In the aftermath of the 2005 gulf-coast hurricanes, New Orleans continues to rebuild--an ongoing effort that includes and the region’s arts and cultural institutions. In a collaborative partnership, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Arts Council of New Orleans, and the Institute for Cultural Policy and Practice (ICPP) at Virginia Tech are working together to find ways to link these arts organizations more closely with their communities.
John McCann, the director of ICPP, was invited to New Orleans in the summer of 2006 to facilitate a roundtable discussion among arts leaders in the region. The next seminar, to be held April 26-27, will focus on non-profit governance. The goal of this session is for board leaders to identify adaptive strategies for reconnecting their particular arts organization to constituents and the broader community.
“John accomplished a masterful job leading the team effort to assist the Arts Council of New Orleans in tackling its' current leadership demands,” said Patrice Walker Powell, director of the Challenge America program for the NEA and the convener of the event. “I have continued admiration for the grace he brings to the sometimes unwieldy, but always meaningful task of finding a common voice that honors the group endeavor.”
Based on discussions from the earlier meeting, McCann was invited to facilitate a series of seminars focused on organizational capacity building for the arts and culture sector of New Orleans. Last October, McCann designed and facilitated a strategic planning seminar for 17 leaders from across New Orleans to identify emerging priorities of the organizations and their communities, and to develop plans to meet emerging needs.
Participants found the planning seminar to be highly valuable, with several participants commenting on how the provided models and methods assisted in “actually putting theory into practice” and turning “visions into action.”
As part of its commitment to community service, ICPP is facilitating these planning workshops without cost to the Arts Council or the participating arts organizations.
For more information about this program, visit the Institute for Cultural Policy and Practice website.