Conference Workshops

37th Annual Arts Northwest Conference Workshops


Monday, October 9, 2017, 2:00 – 3:30 pm


Surprising Educational Partnerships: Broadening the Notion of What is Possible

Surprising opportunities exist for presenting organizations to become vibrant partners with arts education, both at the pre-college and tertiary levels. In this session, several innovative models of partnering between presenting organizations and educational arts programs will be highlighted that expand the notion of what is possible. Participants will then be guided through a set of exercises focused on their own organization’s priorities that will suggest possible ways they can increase their ability to support arts education in their communities and beyond, strengthen community connections, broaden their impact, and add distinctive programming opportunities. 

Educational Partnerships

Educational Worksheet

Workshop leader: Edward Adelson


Love your Grants and Love Yourself: De-mystifying the grant process and building funder relationships

In this interactive, 90-minute session, participants will sit down with State Arts Agency and Regional Arts Organization staff to discuss the challenges they may have around the process of applying for funding. These discussions will be designed to unearth barriers and hesitations to participation in funding processes and to open relationships between constituents and grants officers. After a series of “table talks” with your SAA and RAO staff, workshop leaders will respond to key questions about grant-making processes which come out of the small group discussions. The goals for this workshop include 1) increasing participant confidence in connecting with grants officers and agencies; 2) de-mystifying the grants process; 3) providing feedback to SAA and RAO staff about the barriers to grant application, and 4) increasing effectiveness of technical support for constituents. Participants include presenters, artists, arts organizations and other potential grant seekers.


Seyan Lucero & Madelena Salazar – WESTAF

Michelle Coleman – Idaho Commission on the Arts

Miguel Guillén – Arts WA – Washington State Arts Commission

Laura Forbes – Alaska State Council on the Arts


Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Becoming Tour Ready

Artists want to tour but few have the necessary tools. We will discuss: how to position yourself in the marketplace; how to understand the presenter communities, how to create an EPK and a user-friendly website; dos and don'ts of artist/presenter relationships.

Workshop leader: Lenore Naxon


Money for Nothing (Well, not quite) The TourWest Grant and ImTour informative workshop

Tour West 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 newest 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.

Workshop leader: Seyan Lucero and Madalena Salazar


Making Artistic Cents: Contracting Skills... Basics and Beyond

Contracts are a vital part of everyday business needs in the Performing Arts industry.  Veteran Presenters and Agents lead this moderated panel discussion to examine current topics on contract construction, Presenter-Agent communications, relationship building, and dispute resolution. 

An informative and inspiring refresher for all levels.


Craig Knudsen - Knudsen Productions - Moderator - Agent

Charlie Robin - Capitol Theatre - Presenter

Jennifer Morris - Siegel Artists - Agent

Jill Barnes - The Washington Center for the Arts - Presenter

Charlotte Tiencken - Scarlet Productions - agent / consultant


Navigating the U.S. Immigration Labyrinth

This panel will discuss the do’s and don’t’s of the U.S. immigration process for performing artists, taking into account eligibility, timelines, and the current political climate in the U.S. 


Amanda Gupta – Covey Law – Moderator – Attorney at Law

Debbie Peters – Maverick Co-operative – Agent

Skye Richendrfer – Celtic Arts Foundation - Presenter


How to Apply for an Artist Grant

In this seminar, Artist Trust's program manager will discuss grant funding opportunities, the ins and outs of applying for grants, and tips that will make participants' next application stand out. Focused on opportunities and challenges specific to performing artists, participants will walk away from this seminar with the knowledge that will help them not only in their next grant application but in many similar application processes.

How to Apply for an Artist Grant

Workshop leader: Katy Hannigan


Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 8:15 AM – 9:45 AM

Creative economy and the WEST

The Creative Vitality™ Suite (CVSuite™) is a tool that provides a wide array of high-quality creative economy data and reporting for a variety of geographic regions in the United States. WESTAF, the creators of the tool, and ArtsWA (the WA State Arts Commission), a user of the tool, will discuss the role the creative economy plays in the West and the contributions and impact of the arts in the region. As organizations that provide cultural access, what do you need to know about the creative economy of your area, and how can you communicate its impact? How can you use creative economy data to help influence policy and funding decisions? Take a look at the data and see it come to life with lively examples from across the state of Washington and beyond.

Washington State Creative Economy 

Workshop leader: Anthony Radich and Karen Hanan


Where Do I/We Go From Here?

For those at a crossroads, this workshop helps individuals evaluate where they are and where they want to go in their careers. It also helps those on boards or in charge of organizations figure out where their organization's issues lie and how to deal with them.


  • What do I do when I'm ready to walk out the door of my job? I love what I do, but my ceiling is way lower than I'm ready for and capable of? How do I plan my way out and up?
  • What do I do when my staff's morale is low and getting lower? How do I identify the problem? How do I make staff changes without risking serious legal problems?
  • Our Executive Director is leaving (or ought to!) and we want to change the nature of her job description. How do we do that? Who should make those changes? Do we bring in an interim director? What powers do we give them?
  • Our/my board is dysfunctional and seems unable to morph itself. How do we make the necessary changes to bring it back to health? No one wants to fundraise, but we are supposed to. How do we make that transition to a fundraising board, or should we?

These and other issues have been presented in the past. Bring your issue and be ready to act. Strict confidentiality is required of all attendees.

ANW Roundtable The PLAN

Workshop leader: Peter Lesnik


Advancing Indigenous Performance Panel

Indigenous performing arts is a growing and emerging part of the performing arts landscape that is often misunderstood.  Join a panel of Native performing arts professionals for an overview of the state of the Indigenous performing arts field, cultural competencies to utilize when engaging with Indigenous people and learn ways in which you might be able to successfully reach out to Native communities through curated content, community outreach and relationship building. If you are curious about working with Indigenous artists or want to learn what you can do to support touring Indigenous (Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian and First Nations) performance, plan to attend this panel discussion.

Workshop leader: Andre Bouchard


Especially for Boards: Best Practices & Lessons Learned

If you’re on a board or report to one, this workshop will sharpen and focus your skills at governing, helping your organization make the most of its time, talent and treasures. If you have a hot-button topic, suggest it in in advance so we can make the most of our time together. Potential topics include committee structures, financial metrics, salary surveys, and board vs. staff roles.   Participants can share their experiences—and warnings—and receive custom advice from the panelists. This session is the first step in creating a network of volunteer board members serving a performing arts venues, so we can confer with each other as topics arise in the future

Workshop leader: Alison Hamm