Dynamic Adaptability: Arts and Culture Puget Sound

Dynamic Adaptability > Cultural Organizations as Civic Leaders

Cultural Organizations as Civic Leaders

November 2, 2012, Town Hall, Seattle, Washington

“Community,” “relevance,” and “engagement” are now buzzwords in the cultural sector, but what does it look like when a cultural organization is really engaged with its community, beyond audience development strategies and outreach departments? Does deep community engagement require compromising other artistic or organizational goals, or can it actually make organizations more adventuresome and sustainable? These four leaders talk about how their organizations have integrated a deep commitment to community throughout all aspects of their work, and how this has led to numerous benefits, including greater organizational stability and artistic creativity.

James Kass (starts at 5 minutes) talks about how Youth Speaks is engaging young people around issues of diabetes and food justice in their communities.

Chris Coleman talks about how the move to a new building prompted Portland Center Stage to ask itself, “how can we use this as an opportunity to engage with the community in a more dynamic way on a daily basis?”

John Michael Schert talks about the unlikely choice of TMP to locate in Boise, Idaho and how it contributed to the arts becoming more embedded in the community.

Lisa Sasaki talks about what happens when the community around your organization changes, and how you can adapt to remain relevant.

Then all four speakers participate in a panel discussion together around what community engagement means and why it matters.