For those who weren’t at this year’s Arts Enterprise National Summit, I’m sorry–you missed a lot of interesting conversations with a lot of fabulous people! I didn’t get to spend much time exploring Kansas City (although we did find a great karaoke bar only a few blocks from the hotel…), but the content and enthusiasm shared by this year’s participants was rejuvinating. Some of the highlights included:

  • An interesting panel on “The Portfolio Career,” in which Amy Bogard, Adam Siemiginowski, and Micah Killion shared how they have created successful career opportunities across industries, disabusing us of the notion that we must find an existing path and stick to it.
  • Two top-notch keynote addresses: one by Andrew Taylor (Director, Bolz Center for Arts Administration, University of Wisconsin School of Business) and one by Margo Drakos (Founder of Their collective insights into the past, present, and future of the arts world were profound, especially concerning how arts professionals might better engage audiences.
  • A student-led visioning exercise presented by AEIdeas, an initiative run by AE board members Kristen Hoverman and Andrew Charnik (managing partner of Symphony Bros.). Groups of students set out to define a problem/opportunity, propose a solution, and create the seeds of a new business–all in less than two hour! I’m looking forward to hearing more about the winning venture, ConcertON, in the near future.

The future of Arts Enterprise, with its presence on campuses across the country, seems to be in good hands. People involved in the arts have some tremendous opportunities to enact change and have a real impact on their communities, and we at Symphony Bros. look forward to being a part of that by helping artists and arts organizations reach their potential.