Designing EmcArts’ Community Innovation Labs

Here’s the second post chronicling EmcArts’ Community Innovation Labs program, from conception to design through piloting. This post documents our three Innovation Team meetings, which explored questions about artistic practice and community partnerships, surfaced assumptions and innovation strategies, and helped us develop a new Labs framework and design.


Musings from Cohort 1’s First Seminar – Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators

ALACI Cohort 1 gathered for their first national seminar in Providence, Rhode Island from June 1st-3rd, 2015. This three-day convening brought ALACI fellows, faculty, executive coaches and EmcArts’ staff together, and featured inspiring and educational presentations on adaptive leadership topics such as emotional intelligence, organizational systems, authentic leadership, and more.

Project Row Houses, Houston, TX. Source:

The origins of EmcArts’ Community Innovation Labs

Here’s the origin story and inspiration behind EmcArts’ new Community Innovation Labs program, which will pilot in two U.S communities in 2015. Community Innovation Labs is a new approach to solving tough social challenges by bringing together a diverse, cross-sector group of stakeholders, and deeply integrating artists and artistic experiences into rigorously designed and facilitated change processes.


Artist-Partners: New Directions in Artist-Driven Institutional Models

With the goal of redefining roles and division of labor in arts organizations, ICE created a new organizational structure in which ensemble members act as “Artist Partners” who lead and manage the organization. This new structure eliminates traditional silos between artistic and management functions, strengthens curatorial capacity, gives ensemble members more decision-making power, and supports creativity.

Image courtesy of Wetzler Studios.

To Go or Not to Go: Connecting with Satellite Communities at the Beck Center

Beck Center for the Arts, located in the western Cleveland, OH suburb of Lakewood, presents a variety of plays and musicals on two stages and offers more than 200 classes, lessons and programs in the arts. They entered the Innovation Lab process with the goal of finding inventive ways to broaden and deepen their community connections.


Now Hiring: Communications Manager

EmcArts seeks a Communications Manager who will be charged with implementing a communications strategy about the practice of innovation and adaptive change in the arts field and beyond, with a special emphasis on EmcArts program participants and other partners.

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