Arts leaders need opportunities for learning, dialogue, and sharing strategies with colleagues. Americans for the Arts designs its leadership development programs and tools for arts professionals based on where they are in their careers, the types of communities that they serve, targeted sectors within the field, and services that cross all three. Through our annual convention, audioconferences, local and regional gatherings, networks and councils, and listservs, we provide experienced and emerging professionals with programs, ideas and tools that lead to success.
For All Levels of Professional Development
Bring the insight and expertise of Americans for the Arts to your community. Our programs and services are designed to support local professional development, research, advocacy, and strategic partnerships that are important to you. For complete details visit our Services in Your Community Page. For arts marketers and fundraisers, we offer a complete menu of resources through the National Arts Marketing Project. We also offer Webinars and Knowledge Exchanges offering the opportunity to learn on-site with your colleagues or virtually from your desktop.
Emerging, Mid-Level, Seasoned Leaders and Board Members
By looking at arts professionals according to where they are in their career path, Americans for the Arts is able to target services to what they need most.
- Emerging Leaders—the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Program works to identify and cultivate the next generation of arts leaders in America. From discounts to our annual convention to special meeting and networking opportunities, the program encourages new arts leaders and patrons to participate fully in the field, as they develop their skills and their commitment to the arts.
- Mid-level arts professionals need programs and tools to help them effectively run their organizations, steer their projects and nurture their careers. We provide opportunities for them to share successes and challenges at a peer-to-peer level and learn about promising practices. Our research reports and technical resources, such as Creative Industries report, provides these professionals with verifiable data they can translate into advocacy tools on a local level to fit the needs of their communities.
- Seasoned arts professionals and Board members have made their way in the field, but still need opportunities for mobilization and exposure to environments that nurture fresh ideas. As Americans for the Arts expands and grows, further professional development programs and tools will be developed to service these leaders at crucial points in their careers and encourage them to work collaboratively to advance the arts in America. In addition, Americans for the Arts will establish a network of volunteer leaders of local and state arts service entities.
Arts leaders need to address the many areas of impact the arts have on community development. Representatives from several of these areas have asked for more formalized programs to address there needs. As such, we have developed several targeted networks that are represented by national councils to address specific issues for their constituent groups, provide insight and direction for programs and tools, and offer an opportunity for leaders from across the country to become directly involved on a national level. Targeted networks represented through formally organized councils include:
Arts administrators across the country serve communities that differ in size, scope, resources, and need. In reaction to the diverse needs of the field, Americans for the Arts also develops its programs and services keeping urban, suburban/county, and rural constituents in mind.
Multiculturalism, cultural diversity, and cultural equity continue to emerge as critical issues facing communities and local arts agencies. In addition to a cultural diversity peer group that meets at the annual convention, professional members have access to a cultural diversity listserv to foster dialogue and ideas around this issue. Most importantly, Americans for the Arts aims to affectively establish strategic alliances and partnerships with leaders in the field and foster a structure for representation of a broader and more diverse base of leadership in all programs and services produced.
At the urban level, Americans for the Arts works to strengthen and support the United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF), which is made up of representatives of the local arts agencies from the nation’s 50 largest cities. In 2005, a County Arts Network and Council will be established to represent the national’s 50 largest county arts councils. These leaders will share unique needs as they serve multiple interests in several cities and communities. In addition, Americans for the Arts will establish a Rural Arts Network and Council to serve local arts agencies in rural communities, which tend to have fewer resources and smaller audiences.
Serving The Field At-Large
Arts professionals can also take advantage of a broad range of field-based services through the Americans for the Arts professional membership program. In addition to networking and skill-building opportunities, members also receive up-to-date information on national issues through monthly e-newsletters and publications like Arts Link and Monographs.
Every year we convene the largest gathering of arts and community leaders at our annual convention to explore critical issues in the arts. The National Arts Marketing Project hosts an annual conference designed specifically for arts marketers and fundraisers.
Americans for the Arts also aims to keep members informed about important national, state, and local policy issues through our legislative alerts and online arts advocacy center.
Professional members receive discounts to our annual convention and publications and are eligible to apply for scholarships to our professional development programs when offered.
In addition, Animating Democracy continues to challenge arts administrators to expand training and experience with arts and civic dialogue work.