(RALEIGH)–Raleigh Arts, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, and EmcArts have partnered on a new initiative for local arts and cultural organizations, the Raleigh/Wake County Adaptive Leadership Circles Program, with additional support provided by The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. The program’s goal is to support arts community members in navigating the substantial challenges created by COVID-19.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the arts is difficult to understate. Local arts nonprofits are seeing the most precipitous decrease in earned revenue because they simply can’t operate their venues or events in a way that comes close to break-even with social distancing guidelines,” remarked Charles Phaneuf, President, United Arts Council. “To survive, we all must continually innovate while asking how we can better serve communities that are most affected by this crisis.”
Scheduled to start in September, the Raleigh/Wake County Adaptive Leadership Circles Program is a six-month virtual peer cohort for local nonprofit arts and cultural leaders designed and led by arts innovation leader EmcArts. The program uses a collaborative approach to building the change muscles or adaptive capacities that support organizations being able to purposefully adapt as circumstances change in a complex manner and the future is unpredictable.
“EmcArts has this incredible talent for showing arts organizations how their creative strengths are actually transferrable skill sets that can successfully address significant business and organizational issues,” stated Raleigh Arts Arts Grant Director Sarah Corrin.
Program designer and leader EmcArts has a national reputation for its community-wide arts and cultural cohort programs that focus on how to work through adaptive challenges – intractable issues and problems for which no best practices or formulaic solutions exist. To date, they have worked with over 250 organizations across the country and in Canada, including cohorts in New York City, Chicago, Houston, and San Jose among others. Now based in Winston-Salem, EmcArts has designed this latest program specifically for Raleigh and Wake County arts and cultural organizations.
“By the very nature of their work, artists and creatives make sense of chaos,” stated EmcArts Managing Director Jonathan Halsey. “Now, more than ever, arts leaders need to build their adaptive capacities and to innovate for their organizations to maintain relevance in a post-pandemic environment. We believe that you can systematize innovation, and all of our programs are built upon this notion. We commend the City of Raleigh’s Office of Raleigh Arts and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County for offering this leadership program to arts community members, and we look forward to working alongside this cohort of leaders as they set out to strengthen their adaptive capacities.”
The Raleigh/Wake County Adaptive Leadership Circles Program is open to any nonprofit arts and cultural organization with well-established arts programming that is located in Raleigh and/or other surrounding Wake County communities. The application process is open with a submission deadline of Friday, September 4 at 4:00 p.m. Complete program information and the online application form can be accessed at https://raleighnc.gov/SupportPages/raleighwake-county-adaptive-leadership-circles-program.