National Performance Network > News & Events
News & Events
Notices for partners, news for artists, announcements from the field, job postings.
The National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network
Invites you to
(including the dedication of “MK’s Courtyard”)
MK Wegmann has been an exemplary cultural leader of NPN/VAN for more than 15 years. Please come celebrate her retirement, honor her achievements locally and nationally, and, of course, eat and drink with her.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
6 to 9 p.m.
1024 Elysian Fields Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t done so yet, you can make a donation to help us with implementing the landscape design, as well as ongoing maintenance and amenities, such as benches and a water feature. If you’d like to contribute, visit our “Donate Now” page and use the drop down designation box to indicate that your gift is for MK’s Courtyard.
The Skirball Cultural Center seeks an experienced, detail-oriented, conscientious Production Manager. This position is accountable for the professional presentation of a wide variety of programs and events, including concerts, films, lectures, performances, conferences, meetings, and social gatherings. The Production Manager reports to the Vice President and Director of Programs. This position is full time with benefits.
The Production Manager coordinates with Skirball departments and outside contractors on the production of public events and supervises activities during the actual performance. In cooperation with the Programs and Hospitality/Private Events departments as well as porters, AV, security, facilities, and catering staff, the Production Manager will:
Typically, these skills and knowledge are the result of a degree in film, theater, media, event production, or related discipline and/or several years of increasingly responsible professional and supervisory experience in similar production jobs.
The incumbent must be able to perform this job safely, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health or safety of him/herself or others.
Please send resume and cover letter describing your skills and interests by mail, fax, or e-mail to:
Re: Production Manager
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90049
FAX: (310) 440-4595
The National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network, is a national, nonprofit arts organization that supports the creation and touring of contemporary performing and visual arts in the United States, Latin America and Asia.
NPN/VAN seeks an Office Manager to provide general administrative support for the organization.
The Office Manager will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer.
Commitment of 40 hours per week is required. Due to changing/flexible needs of NPN/VAN, it is understood that additional hours may be required, and, from time-to-time, flexibility in arrival and departure times may be needed. Some out-of-town travel is required.
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience; administrative experience, arts administration helpful; financial skills; excellent organizational, time management and communication skills; and thorough knowledge of MS Office and database applications
The salary range is $30,000 – $34,000 annually. Benefits include a flexible environment, paid vacation and sick leave, health and dental insurance, and participation in a 403(b) plan.
How to Apply:
Send resume, cover letter and references to: email@example.com. No phone calls, please.
Deadline: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Download PDF: Office Manager job description
The National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network, provides equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to social and economic background, political affiliation or belief, race, color, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, mental or physical disability, national origin, current and/or former service member status, sexual orientation, health status, age, physical characteristics or marital status, and promotes the full implementation of this policy through a positive, continuing program of outreach. NPN/VAN actively encourages applications by all interested people who meet the above qualifications.
New Orleans, we have a problem…
GiveNOLA.org continues to experience technical difficulties. Please continue calling the Greater New Orleans Foundation at 504-598-4663 to make donations. We have received several repeated questions, answers below:
1. Rock Around the Clock: For each hour the GiveNOLA Day website is down, we will randomly select a nonprofit who has not already won a 2016 Rock-Around-The-Clock prize as the winner.
2. The afternoon and evening Throw-Me-Something-Mister awards have been postponed, pending site resolution.
3. If you are having trouble getting through the phone lines, email Lesley@gnof.org your phone number and we will call you back as quickly as possible.
4. Pending resolution of the site, we are considering an extension of GiveNOLA Day and will update you accordingly.
GiveNOLA Day is the citywide, 24-hour, online giving campaign – May 3, 2016 from midnight to midnight – sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and NPN/VAN is participating for the third year. The participating nonprofits will have opportunity for “lagniappe” dollars with the donations it receives — that “little something extra” we like to give in New Orleans.
This year NPN/VAN is using GiveNOLA Day to launch a campaign to honor the extraordinary MK Wegmann, who is retiring as NPN/VAN’s president and CEO after 15 years at its helm. Anyone who has visited MK’s home and seen her lush balcony knows that she loves to garden. Landscaping is lacking at NPN/VAN’s home at Arts Estuary 1024, so why not mirror MK’s verdant garden here? We’ve established a $30,000 goal that would enable NPN/VAN to create MK’s Courtyard, a garden that will delight the senses and soothe the soul. It would be ecologically sustainable with bird and butterfly-friendly plants, an oasis for those who work and visit NPN/VAN and their colleague organizations at Arts Estuary 1024. This would guarantee professional design and installation, a maintenance fund, and amenities such as benches, shade structures, and maybe even a water feature!
