PROFFSSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEWS
 
MAAA Participates in Research Gathering
 
Recently, Mid-America Arts Alliance Executive Director Mary Kennedy and Brian Crockett, principal researcher for Mid-America’s museum needs assessment, were invited to participate in a prestigious gathering of our sector’s most innovative statisticians, researchers, and forecasters. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) included Mid-America in its Museum Data Collection Field Convening because of its comprehensive work investigating the needs and training preferences of more than 800 museums in the six-state regions of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
 
As long-time advocates for our nation’s smallest and most rural cultural organizations, Mid-America brought an important voice to the discussion. The findings from the IMLS Data Convening session will be reported on this website when available.
 
 
HELP Governance Instrumental in Museum Improvement
Arkansas HELP organizations completed their year-long process of nonprofit governance training at the August 5, 2009, workshop in Little Rock.Martha Berryman, Director of the Clinton Birthplace Center in Hope, Arkansas, is a proud and recent graduate of Mid-America’s one-year training program in nonprofit governance. The project, entitled HELP (Hands-on Experiential Learning Project), engaged some 80 museums in four states during the past year.
 
In summing up the experience, Martha said, “I only wish I could have had the benefit of the HELP conferences and workshops as a course in grad school. This should be a requirement, like getting a driver’s license for steering museums over hill and dale.”
 
Because HELP is predicated on individualized learning, each participant set site-specific goals that would improve their organization’s nonprofit compliance and practices in good governance. Dozens of HELP graduates updated bylaws and other organizing documents, overhauled financial management practices, and formalized board recruitment and engagement processes. Utilizing on-site consultations with field experts in each state, as well as online training, periodic workshops, and self-assessment tools, HELP graduates each made particular and tangible advancements in their own organizational stability.
 
Mid-America thanks the many HELP program advisors and generous funders that made this past year a grand success, and we’re honored to have worked alongside so many committed individuals at art centers and museums across our region. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to each of the HELP Governance graduates!
 
 
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