Announcing the Business Unusual National Challenge!

Please note: As of May 9 at 11:59PM, the open call for submissions to the Challenge is closed. Stay tuned to ArtsFwd for updates — public voting launches on Wednesday, May 15 at 9:00AM!

The arts sector is facing a time of tremendous change – one that requires organizations to innovate and adapt, and to try things they’ve never done before.  The trouble with doing this kind of adaptive work is that all too often, organizations are limited to the ideas of the people in the room – the usual suspects.

That’s why we’re launching the 2013 Business Unusual National Challenge, to crowdsource bright minds in and outside the arts sector to tackle the most significant challenges facing organizations today. We’re looking for the kind of challenges that have no obvious solution, no set procedures, and no recognized experts – we call these adaptive challenges.

Over the next 6 months, we’ll gather adaptive challenges from all corners of the country, invite you to vote to determine five Finalists, source provocative new ideas from an exciting group of big thinkers, specialists, and ArtsFwd readers, and ultimately, one organization will win a package of grants and resources worth $35,000 to prototype an innovative new approach.

Enter the Challenge Download the Press Release

Phase 1: A national call for adaptive challenges

March 20 – May 9, 2013: Arts and culture organizations from across the country will be invited through an open call on ArtsFwd to submit a description of their most significant adaptive challenge.

Phase 2: Selecting finalists

May 15 – June 1, 2013: ArtsFwd readers will vote to determine the top five Finalists.

Phase 3: Crowdsourcing bold new approaches

June 15 – July 31, 2013: Big thinkers, leaders in the field, and ArtsFwd readers will be invited to contribute inspirations and ideas in response to the five Finalists.

Phase 4: Determining a winner

September 15 – October 15, 2013: A panel of outsiders and EmcArts staff will determine a Winner, who will receive a package of grants and facilitation worth $35,000 for prototyping a new approach to their adaptive challenge. The winner will be announced in Fall 2013.

Karina Mangu-Ward is the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at EmcArts.