Helping funders and arts organizers realize their vision since 1996.

Thank you for the tremendous job you did facilitating our planning meetings… without the interest and support of people like yourself who contribute so much to the field, the work we do would be much harder.

— M.K. Wegmann
Former Chair, NPN Board of Directors

SERVICES

Speaking, Training, & Facilitation

Our training can leave you and your staff with skills long after a consultancy ends. Our facilitation takes many forms: we lead meetings; present findings to boards; run retreats and trainings for artists; and speak at national arts conferences. 

Highlights from past engagements in key service areas are listed below.

Philanthropy

  • Holding Ourselves Accountable: Measuring Progress Toward Equitable Grantmaking. Grantmakers in the Arts Conference. Reported on research and new efforts  of foundations to effectively use data to measure their progress (2020). 
  • Going Far Together: The Story of Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists. Dance/USA Annual Conference. Shared the story of how a collaborative design process created this national initiative; learn more here (2019).
  • Engaging Dance Audiences: Stories of Collaboration. Dance/USA Annual Conference. With grantees, told stories of how EDA projects were strengthening relationships with communities and how the program was evolving to address racial equity (2017).
  • Grantee Learning Communities: Theories, Innovations and New Practices for Arts Funders. Grantmakers in the Arts Conference. Designed and spoke at this session to demonstrate how communities of practice can be built among grantee cohorts, in person and online (2014).
  • Motivating and Enabling Field-wide Learning. Grantmakers in the Arts Conference. Addressed the possibilities and challenges for funders in spreading the learning and tools from their granting programs to the field at large (2010).
  • The Chicago Dance Initiative: A Story of Partnership between Dance Leaders and Funders. Dance/USA biannual council meeting. Reflections on the success of this collaboration that was spearheaded by the Chicago Community Trust, and serves the dance community in Chicago (2002-2009).
  • National College Choreography Initiative. Regularly spoke to groups about the development and success of this initiative to serve the past, present and future generations of dance artists (2000-2009).
  • Making Work at School: Forums on Artist-College Collaboration. Programmed and facilitated this ongoing series of national forums to increase the quality of collaboration between artists and universities (2002-2003).

Evaluation

  • Holding Ourselves Accountable: Measuring Progress Toward Equitable Grantmaking. Grantmakers in the Arts Conference. Report on a pilot measurement program with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to evaluate its funding to ALAANA artists and organizations (2020).
  • Culture and Context Matter: An Introduction to Culturally Responsive Evaluation. National Performance Network Annual Meeting. Workshop to share with artists and presenters evaluation methods that fit their contacts and practices (2019).
  • Measuring What Matters: Outcome-based Evaluation in Arts and Social Justice Projects. Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Webinar (2014).
  • Evaluations that Make the Mark. Grantmakers in the Arts Webinar. Addressed key components of designing good evaluations and new trends in evaluation that are appropriate for arts field, through stories and web-based examples in social impact (2010).
  • Collaborative Evaluative Inquiry. Arts and Social Justice Session, Grantmakers in the Arts Conference. Presentation of the evaluation field study conducted with artist Rha Goddess for Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts. The field of study focused on social indicators for the artist’s performance residency (2009).
  • Individualized Training. Instructs artists and administrators in participatory evaluation at numerous organizations across the country, including: the Washington Ballet (DC); Southern Arts Federation (Atlanta); Creative Campus Initiative at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa); University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee); Urban Bush Women Summer Institute (New York); Sitar Arts Center (DC).
  • Creative Evaluation: Process, Issues and Options and Research & Evaluation Tools and Best Practices: A Training Session for Arts-In-Healthcare Practitioners for the Society for the Arts in Healthcare’s Annual International Conference (2007 & 2008).
  • Mapping Vision and Measuring Success: An Interactive Workshop on Evaluation. Performing Arts Exchange Conference (2006) and National Arts Leadership Institute (2005).
  • Walking our Talk: From Reflection to Action. Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers conference. Conducted training at two sessions: “Measure for Measure: Getting the Most Out of Evaluation” and “From Theories of Change to Habits of Mind: Building the Evaluation Toolkit” (2002).
  • On Our Own Terms: Alternative Approaches to Documentation and Evaluation. National Performance Network’s Annual Meeting. Joined this panel of experts, who are initiating efforts to evaluate community-based arts projects according to appropriate, nontraditional measures of success (2002).
  • Program Evaluation for Arts Organizations. Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Winter Institute. With Innovation Network, developed and instructed the curriculum for this annual professional development seminar for senior management (2000, 2001, and 2002).
  • Change for the Better: Documenting and Evaluating Our Success. Dance/USA. Led numerous sessions at their council meetings and biannual national roundtables on participatory evaluation (2000-2001).

