Leadership for Artistic Directors

About the Program:

Going beyond the work of our New Artistic Leader Institute, Leadership for Artistic Directors was designed as a more advanced program for the experienced, new or prospective artistic leader who wanted to understand more clearly the leadership responsibilities of the position. It was developed by National Arts Strategies and was presented jointly by TCG and Dance/USA. It was open to all TCG Member Theatres.

Practicing artists often become artistic directors without any organizational leadership training. While artists’ strong intuitive senses and abilities to generate confidence in others can serve them well as leaders, they may encounter a wide range of foreign activities for the first time. Moreover, it can be difficult to find time to learn from other leaders’ experiences.

Leadership for Artistic Directors makes a strong distinction between leadership and management. Organizational leadership doesn’t require daily attention to management detail. The key for Artistic Directors is to understand that some situations require leadership and other circumstances require relying on others. There are three areas of knowledge and skill necessary for the artistic director to be an effective organizational leader:

  • How to position your organization advantageously in the minds of artists, patrons, donors, and staff. Among other things, this means identifying and communicating directions that will guide and motivate stakeholders and which will provide the psychological and economic basis for your organization's success.
  • How to manage relationships with your board members, managing director, and other key staff by understanding what motivates them, how to gain their trust, and how to shape their collective will.
  • How to identify and influence the organization's internal culture, including how decisions are made, how conflict is handled, how information is communicated, and how ethical standards are established.

Please email Ilana Rose with any questions about this program.

Click here for an agenda.

Leadership for Artistic Directors Conceived By:

Edward A. Martenson, National Arts Strategies
Greg Kandel, Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.

Program Calendar:

June 20–21, 2006

Portland, OR This program was a pre-conference offering at the Dance/USA Conference. The event was held at Portland State University.

Click here to view the 2006 Leadership for Artistic Directors participant list.

November 13–14, 2005

New York, NY This program was a post-conference offering following the Fall Forum: Art in the Board Room. The event was held at the Dance/NYC offices.

Click here to view the 2005 Leadership for Artistic Directors participant list.

June 15–16, 2005

Seattle, WA This program was a pre-conference offering in advance of the TCG National Conference.