New Videos: What’s Your Complex Challenge?

What happens when the usual tools of problem solving aren’t enough to address your organization’s issues? These two groups found that truly complex challenges require a different kind of approach.

Video 1: International Contemporary Ensemble

International Contemporary Ensemble reached two major milestones recently by completing its first decade of activity and operating with a budget of more than $1M for the first time. In order to wrestle with the complex challenge of increasing their organizational capacity while maintaining efficiency and artistic quality, they entered the Innovation Lab in 2012. Learn more in this short video:

Video 2: The Theater Offensive

The Theater Offensive (TTO) works to present the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) lives in art to break through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities. After a major strategic planning process, TTO shifted its programmatic focus to work only with a few targeted communities in Boston. They entered the Innovation Lab process with the goal of designing an organizing model that would support LGBT youth theaters nationally, resulting in the the Pride Youth Theater Alliance. Learn more about how they approached balancing their local work with national advocacy in this video:


Two Related Stories About Complex Challenges from the Archive

Teatro Publico de Cleveland is an amateur ensemble theater company comprised of members from the Latino community. Following a series of free public workshops in play creation and acting, CPT artistic staff worked with the emerging ensemble to develop and produce a new play,Cuando Cierras Your Eyes (When You Close Your Eyes). The play was presented in conjunction with opening and closing events that included visual art, food, and music.

Read their story and watch the video to learn more.

Springboard for the Arts has been providing consulting and management services to artist-entrepreneurs since its incorporation in 1991. After providing more than 50,000 artists and organizations throughout the Upper Midwest with career counseling, micro-loan programs, emergency relief, healthcare, fiscal sponsorships, and other services aimed at helping artists start their own businesses and grow their capacity to earn a living from their work, Springboard was beginning to be approached by other cities to replicate their Minneapolis-based programs. In response, they developed Seedlings, a community organizing model for establishing new locally-driven resource programs for artists.

Read their story and watch the video to learn more.

What complex challenge is your organization facing today?

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