Tag Archives: Kennedy Center

Michael Kaiser’s Key to a Healthy Arts Organization

It is no wonder why Michael Kaiser has 4,694 Facebook friends. After hearing the Kennedy Center president speak at the ‘Arts in Crisis: A Conversation with Michael M. Kaiser’ event at McCarter Theatre last Wednesday, I was inspired by his optimistic, yet realistic, can-do attitude. For those who missed it, key points can be found here at the Arts in Crisis video series website.

According to Mr. Kaiser the key to a healthy arts organization is exciting programming—not surprising for a man that plans productions 4-5 years in advance! To this end, he believes programming should only receive cuts as a last resort, and when big programming cannot be scheduled right away, it should be announced 2-3 years in advance. This planning time allows for fundraising, marketing, involving board members, and generating the excitement a production needs behind it. Mr. Kaiser explained that he feels exciting, high-quality programming brings in new people who attract new audiences, which all adds up to more money to fund programming.

As the topic of conversation was “Arts in Crisis,” much of the discussion focused on finances, fundraising, and closing debt—all topics you can learn more about in his writings or in the Arts in Crisis video series. While Mr. Kaiser did discuss the extremely difficult economic climate, his tone was a hopeful and encouraging one. In such challenging times, it was motivating to hear Mr. Kaiser, a man who is certainly no stranger to accepting a challenge, rally the troops with words of wisdom and his favorite thing: excitement!

Arts in Crisis: A Conversation with Michael M. Kaiser

McCarter Theatre Center, along with New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ArtPride New Jersey, Lewis Center for the Arts/Princeton University, The Arts Council of Princeton, and New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Invites You to Attend

A Conversation with Michael M. Kaiser

President, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

March 17, 2010
9am Coffee and Networking
10am Discussion

Moderated by Timothy Shields,
Managing Director, McCarter Theatre Center

Berlind Theatre
McCarter Theatre Center
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540

Free and open to the public; pre-registration is appreciated.
To pre-register, call 609.258.2787

Mr. Kaiser will address the challenges facing nonprofit performing arts organizations today. Q&A to follow.

If you would like to ask Mr. Kaiser a question, please email Edward Coles at ecoles@mccarter.org before March 16.

Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative
Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative is a program designed to provide planning assistance and consulting to struggling arts organizations throughout the United States. Open to non-profit 501(c)(3) presenting and producing performing arts organizations, the program will provide counsel from Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser, Kennedy Center executive staff, and approved mentors in the areas of fundraising, building more effective Boards of Trustees, budgeting, marketing, technology, and other areas pertinent to maintaining a vital performing arts organization during a troubled economy. This event is part of Michael Kaiser’s nationwide speaking tour. For more info visit http://www.artsincrisis.org/

Paper Mill Playhouse Receives John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2009 Excellence in Accessibility Leadership Award

Monday, August 3, 2009; Posted: 05:08 PM – by BWW News Desk

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Artistic Director, Mark W. Jones-Executive Director) is the 2009 Excellence in Accessibility Leadership Award Winner. The award will be presented in Washington, D.C. at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference, on August 15, 2009. The Excellence in Accessibility Leadership Award is in recognition of Paper Mill Playhouse‘s long-standing commitment to accessibility in the cultural arts for people with disabilities and older adults.

“We’re delighted that Paper Mill Playhouse‘s visionary work will be honored on August 15,” said Mark W. Jones, Executive Director. “Michael Mooney, Manager of Outreach and Access, will represent Paper Mill Playhouse and receive the recognition due for his diligent and inspired work that placed Paper Mill Playhouse at the forefront of cultural arts access.”

Paper Mill Playhouse was chosen from a diverse group of nominees for sustaining accessibility over a significant period of time and demonstrating an institutional commitment to the inclusion of all people with disabilities. Paper Mill Playhouse annually provides infra-red assistive listening devices to more than 5,000 patrons; 20 audio-described performances; 9 sign-interpreted and open-captioned performances; utilizing the services of 60 interpreters, American Sign Language (ASL) directors, captioners, and audio-describers; 125 Braille and 600 large print programs; and sign-interpreting and audio-description upon request for On-School Time and Weekend Family Series Performances, among other services.

Paper Mill’s production of The Miracle Worker in the 2007-2008 season was the first time the entire scope of access programming was featured on press opening night. The classic drama that explores the themes of accessibility and communication showcased a pre-show sensory seminar, sign-language interpretation, open-captioning, audio-description, Braille programs and large print programs along with Paper Mill’s ongoing access services. James and the Giant Peach, a Paper Mill On-School Time show, integrated hearing impaired and deaf actors, and featured both sign-language and spoken dialogue.

Paper Mill Playhouse is also the 2009 MetLife National Award Winner for Innovation and Excellence in Access. In 2003, Paper Mill received the MetLife/VSA Award for Innovation in Access presented at the Kennedy Center during the Leadership and Education in Arts and Disability conference. “As one of the first theaters in the nation to offer a full array of access services, Paper Mill Playhouse‘s mission ensures the theater’s programs and productions are inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of disability or economic constraint,” said Mark S. Hoebee, Artistic Director.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country’s leading regional theatres. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is provided by generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.


NJ in DC

There were 19 of us in Washington DC for National Arts Advocacy Day on March 12-13. We spent Monday learning about the issues–from funding for the National Endowment on the Arts to tax law affecting artists and charitable contributions, to the reauthorization of NCLB or ESEA (No Child Left Behind aka the Elementary & Secondary Education Act). Monday night we heard Robert MacNeil deliver an extraordinary lecture at the Kennedy Center speaking of the role of art in our society and how if we stand back and look at the the “big picture,” artistic expression and freedom of such relates to fundamentalism abroad and in our own country. Heady stuff!

Tuesday we walked the halls of the US Congress, many for the first time! We saw 4 congressmen in person–Rep. Rush Holt, Rep. Donald Payne, Rep. Frank LoBiondo, and Rep. Albio Sires, and a host of legislative aides. We used the briefing from Monday to inform our discussions and also found time to talk about how the arts affect many different aspects of life–from healthcare to truancy rates to the revitalization of cities and towns throughout New Jersey.

It’s a rush–lots of information packed into 2 days, an inspiring lecture, the chance to network with other New Jerseyans you don’t often see. In our group was the President of the NJ PTA and his wife who were glad to talk up the arts because their children are all musically inclined. Speaking of musically inclined, we also had a shining young vocalist with us from Westminster Choir College/Rider University who represented the arts advocates of tomorrow!

Here’s the group from left to right standing–Bob Morrison of Music for All, Inc., Greg Perry of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Carol Herbert–Chair of the NJ State Council on the Arts, Berda Rittenhouse of ArtPride, Shayne Miller of Paper Mill Playhouse, Catharine Vaucher of the Arts Council of the Morris Area, David Gray of New Brunswick Cultural Center, Paula Long of the Union County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Kristen Gongora of Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, and Kristin Wenger of the NJ Arts Education Partnership. Kneeling from left to right are Patterson Sims of the Montclair Art Museum, Alan Willoughby of Perkins Center for the Arts, Larry Schmidt of the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, and Natalie Megules of Westminster Choir Collge. Not pictured are Vicki Snoy of Newark Boys Chorus School, Harry and Donna Capers of the NJ PTA and me–the photographer–Ann Marie Miller. The photo was taken outside of Senator Lautenberg’s office in the Hart Senate Office Building.