ARt Connect in FY21

Engage professional development program comes to Northwest Arkansas.

M-AAA partnered with Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE) to launch ARt Connect, a professional development program tailored to the needs of Northwest Arkansas arts and culture nonprofits, in order to deepen their impact and support organizational development. Peer learning is critical to ARt Connect (known in other communities as Engage), and the cohort is anchored by professional development coach Angela Frierson Shirey along with M-AAA’s professional development colleagues Dr. Kheli Willetts and Carris Adams. The first group includes ten organizations, and is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion practices, strengthening organizational effectiveness and sustainability, and amplifying an arts ecosystem that supports the wider community.

ARt Connect Goals

  • Strengthen Practices: identify organizational goals and strengthen nonprofit management practices to ensure a more stable and sustainable delivery of arts and culture programs and services to the Northwest Arkansas community
  • Ignite and Inspire: ignite curiosity and inquiry about the needs of each organization’s constituents to inspire innovative programs that align with the priorities of their audiences
  • Build Networks: build an interdependent network of arts and culture organizations designed to amplify engagement with the Northwest Arkansas area communities they serve
  • Embed DEIA: work in partnership to help participants embed diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as fundamental organizational practices that define their public promise
  • Support Leaders: support nonprofit leaders to focus, and revise when necessary, the mission of their organizations to increase impact on the constituents they serve

Participating Organizations

FY21 Accomplishments

Monthly Cohort Sessions

8 two-hour sessions for 264 contact hours, including 16 hours of instruction

Coaching Consultations

30 total sessions for 25 total contact hours, including 20 hours of instruction

Financial Consultations

17 total sessions for 17.5 total contact hours, including 11 hours of instruction

In Addition

ARt Connect presented public workshops online about a variety of relevant topics for those working in the arts. These reached 174 total participants from 143 unique organizations (or individuals).

Return to FY21 Annual Report

  • Posted on Jun 30, 2021
  • Posted by Beth Maggard
  • Filed under Uncategorized

ARt Connect

ARt Connect Logo

Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Engage Program and Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE) present their professional development program, ARt Connect.

ARt Connect is a two-year organizational development program and cohort of local Northwest Arkansas arts and culture organizations. This program is designed to deepen the impact of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that are wedded to mission-driven community engagement, inspire participants to become active learners, and invigorate a renewed creative community that is instinctively connected. ARt Connect participants receive peer-to-peer learning opportunities, coach consultations, financial coaching and workshops (public and private).

Participating organizations work with professional development coach Angela Frierson Shirey to address governance, finance, and community engagement. They have access to monthly workshops on these topics with their cohort as well as regular mentorship to support their organization’s growth and development.

Thanks to the support of The Walmart Foundation, grants of $7,000 will be provided to each participating organization to apply knowledge gained in ARt Connect. The first $3,000 will be offered in year 1 to support the front-end work required as the program launches, and the remaining $4,000 will be offered in year two. The larger community engagement grant will be used in the application of skills and knowledge covered in ARt Connect.

We welcome all the organizations taking part!

Coach: Angela Frierson Shirey

Angela Frierson Shirey, a native Arkansan, joins us with a wealth of experience in organizational strategic advising with an expertise in, strategic visioning, project management, researched-based program design and development, creating qualitative performance metrics/benchmarking, and coaching/facilitating. Prior to launching full time into consulting, Frierson Shirey was the lead program officer for The Walton Family Foundation, where she was responsible for executing the Home Region program’s Delta strategy, managing and growing the Delta portfolio of grant investments and stakeholder relationships, and creating collaborative relationships with other regional/national foundations.

Frierson Shirey is also very engaged in community service. She serves on nonprofit boards, including serving as the chairman of the development and communications committee for the Arkansas Community Foundation, member of the audit committee for Girls Scouts Diamond Council overseeing the state of Arkansas and parts of Texas and Oklahoma, and the international special projects committee for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Personally, Frierson Shirey enjoys spending time with her daughters—Kennedy, 20 and Olive, 9, as well as reading, traveling, and exploring nature.

  • Posted on Jan 19, 2021
  • Posted by Beth Maggard
  • Filed under Professional Development

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