Arlene Goldbard’s “Reframing Your Work: An Interactive Workshop” was a powerful and positive experience for A.R.T./New York’s members, many of whom had hit a wall with respect to audience development and fundraising. By the end of the Workshop, we felt re-energized, refreshed and ready to explore our challenges from a new perspective. We received compliments from all of the participants, including one who said it was the BEST WORKSHOP she had ever attended at A.R.T./New York!—Ginny Louloudes, Executive Director, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York
It’s time for new ideas.
Our national conversation about cultural funding has grown stale and desperate. It needs fresh air and new light to peel away the familiar cover-stories and see what’s really happening.
Arlene’s Reframing The Arts Workshop is a powerful generator of new ideas, fresh inspiration, and transformative action. This workshop is designed to expand thinking, creating new frames—new concepts, images, and metaphors—that are big and strong enough to convey the real and awesome power of human creative expression.
Please get in touch to talk about bringing a Reframing The Arts Workshop to your community.
How do you know when it’s time for fresh thinking?
How about when three decades of arts advocacy yield a decline of more than half in the real value of the National Endowment for the Arts budget—yet mainstream arts advocates stay loyal to a failed strategy? When, despite thousands of calls and messages, resolutions to slash current-year arts and humanities funding pass the House of Representatives? When the whole cultural sector—CPB, NPR, net neutrality, arts and humanities agencies—is being used as a form of political speech, a convenient way for officials to signal seriousness about budget-cutting—but instead of a coherent response, we are asked to support a dozen separate campaigns, each targeted to a single agency?
Arlene’s three-part series on these issues, Life Implicates Art, has been forwarded, reprinted, and discussed across the nation, inspiring strategists, advocates, and activists. In his Createquity blog, Ian David Moss wrote that “Arlene makes the moral case for arts support like no other,” linking readers to Arlene’s “new approach to advocacy and messaging about the arts.” In Barry’s Blog, Barry Hessenius wrote that none of the responses to the current crisis has been more passionate: “Arlene is a gifted writer and one of our best thinkers.“
No one knows what will come of current efforts to stave off funding cuts, but even if the conventional approach succeeds in stopping the bleeding, it will be more a symbolic victory than a real one. It would take a budget allocation of more than $400 million just to return the real value of NEA funding to its 1980 level. We don’t have the resources to win public policy victories with money, imitating the corporate and financial elites who are now bending the public sector to their will. The only possible path to success is to mobilize people power. This crisis will have a silver lining if it inspires us to let go of what’s not working and invest our formidable creativity and drive in finding a better way.
In a moment of crisis, there’s always a temptation to retract: keep your head down, ask for the minimum, go along to get along. Arts advocates have done that for three decades, feigning gratitude for being punished less than feared. Now is the time to be bold, to be daring, to make it new, to turn the old paradigm on its head. We need a quantum leap, bringing creativity to the forefront of our national treasures, a key to health, education, entrepreneurship, community-building, and much, much more. Reframing The Arts is a remarkably inspiring and effective way to share the tools and approaches that will enable that. Now is the time to use it.
About Arlene’s Reframing The Arts Workshop
Arlene Goldbard sparked great enthusiasm at the March 2010 At the Crossroads. Her dynamic session on Reframing the Role of the Arts received one of the highest responses from the convening’s attendants. We received comments like “. . . every piece of information was inspiring” or “I was struck by her fresh ideas!” As a result of Arlene’s workshop, participants anticipated that the influence on their work will be “clarity, clarity, clarity and authentic programming that will become sustainable” and “reframing some hot issues.” She clearly opened new pathways of thinking. In other words, Arlene hit a home run!*—Roseann Weiss, Director of Community Art Programs & Public Art Initiatives,
St. Louis Regional Arts Commission
*We like our baseball metaphors in St. Louis!
Arlene’s Reframing The Arts Workshop is inspiring, illuminating, and highly interactive:
• Participants begin by learning about framing, the art of finding and conveying an issue’s essence with feeling and expressive force.
• Then they explore the issue from many angles, building a composite picture of the way it is currently being perceived and understood; understanding what is precedes knowing how to change it.
• They hone in on potential audiences and how to reach them, discovering the values, stories, images, and metaphors that really reach them.
• Working in teams, they shape new ways of communicating art’s public purpose that can excite and engage people who don’t already see it and support it.
Each workshop changes participants’ own ways of seeing. Each workshop yields ideas that can be translated directly into new, bold action. A Reframing The Arts Workshop is suitable for either an open group or a group of colleagues already working together on the issue. It can be focused on specific questions and challenges, or on new ways in general to understand and communicate the public interest in art.
Participants emerge from a Reframing The Arts Workshop ready to engage others in this same process. As the process is repeated, the search for powerful new ideas and actions snowballs, picking up new participants and new creative energy. Please get in touch to start the ball rolling in your community!
At our Arts Summit in June 2010 we invited Arlene Goldbard to be a keynote speaker and to facilitate a workshop, “Reframing the Arts.” Arlene reinforced the notion that our advocacy discourse needed to address our common values and goals in the communities where we live and work. This adds richness to the conversation, resonating with individuals and their deep-held values and beliefs. I would highly recommend Arlene as a speaker and communicator with something very significant to contribute to public discourse about the arts and culture.—Amir Ali Alibhai, Executive Director, Alliance for Arts & Culture, Vancouver, BC