Thus far, with the generous support of the NPN/VAN board and longtime colleagues, we have raised about $10,000 towards creating MK’s Courtyard. We are hoping that GiveNOLA Day will help us get closer. Use this link to go directly to NPN/VAN’s page and make your donation https://givenola.org/npo/national-performance-network. Donations are accepted for 24 hours on May 3, 2016 from 12 midnight to 11:59 p.m.
After you’ve made your donation, please share it on social media.
To see what NPN/VAN is posting on Facebook so you can like it/comment on it/share it go to: https://www.facebook.com/NPNandVAN/
To see what NPN/VAN is posting on Twitter so you can ‘love’ it, retweet it, or adapt to use on your own: https://twitter.com/NPN_VAN. NPN/VAN’s username is: @npn_van and we’ll be using the hashtags #GiveNOLADay and #MKsCourtyard.
by Kyoko Yoshida, U.S./Japan Connection Consultant
On a sunny October morning in a meeting room of the newly opened Kyoto Experiment Festival office, I looked around the table and said to myself in appreciation, “a small miracle happened again.” Curators for NPN’s Asia programs arrived in the old capital of Japan after visiting Seoul and Gwangju, South Korea and Tokyo. Their travels originated from Burlington, VT; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; and I flew in from San Francisco, to meet with the Japanese partners based in Kyoto and in Kobe (Hyogo prefecture). I wondered, how many international and domestic miles and hours of travels combined in the room to make this bi-national dialogue happen? Not to mention how much we each do – presenting artists, developing audiences, planning and fundraising for festivals, seasons, field convenings and advocacy, etc, – managing deadlines and adjusting schedules to all be here!
At this October meeting, the six curator-partners and NPN staff rolled up their sleeves and really kyokin-wo-hiraita (opened up and talked ones’ mind) as we started to discuss the practical framework of artistic exchange.
The U.S./Japan Connection: Building a Community, the convener of this meeting, is NPN/VAN’s program that nurtures cultural exchange between artists and organizers in both countries through learning, relationships, and reciprocity. Leading up to and during this meeting, the Japanese partners articulated their concerns around the conditions and typical models through which Japanese performing artists are creating work. Of particular note was the “short-sightedness” in Japan of the creative process demonstrated by very restricted application windows of major grant programs (between the announcement and the deadline) and the scarcity of multi-year funding programs. Also there is a lack of infrastructure and market for touring work within Japan, as most arts philanthropy supports creation of new works, not tours. This situation seems to be causing stagnation, particularly in the contemporary dance scene in Japan. The Japanese representatives shared the insights that artistic products and projects have mostly become objects of consumption, be it a long running commercial musical theater piece or even an experimental small-scale solo dance performance, the former being for mass-consumption and the latter being for self-satisfaction.
The Japanese partners then expressed their desire and ambition to create a new framework together with the U.S. partners that can trigger even small changes in these trends – even though the United States is perceived as the leader in global economic consumerism. How can NPN not respond to this?
Inspired, and also recognizing both similar and different challenges faced by artists in the U.S., Links Hall proposed an initial structure that the bi-national team has been collectively designing, temporarily called “creative residency and tour exchange.” Through this model, Japanese and American artists will create new works side-by-side in residencies in both countries and present/tour the works that come out of the residencies. Unlike existing models of “international collaboration” practiced in the field, in which the artists from different countries create one production together, the artists will create two respective productions, but share the creative process with each other by actively interacting and giving feedback, criticism, and stimulation to each other during the residency. The exchange will also provide facilitation and interactions by creative minds from different industries during the residency – meeting various needs as agreed upon by the artists.
While honing the details, timelines and funding strategies, the partner-curators also organized and attended live showcases in Chicago, Austin, Kyoto, Kobe, and at the Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama and at NPN’s Annual Meetings in Tulsa, OK and Portland, OR. Some of these have been reported in past editions of the E-news. Very soon, we will be making an announcement of the artists participating in this new exchange program.
This is just one part of the whole picture, as we have also been working on and making a series of panel presentations regarding arts and disaster relief/preparedness, as well as socially engaged art. The next report from the U.S./Japan Connection will feature our recent visit to Tohoku, the region of Japan that was most affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, to share some new developments!
by Jonathan McCrory
A future is a system of variables yoked together, impacted by the past and conducted by the present. The concept of a future is a collective generative act and Next Generation National Arts Network (NextGen) is a collective generative response to help orchestrate a transition happening in the arts sector. Looking at the current state of the arts administration field there is a huge gap appearing in age and skill. Through a collective effort led by artists and administrators, both emerging and established, NextGen has galvanized a safe space that shares information equitably among our peers and our colleagues. As with all movements – yes this is a movement – NextGen was formed out of a need to “name.” We wanted to name where these gaps were happening in our sector, what was happening, who it has impacted, and how we are going to walk into the next era of arts administration in America as a success story.
