A Musical Theater Grants Funded Arts Organization

The Challenge:

 This arts organization was run by two partners and an assistant.  They were in charge of a volunteer staff and a contracted creative staff of musicians, singers, theatrical directors.  They also had an advisory board.  The challenge was to coordinate these many obligations, while also developing creative musical material, directing productions, marketing, and producing more programs to increase revenues of this non-profit organization!

The Approach:

This three years project involved annual retreats and monthly working sessions, along with Advisory Board facilitation, and facilitation of meetings with volunteer staff and creative staff working on any given project.  Interviews were conducted and data gathered as needed to track results. Assessment results focused attention on developing the three leaders’ skills and interpersonal communication – amongst themselves, and with their volunteers, actors and directors, and audience.  This project was facilitated and lead by Hoistad, with marketing experts brought in as needed.

The Outcomes:

  • Roles and functions of the three leaders were clarified.  They were trained in conflict management and communication skills necessary between three leaders.  They applied these communication skills to their volunteer staff and Advisory Board activities, delegating as many responsibilities as possible.

  • This resulted in greater energy being devoted to marketing and creative projects.  During this three year period, the Ensemble doubled the number of variety of productions and increased revenues.

  • Assessment showed that the Ensemble was developing a stable following by the second year.

When one of the Directors decided to resign, at the end of the third year, a process was developed for exit strategy, completion of current activities, and rolling this organization into a newly developed arts organization to be managed by the remaining principal, with short term help by the existing assistant.

Dr. Jan Hoistad