Creative Trust is better known for its capacity building than for its social media chops.
Since 2003 our Working Capital for the Arts program has been helping 21 mid-size music, theatre and dance companies – including Factory Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, LKTYP, Soundstreams and more – eliminate deficits, create financial reserves and develop their management skills. Another 30 small and culturally diverse companies have been welcomed into the program’s learning and collaborative activities through our outreach initiative.
This work has been enormously gratifying and successful, and has led us to begin building on two more fronts.
The Audiences Project is an in-depth, collaborative approach to audience building: essential to creating strong and sustainable companies and a vibrant arts community. Drawing on the most successful practices and up-to-date research from home and around the world, we’ve been helping companies improve their data bases, sharpen their web-based marketing techniques, and undertake effective audience and community engagement – in order to build strong and committed audiences that include young people, people of diverse backgrounds and people with disabilities.
The Facilities Initiative is all about building(s)! It began in 2009 to address the need to repair, renovate or expand inadequate, uncomfortable and, in some cases, unsafe performing arts facilities throughout the city. We’ve been communicating the issues to government, funders and the media, and the 18 organizations participating in our Facilities Roundtable have been sharing information, learning about project planning and capital fundraising, and working on energy efficiency and accessibility strategies. One result is the exciting, brand new Toronto’s Green Theatres project. We’ll tell you more on this in future.
The reason why we’re starting a blog is very simple: we have a lot to share, and so do you. Capacity building is an ongoing process of learning, change and growth. We want to engage in a wider discussion about capacity, audiences and facilities in the arts; to build a broader community of learning around these crucial issues; and to discover increased opportunities for sharing and collaboration.
We hope you will join me, Shana, and our members in this conversation.