Looking specifically at small to mid-size anchoring cultural arts institutions, it became clear that the pending event that was looming in the next few years would be a changing of the guard – a transition where legacy holders step down and burgeoning new torch bearers emerge to take command. I am personally an example of that now, holding the position of Director of Theatre Arts Program at a 47-year old institution. When I originally took on the position in 2012, I was 26 years old, and from there forward my life changed. This position at the National Black Theatre, founded by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in Harlem, was my first institutional job. However I wonder if, like myself, these next generational leaders are being equipped with the tools to manage this massive transitions and forgo some of the learning curves of their predecessors? We were wrestling with the age old question; are we ready?
So, sitting in New Orleans, LA at the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network Annual Meeting in November, 2013, a group of artists and administrators wrestled with how to solve this conundrum. That initial collective gathering sparked four arts administrators of color to start what was originally called NextGen, which now has grown into NextGen National Arts Network. We sought, and continue to seek, to create a healing ointment that will help to protect mid- to small-sized culturally specific institutions, because those veteran organizations are historically most vulnerable to this pending transition. This is due to the discrepancy in the lack of equitable resources given within the art sector. Not waiting for this to happen or pleading for help, Harold Steward, Candace L. Feldman, Ashley Walden Davis and I assumed leadership, and recently expanding this leadership to include Elliat Graney-Saucke. Together we have formed a free resource platform and potential stop gap to help groom each other and our colleagues to gain access to the experiential, visionary and avant garde knowledge needed to helm these gigantic leadership positions. We are creating a living virtual bridge for legacy to be transferred.
We are the generation of generosity. A generation that seeks to find holistic ways that support each other while maintaining our culturally rich ecosystems that truly represent the diversity of the cities we live in. We are leaders who are not homogenizing into the mainstream fanfare, but rather, challenging the system to accept the nuance found in our beautiful differences: locally, nationally, sexually, racially, and religiously, to name a few.
Over the past three years, NextGen also has facilitated workshops at national arts conferences; namely, the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network Annual Meeting, the South Arts Performing Arts Exchange, and the Theatre Communications Group National Conference. These landing points have helped us to connect ”person to person” instead of solely through our virtual community. Through such activities, we have been able to learn the actual needs of our membership base.
Through our growing membership, which is currently approximately 250 members, NextGen has been able to utilize Facebook and Google Drive as digital tools to grow membership and share information. I am particularly proud of the fact that we have been an active resource in providing job opportunity notifications. To document and store our work, we currently have a Google Drive folder that holds all the recordings, articles and NextGen reports. Google Drive, Mailchimp and Facebook have allowed us to share with the field while exercising a culture of transparency within the organization. As we publicly proclaim our progress and challenges, we not only attract more people to be at the table, we are also inspiring our peers and colleagues to dismantle the ”crabs in a barrel” scarcity mentality.
Currently NextGen is completely volunteer based and run, from a heart and soul mentality that is committed to the betterment of our field at large.
The potential and future of NextGen lies in many different directions. One is a possible national convening of self-identified next generational leaders. Serving not only as a training session, this convening could help us to break the silos of silence that we tend to find ourselves stewing in. The arts, though communal, is so isolated. Outside of the convening, another aspect of the future of NextGen lies in our online presence, including our active website, which helps to further our mission by the brand messaging of the organization. NextGen has the potential to become and to offer so many things. In sustaining its growing network through online and physical presence and resources, fiscal support that sustains its operations may also be in the future mix.
I am clear that the NextGen National Arts Network is potentially an opportunity to help with the building of the secession plan for this generation. A plan that helps us document the legacies of what has happened, analyze the bumps in between, and create a space where self-love and self-care are at the forefront for those who work in the arts. NextGen National Arts Network is here to breathe with our community, brag about the successes of our community, and envision with gratitude the future of our community. We are the farmer tilling the land and planting the seeds of deep desire that will build stronger formidable institutions that truly highlight and show the diversities of our community.
The Portland Annual Meeting was in 2015…locations over the years have included these amazing cities: Tulsa, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Knoxville, Cedar Rapids, Dallas, Tampa, Miami, and Seattle. Trying to keep track of every city and its corresponding year is my personal anti-aging brain game—and I fail every time!
But being in a new city every year keeps the job of organizing the AM incredibly fresh (and sometimes a bit frustrating). Along with learning about a city through the eyes of our Partner Hosts, each Annual Meeting planning season brings us into contact with a new set of personalities to communicate with, unanticipated challenges, successes, creative notions and local dynamics. And it’s truly different every year. Building relationships—one of the hallmarks of the Annual Meeting—starts when the plane lands, and NPN/VAN begins to navigate all the logistical ins and outs of organizing a meeting for 350 artists, Partners and colleagues. And yes—I’m still Facebook friends with the hotel sales manager from the 2006 AM in Cedar Rapids!
