Introducing Engaging the Future to ArtsFwd

EmcArts is proud to be working with The Cleveland Foundation on the Engaging The Future program.  A 3-year program started in the fall of 2011, Engaging the Future (ETF) works with 12 arts organizations in Cleveland, OH to support and provoke thinking and action in their approaches to engaging the participation of younger and more culturally diverse segments of the community in their programming and operational structures.  The 12 ETF organizations are:

Apollo’s Fire
The Beck Center for the Arts
The Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Play House
Cleveland Public Theatre
Karamu House
Great Lakes Theater
Groundworks DanceTheater
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
Verb Ballets

Engaging the Future is a new research, learning and prototyping initiative of the Cleveland Foundation.  Its goal is to help both the Foundation and Cleveland’s arts sector better understand how the arts are changing in the face of the rapidly shifting demographic environment.  The program’s activities will help these 12 participating organizations and others learn about, plan and test new approaches to attract the next generation and other diverse non-participants to the arts.  Activities of ETF include:

  • site visits between the organizations and EmcArts facilitators
  • a series of six hands-on workshops which address aspects of organizational innovation
  • annual day-long seminars open to the Cleveland arts community led by thought-leaders in and outside of the arts field, and other online learning initiatives.
  • annual convenings in which these 12 organizations share experiences about engaging younger and more diverse participants and develop linked or collaborative responses
  • Incubating Innovation, a program where selected organizations generate, research and test a specific new approach to cultural participation that is innovative for that organization
  • and other online learning initiatives.

We look forward to sharing additional Engaging the Future posts on ArtsFwd with updates on the work, inlcuding audio postcards, podcasts, and innovation stories from these organizations.

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.