Good morning Americans for the Arts Members,


Happy May! Things are ramping up for us here in DC as we gear up for our Annual Convention next month in the Twin Cities. While we’re busy planning, we wanted to make sure that you knew about the amazing digital learning opportunities that we have going on over on ArtsU this month. Remember, all events on ArtsU are FREE to you as a member benefit, so sign-up for as many as you would like. Not able to tune-in live? Register anyway and be the first to view the recording of the event. Check out what’s coming up!



Supporting Individual Artists Coffee Chat: Supporting Artists at Entrepreneurs

Thursday, May 9 @ 1:00PM EDT

What skills do artists need to thrive as entrepreneurs? Join James Hart, Director of Arts Entrepreneurship and Professor of Practice with Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts as we discuss what Arts Entrepreneurship is, why students and early career artists need to think about their profession in this way, and how to support artists on their journey of becoming an Arts Entrepreneur. Be sure to bring your questions!


Assessing Arts for Change: Understanding the Aesthetics Perspectives Framework

Tuesday, May 14 @ 3:00PM EDT

How do you assess Arts for Change?  Arts for Change—creative work at the intersection of community/civic engagement, community development, and justice—often challenges the conventional terms by which the arts are described and assessed. This webinar introduces the Aesthetics Perspectives framework and offers an opportunity for exchange around the often elusive and challenging topic of artistic excellence. Participants will learn how artists and funders have already put Aesthetic Perspectives to use and imagine how it might help meet agency interests and the artist and communities they serve.  Check out the framework materials in advance, if you like, at:


Speak with Impact: Public Speaking for Creative Professionals

Wednesday, May 15 @ 3:00PM EDT

Key factors in effective presenting and public speaking include clarify, confidence, and being the expert in the room. Join us for a webinar with Communication and Career Coach, Madeline Schwarz as she takes a look at effective ways to overcome your nerves, structure a presentation, and captivate a room.


May 2019 Emerging Leaders Network Call

Thursday, May 16 @ 3:00PM EDT

Join us each quarter for conference call with the Emerging Leaders Network of Americans for the Arts. Each call will feature an Emerging Leader in the Arts and Culture field, discuss trends in the sector, include open space for Emerging Leaders to share and receive feedback, and more. Emerging Leaders from across the arts and culture sector are encouraged to join. This quarter we will be joined by Todd Trebour, Organizations Program Director with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for a discussion about his work, as well as how you can create your own professional development opportunities.


May 2019 Member Briefing

Tuesday, May 21 @ 3:00PM EDT

Member Briefings are our monthly opportunity to talk to you about what’s happening now! Mark your calendars for the third Tuesday of every month at 3pm to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Americans for the Arts and across the sector. We firmly believe that our #AFTAmember network is one of our strongest resources, so after our update, we’ll open the floor up to your questions, comments, recommendations, and lessons learned – we hope you’ll take advantage of each other’s expertise!


Effective Civic Engagement for Arts Advocates

Wednesday, May 22 @ 3:00PM EDT

How can arts advocates be effectively engaged in our political discourse and in our upcoming elections? Learn some tips and best practices to being a great advocate while not running afoul of any rules.  Americans for the Arts Senor Policy Fellow, former Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, will lead this discussion using findings he gathered from interviewing arts advocates who are now elected officials. 


Ask an Expert: Mural Implementation and Community Engagement

Tuesday, May 28 @ 3:00PM EDT

Murals can be a source of pride for communities and come with their own opportunities and challenges for public art program administrators. Developing a mural requires skill and knowledge to best engage and represent the members of the surrounding community. In this second of two Ask an Expert virtual conversations about murals, attendees will have the opportunity to connect with experts in the field on mural implementation and community engagement. Participants will gain insight on what it takes to implement a mural, manage community expectations, learn about available resources, and more! 


May 2019 Arts & Culture Leaders of Color Coffee Talk

Wednesday, May 29 @ 3:00PM EDT

Americans for the Arts is proud to support the Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Network through quarterly “coffee talk” digital convenings, eNews, blogs, and other resource sharing tools. Each quarter, we bring you an arts administration professional to share their insights and journey to inspire you. The Coffee Talk format invites you to ask questions and share your experiences with the group. This quarter, join De Andrea Nichols, Director of Design & Social Practice with Civic Creatives to hear about her journey, artistic endeavors and advice on finding motivation and embracing personal brand.


Build an Inclusive Audience with Radical Readability

Thursday, May 30 @ 3:00PM EDT

Every arts organization wants to be more inclusive. But do the words we use to communicate with the public keep new visitors away? This presentation will examine the impact of text readability on inclusion and explore how arts organizations produce marketing materials that require high levels of education to read easily, why this is counterproductive to audience development, and what we can do about it.


Bonus reading: This week (May 6 – 10) we are running the Emerging Leaders Blog Salon, “Own Your Past, Shape Your Future.” This salon includes blogs from 11 passionate and empowered emerging leaders in our field discussing how the past is shaping the future of the arts and culture field. There will be new posts daily, so be sure to check back on the ArtsBlog site daily.


Yours in Learning,



Cristyn Johnson

Local Arts Advancement Program Manager                       
Americans for the Arts

1000 Vermont Ave NW 6th Floor

Washington, DC 20005-4940

202.371.2830 x2036

202.789.2830 fax

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Pronouns: she/her/hers