Cultural Organizations as Civic Leaders

“Community,” “relevance,” and “engagement” are now buzzwords in the cultural sector, but what does it look like when a cultural organization is really engaged with its community, beyond audience development strategies and outreach departments? Does deep community engagement require compromising other artistic or organizational goals, or can it actually make organizations more adventuresome and sustainable? We explored this in our Bright Spots report and found that, in fact, engaging deeply with community is one of the things that distinguishes highly successful cultural organizations at this time.

As part of our Dynamic Adaptability series in the Puget Sound we welcomed James Kass (Youth Speaks), Chris Coleman (Portland Center Stage), Lisa Sasaki (the Oakland Museum of California) and John Michael Schert (The Trey McIntyre Project) to talk about how their organizations have integrated a deep commitment to community throughout all aspects of their work, and how this has led to numerous benefits, including greater organizational stability and artistic creativity. View videos of the panel discussion below