News and Updates
Tis the season...for Goalsetting
Monday, September 08, 2014 12:00 AM

It’s September (how did this happen!?). The beginning of fall means that a lot of you are coming back into the rehearsal room after a quiet summer. The mythical quiet summer was utterly lost on me this year, as I started this new job at A.R.T./New York in August, just in time to miss any chance for relaxation. I suspect that’s how many of us feel, ever year. Summer isn’t quiet. There is always work to be done. 

Echo Lake Park NJ tree in early autumn in afternoon sunlight.JPG
Photo by Tomwsulcer
Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.

However, I must admit that in my mind September always signals the new year, much more so than January. Perhaps I am an academic at heart? I’m no good at New Year’s Resolutions anyway. During staff meeting the other day, we took the opportunity to articulate some personal and professional goals for the ’season,’ an exercise that I undertook with equal parts enthusiasm and skepticism, as I always do. I have set goals for many years. I used to write my goals down on a piece of paper and carry it around in my wallet until it was so dirty and degraded that I was tempted to throw it away. On that piece of dirty scrap paper, Goal #2 was to go to Paris before the end of the year. 

Goals are hard. When they are well-conceived, they challenge us deeply. On some level, they a mini-mission statement that help to keep us focused and on-point. At A.R.T./New York we encourage strategic, creative thinking among all our member theatres that can involve absolving ourselves of old ways of thinking. But goal-setting is evergreen because it is a methodology—the goals change, but the practice stays the same. Goals can be used by individuals and teams, for personal and professional reasons. 

One way that I like to focus my goals is to use SMART goals. These guidelines help me to stay focused, be precise, and not to let myself get too wishy-washy. This version is helpful to me, but there are a lot of different acronyms you can use. SMART stands for:

  • Specific – is the goal precise?
    Paris is a pretty specific place. I suppose I could have written, Paris, France, just to be clear. 
  • Measurable – can the goal be quantified and is it falsifiable?
    I would definitely know if I have been to Paris or if I have not been to Paris. Another way of thinking about this is to have specific measurements and numbers attached to a goal, such as stating “I will save $5,000 towards my goal of going to Paris on holiday.” 
  • Achievable – Is the goal truly something I can accomplish, give my resources?
    Paris is a real place where I am permitted to travel, because I have a passport and no real fear of flying.
     I knew that I needed to spend money more wisely (and spend much less on takeout food), and saving for a vacation was going to help me make that lifestyle change. 
  • Relevant – does the goal fit in with my other goal, and with my larger mission? 
    I love to travel, and I had not been abroad in some time. I felt at the time that taking what I felt was going to be a “real vacation” was extremely important for my mental and physical health. 
  • Time-bound – is there a specific time frame?
    The goal needed to be achieved by end of the year. On December 31, I would know if I had achieved it. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that you needn’t set goals for one year. Goals can be more immediate and more long-term. A year is just a good rule of thumb. In fact, there should be no element of the goal setting process that makes it feel restrictive. Here are a few ways to make the experience easier. 

That year, I did not go to Paris, but in December I bought myself a tote bag with a map of the Paris Metro on it as a consolation (from Maptotes). I could have charged a plane ticket to my credit card and spent two years paying it off, a la Gret Gerwig in Frances Ha, but I didn’t. Not achieving a goal is not necessarily a failure, but it is a measure how far you’ve come and how far you have left to go. 

Paris is still on my list, which is now kept safe on my phone. 

Fall Roundtables
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 12:00 AM

Fall is coming and that means the return of A.R.T./New York's Core Roundtable Series!

These one and a half hour meetings are opportunities for our members to speak with their peers about relevant issues and experiences, broken down by topic and budget size (for example, marketing for companies with budgets over $1 million). We encourage our members to come together at our Core Roundtable Series to share and learn from each other over coffee and donuts. 

While each Roundtable is set-up by topic and tier, all members are able to attend any Roundtable they wish. Is your company is about to jump up in budget size? Send your General Manager to the Roundtable one tier up! The Core Roundtable Series is the membership's breeding ground for new ideas and new connections. Ariana Schrier, Artistic Director for Pipeline Theatre agrees, "these roundtables are helping us to build a sustainable business model based on the wisdom of those who came before us, and to sojourn ahead with a new confidence in our business practices."

The first Roundtable of the season is coming up on Tuesday, September 9 for Tier 4 Executive/Managing Directors. The second roundtable this month will be on Thursday, September 18 for Tier 2 & 3 Executive/Managing Directors and will be followed up on Tuesday, September 23 by the Roundtable for Tier 1 Executive/Managing Directors.

Also, if you have a topic that you've been dying to talk about, you could reach out the Director of Programs, Ann Marie Lonsdale and together you can set up a Topical Roundtable. Topical Roundtables are initiated by our members are not specific to any one Tier. Past topics have been Green and Sustainable Theatre Practices and Producing Site-Specific Theatre.

If you are an A.R.T./New York member and would like to register to attend a roundtable, just log in to our website with your individual username, navigate to the Event Calendar, and click on the registration link for the event you would like to attend. 

Design Enhancement Fund Announced
Monday, August 25, 2014 09:52 AM

Collapsible Giraffe, Dream of a Red Chamber // Photo by Joshua Higgason
2014 Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund Recipient

We are delighted to announce the 2015 Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund grant application calendar. Since 2004, this fund has augmented A.R.T./New York member theatres' design budgets, providing designers with increased resources by which they can further their experiences and their artistic growth.

Companies with budgets under $5 million that have their own 501(c)(3) status, and that have not received Bel Geddes grants the past two consecutive years, are eligible to apply to increase the costume, set, lighting, sound, and/or media elements of one production in the upcoming calendar year. This is an enhancement grant only; all eligible productions are expected to occur as initially conceived by the design team sans Bel Geddes funding.

All members will receive an email with a direct link to the online application form once it goes live.

Eligibility & Guidelines » 

Applications open: Monday, September 8, 2014
Applications close: Wednesday, September 29, 2014 at 5pm
Results notification date: Monday, December 5, 2014

Questions can be directed to Ann Marie Lonsdale, Director of Programs, at [email protected] or (212) 244-6667 ext. 221.

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