Wednesday, September 17, 2014
This is a tricky question in the nonprofit arts world--and probably in every field. There are some industry blogs and twitter feeds. There are some good conferences. There are some useful research papers. But most of these resources live in narrow silos, invisible to most of us. If you don't know the language, the players, the conversations in that subset of the field, you won't even know where to look.
The result is that the resources we know most about tend to be limited to those in our respective silos, and stories about giant organizations. Not so helpful for a curious person with diverse interests--especially if you care most about small, experimental organizations. They often don't have the bandwidth or the visibility to share their stories easily.
I was discussing this with a colleague last week when I realized: I am part of the problem. Every once in a while, I see something great, and I don't share it. Each of us is a connector to new work and new worlds.
Below are two excellent e-books put out by the National Arts Marketing Project, one on artistic interventions in uncommon places, and one on taking a leap of faith with "weird" programming. (Full disclosure: my museum is profiled in the latter.)
I love these e-books. They are short, beautifully produced, and thoughtfully edited. Best of all, they profile diverse organizations I know very little about.
NAMP puts out some other e-books about branding and digital engagement which may also be of interest. But for me, the stories in Making Space and Let's Get Weird--about art in laundromats, theater in churches--share lessons that go far beyond marketing.
Thanks to NAMP for writing these e-books. And thanks to you for sharing the resources that you are inspired by--whenever and wherever you can.