Over the years, I’ve witnessed a sea change in the area of technology at the AM. In 2001, we included a “Video Den,” where folks could bring tapes to view on a VCR. The space, which was originally designed for sharing work, morphed into the “Media Lounge,” but was eliminated this year because of the access to virtual platforms that most of us carry.
As at previous AMs, the Live & On Stage performances ranked as the favorite scheduled activity, but I think this year we earned that slot. We set out to make the shows run tighter and smoother, and the quality of the work was awesome.
There were some Big Ideas that permeated this year’s AM, and they didn’t just bubble up during programmed sessions. They became natural topics for informal discussions where a group of attendees gravitated, and included: Hybridity, Curation, Equity, Access and Succession. We looked at WHERE we were through the lens of two local Native artist activists; told each other WHO we were by shouting our names from the stage; and—guided by Keynote speaker Kristy Edmunds—contemplated WHERE WE’RE HEADED.
I have one more plug to make: the Annual Meeting is designed and facilitated in large part by the people attending it, and would not be what it is without their contributions. Twelve brilliant Idea Forums over the course of 2 days represented collaborations among 60 artists, Partners and colleagues, and spoke to pressing issues that face our field. And the Peer-2-Peer Workshop for Artists brought five artists together to engage and guide 50 artists through personal and professional discussions addressing the sustainability of a career in the arts.
I gotta say: organizing this event is pretty cool.
To see program selections from Portland, including the Live & On Stage Performances, click here:
For Media Inquiries
Contact: Tricia McKenna
NATIONAL—April 4, 2016—Six nonprofits are leading a new phase of the Leveraging A Network for Equity (LANE) initiative to address sustainability challenges created by systemic financial inequalities within the arts and cultural infrastructure of the U.S. LANE is a partnership between the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It is an expansive multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to build the financial and organizational health of the NPN/VAN network and bolster arts organizations that have often been overlooked by mainstream funding.
Organizations selected to participate in the current phase include: Carpetbag Theatre (Knoxville, TN), Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (Seattle, WA), Junebug Productions (New Orleans, LA), Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) (San Jose, CA), The Myrna Loy Center (Helena, MT) and Su Teatro (Denver, CO).
These nonprofits include groups that are led by or primarily serve people of color, small- and mid-sized organizations, and those based in geographically-isolated locations. These organizations have deep connections to their communities, demonstrated equity within their organizations and exemplify innovative solutions to a changing field with shifting demographics. Over the next four years, these groups will receive expert assistance and access to significant capital investments to help strengthen their business models and fundraising strategies, with the goal of also informing shifts in the sector at large.
“These organizations preserve and innovate aesthetics that are not often well-represented in mainstream venues, though their contributions are vital to the cultural expression and legacy of their communities,” said Sage Crump, LANE Program Specialist at NPN/VAN. “The entire NPN/VAN network will benefit from work addressing shared challenges, such as gentrification and displacement of core audiences, limited staff capacity, and facilities-related issues.”
Among the first activities that the cohort will participate in is a three day Financial Leadership Clinic, during which each organization will receive a customized financial analysis of business model dynamics and insight into how to effectively communicate financial needs and goals, and begin to articulate the objectives that will inform their activities over the next 4 years.
“As we consider capitalization in the arts, it’s imperative to understand the unique dynamics facing small and mid-size arts organizations that have been marginalized,” said Claire Knowlton, Director for Advisory Services at NFF. “LANE and this deep work with the small cohort may inform philanthropic strategies that better support diversity and equity in the arts.”
For information about LANE, visit http://npnweb.org/whatwedo/programs/lane.
About Nonprofit Finance Fund
Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) unlocks the potential of mission-driven organizations through tailored investments, strategic advice and accessible insights. Founded in 1980, NFF helps organizations connect money to mission effectively through established and innovative approaches to social sector finance. A leading community development financial institution with over $300 million in assets under management, NFF has provided $575 million in financing and access to additional capital in support of over $1.5 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide. NFF is headquartered in New York City and serves clients from five offices across the country.
NPN/VAN is a relationship-based network of presenters and exhibitors that serve and connect diverse cultural organizations, artists and communities. Annually, NPN/VAN provides over 1.5 million dollars in support to artists through its network of 77 Partners. NPN/VAN generates paid opportunities for artists to create, exhibit, and tour work to diverse communities across the globe. Partners facilitate collaborations that inspire artistic experimentation, honor cultural heritage, and promote social change.