keens & Company, will lead a discussion of issues to be considered and will present models of successful transitions.

Curators Roundtable. Designed for full-time curators, the roundtable is an informal session of meeting, reacquainting, connecting, collaborating, and exchanging. Participants will share information about programs or projects that are in the planning or development stages. Bring 30 copies of your exhibition schedule for this year and next to share. Eileen Mott, Statewide Exhibitions Coordinator of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will moderate the session.

Board Development. Developing an effective board of directors is one of the greatest challenges facing any nonprofit arts organization. Mary Ann deBarbieri, former Managing Director of the Folger Theatre and consultant with National Arts Strategies, will talk about how to recruit, retain, and make effective use of board members. The session will explore changes in patterns of volunteerism that are affecting nonprofit boards of directors.

Information Technology Planning. Phil Crosby, founder of pnnonline.org and former Managing Director of Theatre Virginia and the Richmond Ballet, will talk about information technology planning for arts organizations with limited resources. This session will include information on low-cost options for purchasing hardware and software and on staffing needs. The Virginia Commission for the Arts will begin awarding technology enhancement grants in 2006-2007, and technology plans will be required with the applications.

Jamestown 2007. In 2007 the Commonwealth of Virginia will commemorate the founding of the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown in 1607. All of Virginia will be involved in the commemoration. Amy Ritchie, Manager of Statewide Programs, and Kyra Cook, Manager of the Historic Triangle 2007 Host Committee, will give an overview of the Jamestown 2007 activities and describe how artists and arts organizations can get involved.

Advocacy Workshop. June Britt, past President of Virginians for the Arts, and John J. "Butch" Davies, former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, will lead this annual workshop on how to advocate for public funding of the arts. New arts advocates will learn how to make their voices heard. Long-time arts advocates will learn about the important issues facing the arts in the 2006 General Assembly.

Performing Arts Presenters. Speaker to be announced.

A reception for conference attendees and members of the Virginia General Assembly will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Parish Hall. If you plan to attend, please let your legislators know.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 a.m., Arts Advocacy Day will kick off at the Richmond Marriott Hotel with a buffet continental breakfast, followed by visits with legislators at the General Assembly Building. Handout materials will be available. Contact your delegate and senator in advance, if possible, to ask for an appointment between 8:30 a.m. and noon. The General Assembly goes into session at noon, and most legislators are in committee meetings in the afternoon. If you cannot arrange an appointment, it is still important to stop by your legislators' offices to let them know that you made the trip to Richmond in support of funding for the arts. It is effective for groups of people to meet with the legislators if you can get together with others from your legislative district.