Notes from CAPACOA conference

Here is a selection of notes and links to some of the sessions SPARC’s Network Coordinator, Elisha Barlow, attended at the 2015 CAPACOA conference.

Dance Mapping by the Canada Council

Elisha attended an update session on the current Dance Mapping project by the Canada Council. This is an ongoing inventory of member-based dance associations across Canada. Soon, the public will be able to also add themselves and their organizations to the map but can currently request to be added. The report on the Survey #YesIDance is now available.

Data Convergence 

Elisha attended this panel on data collection and how it can be used in the Arts. Of particular interest was the panelist from Arts Boston who spoke about their program The Arts Factor which uses research data to demonstrate the positive impact that the arts and cultural sector have on the community of Greater Boston. While unfortunately, not all of the same information (different privacy laws) may be available in Canada, it was a strong example of how collecting arts data can have a significant positive impact on arts organizations as well as strongly supporting sharing and collaboration within the sector (and beyond). It also underscore a recurring topic at the CAPACOA conference surrounding evidence vs. anecdotes (and when questionable evidence becomes an assumption for reality).

Data costs are quite variable (can be inexpensive or not, depends on how it is available/generated). Ownership of data was also discussed – for example, if your organization wants to receive details from your ticket vendor about ticket purchasers, to start assessing who is attending/how often/which shows, generally purchasers will need to be asked for consent and the contract should specify who owns the data (your organization or the ticket company).

Keynote with Richard Evans, EmcArts

Richard Evans was the conference’s keynote speaker – he presented and then followed up with a group activity to expand upon his presentation. He spoke to organizational innovation in this disruptive time and that what was needed was boldness and innovation. He was quite inspiring and the ability to dive deep into his ideas through group discussion was an added benefit. See his entire presentation here. You can also check out ArtsFwd, an EmcArts initiative, for art and cultural leaders online community sharing innovations in the sector.

Digitizing the Performing Arts with Inga Petri

SPARC attended the session on Digitizing the Performing Arts with Inga Petri, a face familiar to those who have attended the SPARC Symposium and/or Network Summit! It was provocative, and raised a lot of discussion. You can watch the presentation here.

Random quotes

“A rising tide raises all boats.”

“Artists are great problem solvers.” & “Organizations should operate more like artists.”

“Music makes babies cuter and chocolate sweeter” – Natalie McMaster (who was the best)

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