Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders Network

Connecting emerging arts managers with skill-building and leadership development resources.

Category Archives: Upcoming Opportunities

Next Pittsburgh Arts Happy Hour: November 28!

Monday, November 28
5-8 pm, drink specials 5-7 pm
Harris Grill, 5747 Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside

Calling all Pittsburgh arts professionals:

On Cyber Monday, can you buy drinks online and enjoy them in the company of like-minded individuals?

We think not.

So come over to the Harris Grill and enjoy 1/2 off drafts, frozen cosmos, and wings, along with FREE, joyous conversation with your fellow artisans. Talk shop, relax, shake off the Thanksgiving stupor, and meet someone new.

All arts and arts interested professionals are welcome!

Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders Steering Committee with special thanks to Harris Grill.


Join us for October’s Creative Conversation

Bonus Features: Thinking Outside the Talkback

Monday, October 17, 6-8pm
City Theater, 1300 Bingham Street, South Side
Register online or call 412.394.3353 ($5 advance/$8 at the door)

A panel discussion & networking event for Pittsburgh’s arts community

In today’s constantly evolving world of technology, social media, and interconnectivity, is it enough just to do art?  What kinds of “added value” activities are organizations in the creative sector implementing to appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy generation?  How do we as artists and arts managers go that extra mile to make our work accessible, engaging, and relevant?  And perhaps most importantly, are our efforts paying off?

Join the Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders (PEAL) network for a Creative Conversation to address these questions! A panel will address the growing trend of “adding value” to traditional arts offerings in order to attract a new generation of audience members.  These “tactics” include games, post-show discussions, multimedia activities, and other experiences that give audience members more of a stake in the work they have come to experience.  The panel will delve into the tough questions about such activities, including their value, effectiveness, and attractiveness to current and potential arts audiences.

Register online or call 412.394.3353 ($5 advance/ $8 at the door). Light refreshments will be served, courtesy of Harris Grill.

About Creative Conversations
Creative Conversations are local gatherings of engaged citizens in communities across the country and are part of a grassroots movement to elevate the profile of arts in America during National Arts & Humanities Month every October. Started in 2004 as a program of The Emerging Leaders Network, Americans for the Arts is now expanding the scope of the event to invite all arts leaders and interested individuals to participate. Some of these local convenings have grown into cohesive, organized emerging leader networks, been the catalyst for the development of community wide cultural plans, and helped to shape local arts advocacy by connecting the cultural sector with the business community and political leadership. This local tool empowers arts administrators to take a leadership role in their own community by both designing programming and galvanizing their peers to connect professionally.

Help Bring the Arts to a Rust Belt Revival Discussion





I’m going to challenge you to go to a conference, right here in your backyard. Hear me out.

It’s easy for “the arts” to get characterized as elitist, sometimes even by well-meaning workers from other parts of the nonprofit sector.  This makes it all the more important for us to roll up our sleeves alongside those who are meeting our region’s challenges, so that we can add the powerful tools of the arts to their good work.

The Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE) is hosting its annual conference in Pittsburgh this week, titled Green-Lightening Neighborhoods. The agenda is packed with times for learning and discussion about how we make our region strong, and it would be incredible to have some Emerging Arts Leaders involved.

For details, visit the conference website.  If you plan to go, let me know!

Kelly Strayhorn Events

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty asked me to pass along some information about an upcoming event, as well as to publicize the great discounts that they provide to PEAL members and artists.

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater will be hosting the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre for performances of “por la blanda arena” on Sept. 9 – 10. For more information on this event, please visit their Facebook announcement at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=268126019882253.
Special discounted ticket offer for PEAL: Tickets are 2 for $10 – order online (enter discount code–PEAL; price name–emerging).

Thank you!

Hey Pittsburgh Arts Professionals,

I wanted to put a rare plug out there for you to consider joining Americans for the Arts, so that you can be a part of the national listserv of people like you around the country.  Below is a post from Stephanie Evans pointing out some helpful things of which you might want to be aware.  She posts this sort of thing quite frequently, and it’s just one example of how plugging in can help you.  Send her a note if you want to join, and she’ll give you details.  You can learn more about their membership on their website.

