National Performance Network > E-Newsletters > E-Newsletter / May 2009

E-Newsletter / May 2009

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:20 pm in E-Newsletters

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MAY 2009
NPN E-Newsletter

NPN Awards $17,650 for Mentorship and Leadership Projects

Mentorship and leadership development are critical needs of staff
members (in all stages of their careers) in arts organizations. NPN
created the Mentorship and Leadership Initiative in 2006 (a subset of
the Community Fund) to respond to these needs by supporting the personal
development of NPN Partner staff as arts leaders.

The Mentorship and Leadership Initiative gives artist-centered
organizations time and space for personal renewal, resources to support
leadership development and succession in a planned and strategic way,
and the ability to create mechanisms for access to the
intellectual capital inherent in artist-centered organizations. Support
is not for institutional infrastructure, but focused on individual
leadership within the institution. Guidelines are flexible by design,
allowing NPN Partners to exercise their creativity in structuring

Awards in the most recent round include:

  • 651 Arts — Brooklyn, NY; to support professional development for its
    marketing director who will receive formal training and mentorship in
    the area of press relationships and press related writing.

  • Junebug Productions — New Orleans, LA, to support formal training,
    mentoring and leadership development of Junebug’s new
    managing/development director, increasing his knowledge of producing,
    presenting and funding live performing arts productions.

  • VS Arts/Out North — Anchorage, AK, to support Tim Miller’s on-going work
    with Out North to connect the threads of leadership, visioning,
    community engagement, and artistic leadership. Miller will help the
    executive director to create a three-year plan of professional
    development and burnout prevention through the use of a guest curatorial

  • Pat Graney Company — Seattle, WA,
    to mentor a new staff member to assist a local university professor in training female ex-offenders to conduct interviews of their peers. The research will document the impact of Keeping the Faith (arts in prisons) in their lives.

  • South Dallas Cultural Center — Dallas, TX, to deepen the performing arts
    and technical coordinator’s knowledge of lighting design by a mentorship
    with a prominent local lighting director. The training will be
    specifically tailored for SDCC’s small theater space and even smaller

  • Walker Art Center — Minneapolis, MN, to support a deep and multi-faceted
    mentorship between the senior curator and the performing arts specialist
    on curatorial, audience development and engagement practices, resulting
    in fresh strategies to build new, diverse audience, foster more direct
    engagement with patrons; and find better ways to help interpret
    contemporary work.

Support for the Mentorship & Leadership Initiative (MLI) comes from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation,
the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), MetLife Foundation, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.


Su Teatro Reflects on MLI Opportunity

One year ago, Su Teatro in Denver received an MLI grant to enable junior
staff to seek the counsel of elders involved in the birth of Teatro
Chicano, including founding and former members of California’s Teatro
Campesino, as well as younger artists and administrators in the field,
and to ultimately drive the production of a summer theater showcase.

Read John Kuebler’s report on his and Valarie Castillos experience

PHOTO CREDIT: A scene from Daniel Valdez’s production of Ollin at Su Teatro, March 2008; Courtesy of Su Teatro.

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NPN and Other Arts Activists Meet Attend White House Briefing


NPN CEO MK Wegmann joined more than 60 artists, funders, administrators
and grass-roots activists for a meeting with White House officials on May
12, 2009. “They met to discuss how they could collaborate with the
administration on its economic recovery and general policy plans. They
wanted assurances of the Obama administration’s commitment to the arts,
and to offer their creative involvement when wider government
initiatives intersect with their fields” ( The
meeting was organized by Claudine Brown of the Nathan Cummings
Foundation, Arlene Goldbard, Caron Atlas of the Pratt Center for
Community Development and Bill Wimsatt of State Voices. NPN Partners in
attendance included Gayle Isa, Asian Arts Initiative; Dudley Cocke,
Roadside Theater/Appalshop; and James Kass, Youth Speaks.

Read more about the meeting in the Washington Post
as well as a blog from meeting co-organizer Goldbard.

Photo: Taken after the White House Briefing on May 12, 2009

One Last Chance for 2009 “Doing it on the Road”

Thirty artists from the New York City area attended the workshop at
PS122 of ‘Doing it on the Road’: one remaining workshop is scheduled for
Saturday, June 5, 2009 in Tampa FL, hosted by the Tampa Bay PAC’s Shimberg
Playhouse. “Doing it on the Road: a Guide for Touring Performing
Artists” is a free information-packed workshop, designed and presented
by the NPN, to show what it really takes to take your show on the road,
or to make your touring even more successful. “Doing it” demystifies the
touring process for artists who are ready and able to tour, or who have
already toured regionally and want to expand their touring.

During the two-hour workshop, attending artists will receive a syllabus of touring tips. E-mail Pam Roberts ( if you’d like to attend.

Jazz.NEXT Supports Technology in the Jazz Field

“Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation announces the availability of guidelines
for Jazz.NEXT, a new national jazz initiative designed to encourage the
application of technology in innovative approaches to developing
audiences; communicating with the public; marketing, distributing and
selling the work of jazz artists; and building a more robust jazz
infrastructure better positioned to meet the challenges of a
fast-changing marketplace.” Funding support will be available for
planning grants of up to $25,000 and implementation grants ranging from
$10,000 to $75,000.

Guidelines for Jazz.NEXT are available online here.

Attention NPN Partners

The Summer Subsidy Guidelines and Applications are now available for download from the web.