Audience Engagement

  • Audience Engagement. National Dance Presenters Forum, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2019).
  • Audience Engagement. National Dance Presenters Forum, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2018).
  • Success Stories for Inspiring Audiences and Presenting.  Engaging Dance Audiences, National Dance Forum. APAP Conference (2017).  
  • Audience Engagement IS Community Engagement. Dance/NYC Symposium. Moderator (2017).
  • Fierce Conversations. Dance/USA Conference (2016).
  • EDA: Sharing the Learning. Dance/USA Conference (2016).
  • Audience Engagement.  Panel, University Musical Society and Detroit Institute of the Arts (2016).
  • Evaluation Workshop. Future of the Arts Summit. UNC-Greensboro. Evaluation Keynote speaker at this day-long gathering for undergraduate and graduate students (2015).
  • Get Savvy About Audience Engagement. Audience Architects (2015).
  • Town Hall: Engaging Dance Audiences. Speaker (2014).
  • Audience Engagement. Performing Arts Exchange (2014).
  • Engaging Dance Audiences: Adapting the Results to Your Organization and Audience. Dance/USA Annual Conference. The EDA pilot identifies effective practices for building and sustaining audiences, and this session shared insights for arts practitioners to learn, adapt what worked, and avoid what didn’t (2011).
  • Engaging Dance Audiences Webinars. Co-produces a series of nearly 20 webinars to share learning and methods of audience engagement and social media use with the dance field (2010-present). View webinars and descriptions.

Colleges

  • Adjunct or guest lectures including Career Networks for Dance and  Diversity in the Dance Field. George Washington University (2014-2020).
  • Future of the Arts Keynote address. Arts Summit, University of North Carolina-Greensboro (2015).
  • The Business of Dance. Bates College (2007).
  • Getting Your Foot in the College Door: Some Thoughts on Colleges and How They Hire.  Dance/USA On Tour (2006 & 2007), New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and at Dance Theater Workshop (2009 & 2010).
  • NCCI: From the Campus to the Real World and Back Again. This series of workshops in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles were based on the book of the same name (which was conceived of and edited by Callahan) and designed to assist mid-career artists, who are interested in returning to colleges for residencies and permanent positions, as well as to guide graduating students entering an increasingly challenging professional world (2006).
  • NCCI Forums: Workshop on Artist-College Collaborations: New Models for Planning, Negotiation and Curriculum. Dance/USA, Biennial Roundtable. Led this dialogue with artists and college faculty on key issues to consider when planning residencies with artists; contracting faculty; and developing curriculum (2004).

Fundraising

  • Grantwriting Workshops. Taught grant writing and foundation relations for administrators that ranged from senior management to the novice, for Engaging Dance Audiences, Univ. of Illinois-Carbondale, Arts Presenters, American University’s arts management graduate program, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington (2005-2016).
  • Individual Giving Workshops. For Joe’s Movement Emporium, the Dance Working Group, and the Young Performers Career Advancement Program at Arts Presenters, as well as the NPN Annual Meeting (2004-2015).
  • Workshops on Foundation Relations. Trained development staff from numerous Smithsonian Institution museums and presented as a guest lecturer at American University about the role that building and maintaining relationships with foundations plays in fulfilling an institution’s mission.
  • Board Retreats. Facilitated numerous retreats to build consensus and capacity for national and local organizations such as the National Performance Network (LA), National Association of Artist Organizations, Urban Bush Women (NY), Washington Shakespeare Company (VA), Gibney (NY), and Dance Today (MN).
  • Grants and Gifts: Asking for Money from Organizations and Individuals at the Arts Midwest Annual Conference (2007).
  • Funding Trends in the Arts. Session at the National Performing Arts Conference with the Wallace Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Chicago Community Trust (2004).

Group Facilitation

  • Develops and facilitates board retreats and management meetings in order to improve organizational skills and communication, such as the Local Arts Leadership Initiative and the Education Advisory Council in Washington, DC, and Arts International in New York.
  • Facilitates issue-based local and national gatherings for the performing arts field, such as retreats for choreographers and dancers at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts) and Jacob’s Pillow Dance, and for administrators at the International Performance Lab.