Dr Doug Borwick

1. ‘What It’s All About – The Survival of Arts Organisations’

 Call Me Indispensable

 Not-for- profit arts organisations are facing an existential crisis stemming from skyrocketing expenses, rapidly changing demographics, and vastly altered social expectations. The survival of arts organisations hinges on their ability to build relationships with a far broader range of their communities than has been true in the past.

 Sales, fundraising, education, and engagement–all the ways we interact with the public–depend on trusting relationships for success. Each of these brings skills to the table; each has much to learn from the others. For long-term sustainability they must work together, sharing insights, techniques, and even resources.

 And yet, our goal should be not just survival, not just viability, not even “just” relevance. It should be becoming so important to the people of our communities that we are deemed indispensable.

 2. ‘Engagement: Making It Real – Becoming Indispensable’

Community engagement is so important to the long-term viability of arts organisations and to the well-being of the communities they serve. We need to be indispensable to our communities. Being intentional about the engagement process is essential. Haphazard or poorly implemented projects can be abysmally counterproductive. We need to engage at a level beyond the traditional methods. Doing engagement well requires preparation and planning before the organisation inflicts itself upon a community; and the partnering process that results must be thought through and maintained in ways that are respectful of and beneficial to all involved.

 3. ‘Engagement: Bringing It Home’

This post conference workshop will take place between 1pm and 5pm on Friday the 24th May.

What will you do on Monday with all these abstract concepts? This workshop provides the opportunity to ask questions specific to your organisation and (begin to) think through the steps necessary to get from where you are to becoming otally indispensable to your community.