News and Updates
An Update on the A.R.T./New York Theatres
Tuesday, September 08, 2015 12:00 AM

 

Dear Members,
 
For several years you've asked me: "When are the new theatres going to open?" And during this time you've been incredibly patient as these dates have changed. Today I am pleased to announce that the New York City Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Cultural Affairs have given us a June 2016 date when the spaces will be complete!
 
To be on the safe side, we will use the months of July and August to make sure all "punch list" items get done, and to test our new theatre equipment and all of the other amazing elements that will make this a flexible, state-of-the-art space. During the summer of 2016 we will also hold numerous tours for members, donors, and our neighbors in Hell's Kitchen!

The first performances in the A.R.T./New York Theatres will be held in September of 2016.
 
Because these are brand new spaces built within a mixed-use development, we know that there will be some "kinks" to work through in the first few productions. For this reason, we have identified a small, diverse pilot group of members who have agreed to work with us in testing out the new theatres during their crucial first months.
 
We will use a peer panel to select groups for the remainder of FY17 and into FY18. Depending upon the amount of interest that develops, and how far into the future theatres seek to reserve space, we may book through December 2017 or June 2018. We are also exploring ways to award a three year residency to a group during "low demand" weeks, how two theatres could rent the space together to save on rental costs, how we might work with a festival to book out both theatres at once, and how to welcome staged readings and other events so that we can serve as many companies as possible throughout the year!
 
Applications for renting the A.R.T./New York Theatres will become available online on September 28, 2015. I'm sure there will be questions, so we will hold several information sessions to discuss the application and selection process with you.
 
I know how much these theatres mean to all of you, and we are working to develop the most transparent and responsible way possible for you to access them. We have just updated the A.R.T./New York Theatres page of our website, which will show construction photos so that you can witness their development along with all of us at A.R.T./New York. Please take a moment to visit the A.R.T./New York Theatres website at: www.art-newyork.org/theatres.

As always, I want to thank you all for your support during this rather long design/construction phase. We have a great team from DCLA and DDC working with us on these theatres, and it is my deepest hope that you will fall in love with the spaces as much as I have.
 
Yours,


Ginny


 
Questions Considered - When To Plan
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 12:00 AM

 

QUESTIONS CONSIDERED

ARTS Action Research

 

When is the best time to undertake a strategic planning process and who should be involved?

 

“As I ate the oysters . . . and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”

      Earnest Hemingway—A Moveable Feast

There has never been a more enticing description of oysters; nor a more subtle but apt description of a renewed will to live. Hemingway knew well that deeply, depressed or disengaged individuals don’t plan. That’s because planning is not only an acknowledgement that there is a future, but also that it is possible to envision and influence that future in a positive way.  Not that anyone expects plans to work out exactly as articulated – but they often come close. More than that, they sometimes provide a path towards something better than the outcomes originally envisioned.  What we know for sure is that planning is the only way to accomplish either future.

Stepping from the romantic to the practical, planning is about the dynamic relationship between time and space in our lives, which is change. Change is an ongoing, unrelenting, fact of life. But it’s also a sign of life, especially when we acknowledge and work with it. So, When is the best time to undertake a planning process? It’s when you feel the need to shape, guide and have some control over how your theatre and work is going to change and grow in the future. There’s no season and no particular point in an entity’s lifecycle that is predestined for such an impulse. For different leaders and different organizations it comes at different moments.  That said, there is never a best time, an ideal time, or a time that won’t interfere with or distract from the other activities of your organization. In other words, there won’t be a moment when you can simply shut everything else out and plan.  But, that could be said of any project of any kind that your theatre wants to undertake.

A more appropriate way of thinking about ‘a best time for planning’ is when professional leadership makes the time and commits to a process. Part of this process is abandoning the notion that planning is something extra that needs to get done and understanding that effective planning is a way of propelling ongoing work and getting things done. The simple fact is that arts professionals plan all the time, otherwise no show would be mounted, no marketing undertaken, and no grants written. Planning is ongoing and integrated into what we do. However, much of it is reactive rather than proactive, situational rather than systemic, and short term if not in real time – ultimately not very satisfying and definitely not a positive way to think and plan for the future. To accomplish effective, proactive, systemic and long term planning, a theatre’s leadership must commit to making it an essential and consistent component of the ongoing operation and management of the organization’s activities.

Assuming planning must be an integrated and ongoing component of the work of theatre organizations, who should be involved in the planning process?  If the process is going to be meaningfully connected to the mission and vision of the organization and informed by the realities it faces, the person or people who have the most acute understanding and experience of these things must lead the process: the professional leadership.  A planning process might be facilitated by an outside consultant, but ultimately the organization’s leadership must do the work and shape the outcomes for it to be a truly meaningful process.

Further, these professional leaders must take responsibility for bringing together a core planning group to support process.  Just as Artistic Directors cast certain artists in certain roles because they are skilled, talented or experienced, likewise, the core planning group must be identified by professional leadership and cast very carefully.  The casting process is predicated not only on matching talent and experience but also on understanding the intangibles of values and behaviors that fit within the culture we’ve defined.  Taking the time to get the right team in place is essential for creating a rich and effective planning process.


Do you have questions in your organization or work that you would like to work with ARTS Action Research to explore and understand?  AAR Associates are available to A.R.T./New York members throughout the year, conducting Nancy Quinn Program workshops and providing one on one consulting support through the Theatre Leadership Program. For more information about these programs, contact Ann Marie Lonsdale at A.R.T./New York.



 
How can the A.R.T./New York Theatres meet your needs?
Wednesday, July 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Construction is under way, and we're on track to bring you two state-of-the art performance spaces on the west side of Manhattan.

As part of our planning process, the A.R.T./New York staff wants to collect up-to-date information about how you are working now, in 2015, and what you need to provide the best possible experience to the artists and audiences you serve. To that end, we have created a survey so that you can provide us with vital information about your needs and how you interact with performance spaces.

The information you provide will help us plan and design rental packages that are responsive to your needs as producers of New York's finest nonprofit theatre.

Please, take 15 minutes or so to fill out the survey before August 1st. Please, send only one response from each company.

 
 
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