Conference Workshops


38th Annual Arts Northwest Conference Workshops


Monday, October 8, 2018, 2:00 – 3:30 pm


How To Quit Your Day Job: Turn A Performing Career Into A Profitable Creative Life & Livelihood

Studio A

The good news about being an artist in 2018 is that there are many ports of entry and many paths to success.  The challenge is that the onus is on the artist to find their way and build their career.  Most artists are well-trained in craft, but not in creative business and thus find juggling both frustrating, overwhelming or exhausting. Using the model of a triple bottom line for artist who wants to make a living, make a life and make a difference with their gifts, you will learn a way to build a creative livelihood that honors all three and is right for you, no matter where you are in your career or life (entering, up-leveling or looking towards retirement).  During this workshop, you will clarify the life you seek and discover several paths to reaching it, leaving with clear next steps right for you. Workshop Outline

Session Leader: Patricia Morrison


Expanding Your Organizations Earned Revenue

 Studio C

The average performing arts center operates with 60% of funding coming from earned revenue. Ticket sales are that primary source of earned revenue. Are you maximizing other revenue opportunities to support your operations? Let’s explore a mix of ideas and practices while staying true to your mission. 

Workshop leaders:

Jill Barnes - Washington Center for the Performing Arts

Vicki Infinito - Hult Center   



Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM


Money for Nothing (Well, not quite) The TourWestand ImTour Grant Program Informative Workshop

Director's Room

TourWest Workshop - Learn about a competitive grant program that provides subsidies to arts and community organizations for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers and literary artists. Are you and your organization eligible? If you are a western-based, nonprofit presenter, the answer is likely YES! Discover the key elements to make your application competitive - high artistic quality, collaboration and block booking, the presentation of diverse art forms, and audience development. Although this presentation will be focused mostly on presenting organizations, artists are also welcome to attend. This is an opportunity for presenters to learn how to receive funding to subsidize their tours. Artists can also discover ways in which they can collaborate with presenting organizations who are applying for Tourwest funding.  In addition, join us to learn about WESTAF’s grant program, IMTour. IMTour is a grant program for booking tour-ready independent musicians. This program offers subsidies to presenters to bring in these musicians. Program coordinators will be there to answer questions about criteria and eligibility.

Session Leader: Seyan Lucero and Madalena Salazar


Authentic Community Engagement

Studio B

This workshop addresses "authentic" community engagement, providing presenters with the tools to involve segments of their communities who have had limited or no contact with the organization. Organizations often create education or "outreach" activities designed to attract these communities or diversify audience. Yet have these communities been asked what they want? How they might want to be involved? Why participate or attend shows? Do they feel they belong? Does "outreach" imply "us-and-them" when what we need is "we"? This workshop offers roadmaps how to build long-lasting relationships with a variety of communities, relationships that will benefit the organization both short- & long-term.

Session Leader: Karen A Fischer


Are You Ready? Step by Step Guide for Independent Artists

Studio C

Artists will develop the skills to set themselves apart via creating their brand; a distinct digital presence; choose great photos; and set the stage for touring by understanding the presenter market.

Session Leader: Lenore Naxon


Passing the Torch:  Navigating the search for new arts leadership

Studio A

The times they are a’changin. As a former executive director with more than 25 years experience, and now a search consultant specializing in senior arts leadership positions, I have developed a granular understanding of the seismic cultural, social, and generational changes affecting leadership transitions in our field. The future of every organization relies, in part, on understanding the changes underway in staff and board expectations on one hand, and leadership behavior on the other. The field is emerging from an era of hierarchical management, characterized by top-down leadership exercised largely by men with lengthy resumes. The next generation practices distributed leadership and embraces equity, diversity, and inclusion as core values, but has less practical experience at senior levels. Thus, there are two very different styles of leadership - and response to leadership - active in the marketplace and inside our organizations. How do we transition from a venerable but fading model to an inevitable, emerging one? How do we manage the simultaneous presence of both models in our organizations? How do we adapt our expectations to find and hire tomorrow’s leaders? What role should boards play? How do these realities affect a job seeker? These are questions we will consider together and illuminate with specific examples. You bring yours; I’ll bring mine. And we’ll look for some light.