Hope you are well,


Hi ELs,

Still catching up on news and articles I’ve been holding onto.  Here are a few interesting ones for this week.  Happy reading!

  • David J. Linden (professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) wrote an opinion piece in the NYT, comparing the qualities of a leader with those of an addict.  According to him, when searching for our organization’s next leader, we should “look for someone with an attenuated dopamine function:  someone who is never satisfied with the status quo, someone who wants the feeling of success more than others – but likes it less.”  Why?  Science says so.
  • Carlos Velázquez Acuña wrote a blog piece about joining a board.  He makes some fantastic points, and outlines good questions to ask yourself before you commit to joining.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy released a transcript of a live, online discussion with two experts on nonprofit careers who answered questions about taking the next step in your career, and gives career planning advice.
  • Here are some tips to producing brilliant solutions and encouraging constructive dissent at the work place.
  • I just came across this toolkit the other day, and think  it’s worth sharing nationally – Texas Commission on the Arts has a fantastic online toolkit for Leadership Transitions.
  • Rosetta Thurman shares her process for deciding the next steps in her own career, and through sharing she offers a lovely perspective that I think connects back to why we all entered the nonprofit arts field in the first place – to make change and impact.  Highly recommend reading this one.

Stephanie Evans Hanson
Local Arts Agency Program Coordinator

Americans for the Arts
1000 Vermont Ave., NW — 10th Floor
Washington D.C., 20005
T – 202-371-2830 ext. 2036

Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With more than 50 years of service, it is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

Young Professional Events – Happy Hour, Bach & Brunch, and Theatre!

These upcoming events are brought to you by the New Pittsburgh Collaborative!


Shalom Pittsburgh Summer Happy Hour: Part II

Join Shalom Pittsburgh for a drink and a special raffle at the Summer Happy Hour:  Part II!  Drink specials to be announced.  RSVP appreciated but not required.

When: Thursday, August 4 / 6:00pm
Where: Double Wide Grill (2339 East Carson St, 15203)
Contact: Ann Cloutier / 412.992.5255 / 234 McKee Place, 15213


Shalom Sundays in the Park

Join Shalom Pittsburgh during the summer months for Bach, Beethoven and Brunch in Mellon Park.  We’ll provide a blanket and snacks, but feel free to bring your own!  Meet us near the Bagel Factory table and look for people wearing Shalom Pittsburgh t-shirts!

When: Sunday, August 14 / 10:30am
Where: Mellon Park
Contact: Ann Cloutier / 412.992.5255 / 234 McKee Place, 15213


Preview Party at the Pittsburgh Public Theater

This summer Happy Hour will give you an exclusive sneak peek at our upcoming plays and special events. The Happy Hour includes: A preview of the 2011-2012 line-up with Producing Artistic Director Ted Pappas; One-night only, exclusive savings on season tickets; A chance to win a whole year of Public Theater tickets and pre-show dining at some of the Cultural District’s hottest restaurants.

When: Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:00-8:30pm
Where: O’Reilly Theater, Downtown
Tickets: $10 per guest includes beer, wine, munchies, and musical entertainment.
Purchase tickets by clicking here or call 412.316.1600


New Pittsburgh Collaborative: Where Young Professionals Connect
The New Pittsburgh Collaborative (NPC) is a diverse network of civically-engaged, young-minded organizations that encourages regional progress through sharing information, pooling resources and facilitating dialogue. We connect organizations and their members to each other, to the greater community and to relevant regional development initiatives, while serving as a central point of access and communication to and for young professional Pittsburgh.  Learn more at www.NewPittsburghCollaborative.org

The NPC Announcements are emailed on or near the 1st and 15th of each month.  Submissions are welcome anytime from NPC friends and members, and are due to npcannounce@gmail.com by 5 days before the blast for inclusion. (Don’t wait for the request!) 

We hope to see you at an event soon!

