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ARt Connect in FY21

By Margaret A. Keough

ARt Connect logo

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).