Session Leader: John Haynes


Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM


Building a Better Board

Studio C

A high performing nonprofit board of directors isn't an accident.  Developing a good board takes planning, leadership from both board and staff, and a commitment to mission.  With 13 years of board experience and leading organizational change, Anchorage Concert Association Executive Director Jason Hodges will share methods and means to build a better and stronger board.  Attendees will walk away with concrete tips on how to bring focus to a board, how to better recruit candidates for the board, and how to develop leadership and systems to keep the board healthy. This session will be useful for any nonprofit board or staff member, whether new to the field or a veteran arts pro.

Session Leader: Jason Hodges


Indigenous Roundtable

Director's Room

Across the performing arts industry, significant efforts are being undertaken in response to the groundswell of Native artists that are emerging into the presenting and touring world.  Join the conversation to explore current opportunities to work with Indigenous content, how to successfully engage between artists and community, learn about new resources to sharpen your knowledge and perspective of the Indigenous arts sector, and discover ways to bring Indigenous perspectives into your work, stage and community.

Session Leader: Andre Bouchard


How to Become Invincible ( 90 minutes or less...)

Vistas Ballroom

Director, speaker, teacher, creator, and performer Tomáš Kubínek shares decades of experience in how to focus, engage, and inspire groups of people. Tomáš Kubínek has led workshops around the world with actors, dancers, teachers, social workers, administrators, burlesque ladies and prison inmates. Graceful movement with ostrich plumes, power-dynamics of primate behavior, spaghetti-legged silly-walks, and practical tricks for transcending self-sabotage, are all parts of the unconventional and hilarious approaches Tomáš gets participants trying out. Attendees will experience greater openness and creativity through their own humor, playfulness, and spontaneity and learn to communicate fearlessly and from the heart.

Session Leader: Tomáš Kubínek


IMTour Workshop - Polishing Your Act: A Live Performance Master Class for Solo Artists and Bands

Composer's Hall

How can you take your act to the next performance level?  How can you become more dynamic and confident onstage? How can you make a deeper connection with your material, and with your audience? 

This master class will address key elements of effective live music performance. We will begin by working with the IMTour artists regarding their Tuesday showcases. Then several acts will be selected from the audience to perform onstage and on PA and receive supportive, practical, individualized, on-the-spot performance coaching. 

Topics to be addressed during coaching demonstrations and discussions may include, among others: owning the stage; connecting with the mission of the song; maximizing your arrangement; boosting band cohesion; defining your own authentic sound; developing audience rapport; converting anxious energy; and finding focus. 

Bring your instruments and a song to present, or come to observe the process – either way, you’ll leave with tools you can apply to your own artistic endeavors. All experience levels, genres, and act configurations are welcome. 

Note: Acts must perform their own musical accompaniment, and they must be able to set up quickly if they are chosen to perform. Dressing as you would for a show is recommended, but not required.

Session Leader: Vicki Ambinder


Making Artistic Cents: Artists, Agents and Presenters answer the question, “Mission or Money? Why not Mission AND money?”

Studio B

Together we will explore how conversations between Presenters, Artists and Agents/Managers can culminate in “out of the box” work being presented that meets a Presenter’s mission and is successful for the Artist and Agent/Manager. Whether we’re talking about a performance, a residency, or a combination of the two, we’ll hear from Artists, Agents/Managers, and Presenters about specific ways that they have used good communication as a tool to unite mission and budget.

This can apply to new and groundbreaking work, ideas that challenge current norms, music and dance from other cultures, or anything that may not be an obvious “easy sell.”

Intended take-aways:

  • Artists and Agents/Managers: learn effective ways to help Presenters meet parts of the Presenter’s mission through the artist’s work (including performance and/or residency work)
  • Presenters: learn effective ways of collaborating with an Artist well in advance of a performance and/or residency
  • Artists, Agents/Managers and Presenters: learn effective ways to communicate with each other to help turn an “out of the box” booking into a successful event that both meets mission and stays within budget


  • Craig Knudsen, Knudsen Productions - Moderator - Agent
  • Mike Green - Mike Green and Associates - Agent
  • Tayo Aluko - Self Represented Artist
  • Krys holmes - Executive Director, The Myrna Loy Center - Presenter
  • Charlie Robin - Executive Director, Capitol Theatre - Presenter