What is the Virtual Summit?

From October 20-22, 27 powerful Talks from the National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture were livestreamed to online participants across the world. This dynamic series of thematically linked 12-minute talks by bold leaders from across the country highlighted the remarkable and mostly untold stories of innovative projects unfolding in arts and culture organizations.

At the time of each livestream, a simultaneous online conversation took place via the Twitter hashtag #ArtsFwd (which trended at several points during the Summit!). Comments and questions were actively integrated into the discussion following each group of Talks and shared with the on-site speakers. Some of the highlights from this conversation are featured in the ticker at the bottom of the recorded streams. Full recaps of these Twitter discussions will be made available soon.

Our Virtual Summit Partners are HowlRound#2amt, and National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP).

All Talks and discussions are available below, and grouped by Talk theme.

Taking Collective Action

Stories of partnering, collaboration, and merging to achieve greater impact together, featuring:

Museum as Platform
JS May, Chief Advancement Officer, Portland Art Museum

Janeen Bryant, Vice President, Education, Levine Museum of the New South

Dance, Paintball, and Casinos: What’s DAT Got to Do With It?
Pamela Young, Executive Director, DANCECleveland

So You Think You Can Dance?
Carlton Turner, Executive Director, Alternate ROOTS

Beyond Scarcity: Abundance for Cultural Production in the Networked Age
Caroline Woolard and Jen Abrams, Co-Founders and Co-Directors, OurGoods.org

Unlikely Pairing, Lasting Implications
Cayenne Harris, Director of Lyric Unlimited, Lyric Opera of Chicago


Co-Creating with the Public

Stories of projects where the public is invited to step into the role of creator alongside professional artists and/or organizations, featuring:

It Takes an Audience: The Art of Creating Performances That Cannot Exist Without an Audience
Charlie Miller & Emily Tarquin, Off-Center Curators, Denver Center Theatre Company

From Expert to Collaborator
Judy Koke, Director, Education and Interpretive Programs, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

An Orchestra’s Mission to Inspire a Community of Music Makers
Nan Keeton, Director of External Affairs, San Francisco Symphony


Artists as Agents of Change

Stories of art and artists inspiring, inciting, and leading organizational transformation, featuring:

Policy, Prisons, and Pranks: Artists Collide with the World
Ruby Lerner, President & Founding Director, Creative Capital

Artist/Community/Reciprocity: Helping Communities Ask More From and For Their Artists
Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts

I Don’t Want to Talk About Innovation: A Talk About Innovation
Todd London, Artistic Director, New Dramatists


Animating Neighborhoods

Stories of projects enlivening local communities, increasing equitable access to the arts for local stakeholders, and improving the quality of life of neighbors, featuring:

A New World
Rick Dildine, Artistic Director and CEO, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Creative Practice + (Social Service and Neighborhood Revitalization) = Happy People
Noël Raymond, Co-Artistic Director, Pillsbury House + Theatre

Harnessing the Power of Art to Inspire and Transform Communities
Trey Devey, President, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra

Reclaiming Our Community: A Profile of Partnership and Innovation in Indian Country
Jay Bad Heart Bull, President and CEO, The Native American Community Development Institute

How the Rubber Hits the Road: Arts and Culture on the Ground to Create Livable and Resilient Communities
Mary Rowe, Vice President, Managing Director, Municipal Art Society

Radical Hospitality
Jack Reuler, Artistic Director, Mixed Blood Theatre Company


Citizenship and the Arts

Stories of artists and arts organizations using their unique capacities as citizens to advance broader civic agendas, including social justice, civic vitality, and social innovation, featuring:

Finding Your Itch and Scratching It
Howard Shalwitz, Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Artist-led Ecosystem Interventions
Lisa Hoffman, Director of Environmental Program and Community Engagement, McColl Center for Visual Art

Small Town, Big Vision
John Davis, Executive Director, Lanesboro Arts Center


Transforming Organizational Structure

Stories of radical restructuring inside organizations, including new staffing structures, the creation of innovation capital, embracing risk, and redefining the meaning of success in order to support innovation, featuring:

A Math Teacher and an Accountant Walk into an Arts Center: The Curious Case of Two Unlikely Art Heads
Joël Tan, Director of Community Engagement, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Kelly Pollock, Executive Director, COCA – Center of Creative Arts

Silo-Busting: Transforming the Rake into the Flower
Lori Fogarty, Director and CEO, Oakland Museum of California

Rebuilding Our Building Steven Matijcio, Curator, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

How I Learned to Leap Without a Destination
Susan Medak, Managing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Transformation and Capitalization
David Devan, General Director and President, Opera Philadelphia



Online Ambassadors

Six facilitators supported the online discussions on Twitter via the #ArtsFwd hashtag simultaneously with each of the live streams. The Virtual Summit Online Ambassadors were:

  • David J. Loehr (@dloehr) – Taking Collective Action
  • Howard Sherman (@HESherman) – Co-Creating with the Public
  • James Carter (@jdcarter) – Artists as Agents of Change
  • Eleanor Whitney (@killerfemme) – Animating Neighborhoods
  • Jessica Wilt (@JessicaLWilt) – Citizenship and the Arts
  • Nell Edgington (@nedgington) – Transforming Organizational Structure