ARt Connect

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.