Arts Marketing and Audience Engagement in the 21st Century: Building the Capacity of Pennsylvania’s Cultural Sector

2018-20 Program Guidelines

Arts Marketing and Audience Engagement in the 21st Century: Building the Capacity of Pennsylvania’s Cultural Sector is a two-year capacity-building initiative, funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, that supports, strengthens and advances the arts marketing and audience engagement skills of arts and cultural professionals.Those interested in the opportunity may either do one (1) of the following:

APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED - Check back in January 2019 for new information and cohort application.

NOTE: Your organization does not have to be nominated first before submitting an application.

Application/Nomination Form Opens: March 5, 2018
Application/Nomination Form Deadline: April 27, 2018
Cohort Participants Notified: May 18, 2018
Three-day Boot Camp: June 28-30, 2018 (Pittsburgh, PA)
National Arts Marketing Project Conference: November 9-12, 2018 (Seattle, WA)

Goals & Objectives

With internally-facing and externally-facing goals and objectives, the Initiative seeks to:

  1. Assist Pennsylvania-based arts and cultural organizations achieve increased and engaged audiences on a consistent basis through skill-building in the areas of arts marketing and audience engagement.
  2. Address long-term systemic issues of declining arts participation and loyal arts audiences in Pennsylvania.
  3. Assist arts and cultural organizations – particularly those within diverse communities – in attracting and retaining expanded audiences.

A group of 50 participants made up of 25, two-person teams will be selected to join the first cohort through an online application process. Each Cohort will undergo two years of training (2018-2020) designed to:

  • Build stronger strategic collaborations and solidarity among Pennsylvania-based arts and cultural organizations.
  • Provide opportunity and space for Pennsylvania-based arts and cultural organizations to normalize these new engagement models and structures within their local communities.
  • Advance and enhance the capacity and marketing skills of PA arts and cultural organizations to implement new engagement models, better understand the communities they serve, and sustain relevance amidst changing environments and shifting demographics.
  • A dynamic and inclusive learning environment will cultivate intercultural space and provide arts professionals the skills, support, knowledge, and agency to confidently respond to and initiate approaches to address complex questions facing the landscape of arts marketing and audience engagement.
  • Provide Pennsylvania’s arts and cultural community with increased access to a diverse network of talented leaders within the field.

Core Curriculum & Faculty

Each Cohort will participate an intensive two-year curriculum that provides all participants the opportunity to build new skills in arts marketing and audience engagement. Prior to the start of the three-day boot camp, the Cohort will have access to both common core resources as well as resources tailored specifically to regional teams. In addition, each Cohort will have access to a new network of leading arts marketing experts/trainers to guide their work.

The curriculum expands into the following areas in order for the Cohort to consider and address:

  1. Augmenting the necessary skills and capacity necessary to sustain relevance in their work and for their organizational missions to thrive artistically and with purpose;
  2. Locating themselves in a particular place, space, and time—both within history and their local/digital communities and in a relationship of camaraderie with their peers in Pennsylvania;
  3. Grasping the magnitude of social and demographic shifts happening in Pennsylvania, the U.S. and world in regard to how they impact the artists, audiences, and many communities that these organizations serve.

Trainings will offer multiple modes of learning: Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Spatial, Naturalistic, Presentational, Bodily/kinesthetic, Experiential, and Creative.

Selection Process, Eligibility Requirements, Application Support

Arts administrators in various stages of their career may apply.

A maximum of 25, two-person teams (50 participants total) will be selected for Cohort 2 (2018-2020). Each team application must be submitted at the same time by both team members.

Teams applications must come from arts professional(s) who reside and work in Pennsylvania, and should come from those who work for the same arts/cultural organization.

Representatives who work in two different arts organizations may apply together as a team, as we recognize the power of collaboration in the state. The team application MUST substantiate/illustrate an existing history of partnership between the two organizations and/or shared challenges in their team narrative (i.e. a strategy or logic to the proposed pairings).

Each two-person team should include a representative from the following categories:

  • One person who is responsible for marketing, communications, audience engagement, or equivalent.
  • One person who has an oversight position, such as a CEO, president, executive director, artistic director, vice president, board member, or equivalent (in short, a decision-maker).

    Note: If you are an all-volunteer run organization, make sure to include information about the nature of that structure and relation to the individuals submitting. Have questions? E-mail Ruby Lopez Harper or call (202) 371-2830, x2079.

Successful team applications will demonstrate strong commitment to the two-year program and deep commitment to creating internal and external organizational change in the realm of arts marketing and audience engagement.

The program will be rigorous and require deeply- rooted commitment from both team members to not only engage in the initiative, but attend all in-person convenings and virtual sessions, engage with and comment on supplementary readings, and engage with fellow Cohort members and trainers. In year one, Cohort 2 members will be paired with a mentor from Cohort 1. In year two, all members of Cohort 2 are required to serve as mentors for Cohort 3 members (2020).

Schedule, Dates, Program Format, & Funding

The Initiative will be kicked-off with one three-day intensive boot camp June 28-30  in Pittsburgh (Location TBD). Following the three-day boot camp, participants will be required to attend a number of in-person and virtual trainings. The full schedule of requirements and funding for the program are as follows:


  1. One, three-day intensive boot camp

     - Dates: June 28-30, 2018
     - Location: Pittsburgh, PA
     - Funding: All Cohort 2 participants are eligible for expenses related to two (2) nights of lodging (June 28 and 29) as well as catering and curriculum supplies. Transportation expenses are not covered and are the responsiblity of the participants.

  2. Three, three-hour in-person trainings (dates to be determined, subject to change)
     - August 2018
     - October 2018
     - February 2019
  1. Attendance at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Seattle, WA including a half-day preconference event
    - Preconference event: November 9, 2018
    - Main Conference: November 9-12, 2018
    - Funding: All participants of Cohort 2 will receive a $500.00 stipend toward Conference expenses (registration, airfare, and lodging). Additional financial support will be available through an online application process.


  1. One in-person statewide gathering (mentor/mentees assigned)
    - June 2019


  1. Attendance at the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference 
    - Main Conference: November 15-18, 2019 in Miami, FL


1. Four phone trainings (Dates TBD; Subject to change)
           - December 2018
           - March 2019
           - April 2019
           - May 2019

2. Six phone convenings with assigned mentor organizations (Dates TBD; Subject to change)

           - August 2018
           - October 2018
           - December 2018
           - March 2019
           - April 2019
           - May 2019

3. Participation in Virtual Platform discussions


  1. One Statewide conference call
    - September 2018
  2. Six phone convenings with assigned mentee organizations (Dates TBD; Subject to change)
    - August 2019
    - October 2019
    - December 2019
    - February 2020
    - April 2020
    - May 2020
  3. Participation in Virtual Platform discussions

Program Costs

Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses related to the attendance of trainings, including expenses related to attendance at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference. Each participant will receive an annual $500.00 stipend to offset Conference expenses (2018), and additional financial support for the Conference will be available through an online application process. Participants are responsible for securing additional funds to implement learnings from this program. Participants must agree to participate in program evaluation.

For program information and application support, please contact Ruby Lopez Harper, Director of Local Arts Services, or call 202.371.2830 x2079.