Announcing New Pathways Chicago & Cincinnati

We are pleased to announced that 38 organizations have been selected to participate in New Pathways for the Arts programs in Chicago and Cincinnati.

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We are please to announced that 38 organizations have been selected to participate in New Pathways for the Arts programs in Chicago and Cincinnati.  New Pathways is a unique program that creates local learning communities focused on advancing organizational innovation and strengthening adaptive capacity.  The program is a crucial response to the complex challenges being faced by not-for-profit arts and culture organizations today, as they address the rapidly changing environment for their work.

In Chicago, the program is presented through a partnership between John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and EmcArts with supporting partners the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Prince Charitable Trusts.  In Cincinnati, the program is presented through a partnership between ArtsWave and EmcArts and made possible in part by grants from the Rosemary Bloom Gifting Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and an anonymous donor.

New Pathways for the Arts is a multi-part program carried out for 12-15 months.  The central activity is The Adaptive Organization, a series of six hands-on workshops, which constitute a curriculum in innovation and adaptive change, grounded in the real issues of each participating organization.  Additional informal convenings, onsite coaching visits, and deeper work with selected organizations complement the workshops.

Richard Evans, President of EmcArts, comments on launch of New Pathways for the Arts programs in Chicago and Cincinnati:

“We are delighted to be partnering with two major funders of the arts to bring New Pathways to the great arts communities of Chicago and Cincinnati.  Now, more than ever, adaptive change – not just tweaking business-as-usual – is essential if organizations are to remain relevant and thrive in this new era.  Our approach has proven its value to the arts field, fostering the design and testing of significant innovations that otherwise would likely not have reached the public.  We are grateful for the strong support of ArtsWave, the MacArthur Foundation, and our other local partners, who have recognized the urgency and importance of this work to build impact in their local communities.”

Elspeth Rever, Vice President, Media Culture and Special Initiatives, noted:

“The MacArthur Foundation is excited to welcome the New Pathways of the Arts program to Chicago.  Chicago has a large and vibrant cultural community and MacArthur supports over 200 arts organizations in our home city.  This program will help a set of these organizations work together to adapt to changes in their communities and their audiences, as well as to broader shifts in the economy.   We believe that organizational innovation and adaptive leadership are essential for cultural organizations in the 21st century and we are happy to work with EmcArts and other Chicago foundations in bringing this program to Chicago.”

Mary McCullough-Hudson, President and CEO of ArtsWave, comments:

“Cincinnati’s extraordinary arts scene includes a wide variety of organizations from world-class institutions to community arts centers that work together to create a vibrant community.  For over 80 years, ArtsWave has encouraged the collaborative spirit of the region’s arts organizations by offering workshops, funding, and other resources to strengthen and sustain their operations.  Now, as we find ourselves in an era of constant change, ArtsWave is thrilled to partner with EmcArts to help us learn how to expand our adaptive capacity so that the arts can grow their economic and social impact on our region.  We are confident that Cincinnati is the ideal laboratory for innovation in the arts and look forward to seeing what our arts partners develop as a result of this program.”

Participants in New Pathways as a whole constitute an innovation “laboratory” whose research and findings may influence not only each other, but also the future direction and approach of the arts and culture sector nationally.  For this reason, EmcArts places a strong emphasis on capturing, documenting and sharing the learning from each organization’s journey, thereby developing field knowledge about innovation and engaging the arts sector in dialogue around emerging practices. This is primarily done through, EmcArts’ site devoted to dialogue and learning about innovation for the arts sector with articles, webinars, podcasts, and additional resources. To read one Chicago organization’s perspective, check out the blog post by Rachel Bergren of Lincoln Park Zoo.

New Pathways for the Arts | Chicago

Chicago Architecture Foundation
Chicago Children’s Theatre
Chicago Human Rhythm Project
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
Collaboraction Theatre Company
Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago
Hyde Park Art Center
International Latino Cultural Center
Joffrey Ballet
Lincoln Park Zoological Society
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Northlight Theatre
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Chicago Academy of Sciences)
Old Town School of Folk Music
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
River North Dance Company
The Field Museum
The Hypocrites
Urban Gateways

New Pathways for the Arts | Cincinnati

The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center
CET (Greater Cincinnati Television Education) 
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Ballet
Cincinnati Boychoir
Cincinnati Children’s Choir
Cincinnati Landmark Productions
Cincinnati May Festival
Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Enjoy the Arts
Kennedy Heights Arts Center
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra

About EmcArts

Recognized as the leading not-for-profit provider of innovation services to the arts and culture sector nationwide, EmcArts ( serves as an intermediary partner for arts and culture funders, and as a re-granting agency and service organization for the arts and culture field around innovation.  Our innovation programs support the development and implementation of mission-centered new strategies by cultural organizations of all sizes.  The programs range from directly incubating specific innovation projects to introductory programs that enable new thinking and build a culture of innovation across local cultural communities. EmcArts is a 501(c)(3) organization.

About The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.  More information is at

About ArtsWave

ArtsWave helps create the kind of thriving arts environment that makes the Cincinnati region a better place to live, work, play, and stay. We support and collaborate with arts organizations large and small throughout the area. Music, dance, theatre, galleries, museums, art centers, festivals, and more create communitywide benefits for everyone here. The arts create benefits like attractive, lively neighborhoods and a population that comes together to share ideas and experiences. More information is at

Jonas Cartano is the Director of Community Initiatives at EmcArts, where he is responsible for the New Pathways for the Arts Initiative, a training and immersion program for arts organizations in local communities across the country to advance and accelerate the development of innovative strategies and to strengthen adaptive leadership.