Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative Scheduled for Atlanta

Local Organizations Unite to CoSponsor Event

ATLANTA – Several major Atlantabased arts funding organizations have partnered with the Kennedy Center to present critical information specifically of interest to the arts community.

Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative will be presented 10:00 a.m., February 24, 2010 at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts. Michael Kaiser, Kennedy Center president, will be interviewed by Georgia Council for the Arts’ executive director Susan S. Weiner during a conversation that aims to stimulate audience dialogue and present solutions to the challenges that many arts organizations are facing. Kaiser will address the issues of fundraising, board development, budgeting and effective marketing. Attendees of the Atlanta event will be encouraged to submit questions for a response during the program. There is no charge to attend the Atlanta Arts In Crisis event but advance registration is required. Seating reservations can be made at the website for Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts.

About the Initiative

To date, Kaiser has extended his arts management knowledge, gained through decades of experience, to audiences in more than twentyfive states. Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative is a response to the current state of emergency facing the unique business model of arts organizations. Unlike the typical business, however, arts organizations have a high percentage of community involvement that is dependent upon volunteers, advocates and, most significantly, donors. Raising funds is always a delicate twostep, but given the financial uncertainty surrounding most donors, corporate as well as individual, the fundraising “dance” is in danger of becoming a solo performance. Arts are, in fact, in crisis.

“This event is particularly important for arts organizations who feel as though they have tried everything and are still facing imminent failure,” offers Weiner. “Mr. Kaiser has practical advice and timetested solutions to offer that resonate on a local, state and regional level for small, midsize and large organizations.”

In addition to the February event, the Kennedy Center also provides free and confidential planning assistance to nonprofit arts organizations in areas relevant to maintaining vitality and longevity in a troubled economy. More than fourhundred organizations in forty states have received assistance as a result of the initiative.

“Each community is dealing with its own unique and specific challenges,” says Kaiser. “Communicating in person allows us to be more effective in advising those organizations in need.” Organizations with representatives attending the event can receive information on additional components of the Arts in Crisis Initiative that enables senior arts managers across the United States to volunteer as mentors to other arts organizations.

The Kennedy Center will quickly match organizations in need with an executive staff member or a volunteer mentor in the local area.

About the Kennedy Center

Since 2001, Michael M. Kaiser and his executive staff have shaped numerous arts leaders through the Kennedy Center Institute for Arts Management. The Institute provides a wide variety of training and support for arts management, including a capacity building program for culturally specific arts organizations; a program to train board members of arts organizations in the U.S.; international capacity building programs for arts organizations in sixty nations; and artsmanager.org, an interactive web resource for arts management professionals. The Kennedy Center also offers internship and fellowship programs, exposing arts professionals to various aspects of arts management.

About the Partner Organizations

Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative is presented in Atlanta with the support of the following organizations: Atlanta Performs, City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, Foundation Center Atlanta, Fulton County Arts Council, Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies, Georgia Council for the Arts, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, Nonprofit Issues Forum, the Nonprofit Studies Program of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, Robert R. Woodruff Arts Center and the Southern Arts Federation.

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