Let’s Talk About Some New Ideas

Last week, the national Emerging Leaders network hosted a Blog Salon designed to bring out some of the great things your arts management peers have been doing around the country. These posts will make you think…and probably make you laugh.  It’s really important that we, as Pittsburghers, have our finger on the pulse of the national conversation. So please set aside some time right now to read a few of these posts.

I’d love to get together with any of you and talk about these ideas, too!  I’m planning to hang out at the Crazy Mocha in the Cultural District on Thursday, August 18 at 8 am to talk with anyone who wants to discuss this stuff.  Please RSVP to let me know if you’re coming.

Robbie Q. Telfer, one of several bloggers for the salon


Announcing the Fall 2011 Createquity Writing Fellowship

Hey PEALs, thought some of you might be interested in this opportunity.  Check it out:

Createquity.com, a blog and unique virtual think tank promoting next-generation ideas about the role of the arts in a creative society, is seeking talented arts policy writers and researchers for the second semi-annual Createquity Writing Fellowship. Createquity was founded by Fractured Atlas Research Director Ian David Moss when he was a first-year business school student in October 2007, and now reaches more than 1500 regular readers around the world via email, RSS, and web. Createquity has received significant acclaim for its “lively” and “must-read” commentary on topics including arts policy, arts philanthropy, urban planning, economics, leadership, and research, and is consistently ranked among the top arts blogs by third-party websites. The inaugural Createquity Writing Fellowship took place in spring 2011 and generated 13 articles by three authors, including several that attracted national attention and became among the website’s most-visited posts of all time.

Createquity Writing Fellows will hold the position for a five-month term, at the successful conclusion of which they will be welcome to continue writing for the site on an ad hoc basis. Fellows are expected to write two to three larger pieces and approximately two to five smaller pieces* during the course of their term. One of the larger pieces must be a write-up for the Arts Policy Library, a project that synthesizes important arts publications (research studies, books, etc.) for a lay audience.

Article topics may be proposed by the Fellow or assigned. Each Fellow is encouraged to specify one or more areas of interest that he or she would like to pursue during the semester. A few examples of the many possible “beats” Fellows might choose to take on include:

  • State and local arts policy and advocacy
  • Cultural policy outside of the United States
  • “Under the radar” arts activity (e.g., amateur performance, street art, busking)
  • Arts education research or policy
  • Technology and arts policy (e.g., cultural mapping, data standards, etc.)
  • Measurement and metrics in the arts
  • Intersection of the arts with another, specific discipline (e.g., cognitive science, community organizing, economics)

If Fellows have an existing blog, cross-posting content generated for Createquity is allowed and encouraged. Fellows will receive significant exposure to the Createquity readership community, which includes officials at most major national arts foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, Grantmakers in the Arts, and locally-focused arts councils and organizations all across the country, as well as many of the field’s top researchers and consultants. Furthermore, Fellows may interact directly with top leaders in the field in the course of specific writing assignments. Opportunities will be sought out to promote the Fellows and their work as appropriate during the Fellowship term.

* “Larger” pieces are defined here as 1500+ words in length; “smaller” pieces are up to 800 words. Word counts are approximate and should be treated as guidelines rather than strict maximums or minimums.

Application Process and Criteria for Selection
Createquity Writing Fellows must possess outstanding writing and keen critical thinking capabilities, and be comfortable working remotely in a collaborative environment. A basic background in statistics and social science research methods is helpful, but not required.

Application is a two-step process, beginning with the submission of a 250-word statement of interest. A group of 8-10 finalists will be chosen from among the initial pool of applicants and asked to submit a full set of application materials including writing samples. It is estimated that between two and four Fellows will be chosen for the fall 2011 term.

Here is how to apply:

  1. First, familiarize yourself with the Createquity website and past articles if you have not already done so. In particular, read selections from the Arts Policy Library and articles written by previous Createquity Writing Fellows.
  2. Then, submit a brief (approx. 250-word) statement of interest tofellowship@createquity.com by 12pm EDT on August 5, 2011. Your statement should address why you are interested in this opportunity and in what area(s)  you’d like to specialize.

Applicants will be notified of their status by August 12, 2011. Applicants selected as finalists will be sent further instructions (which may include a short original writing assignment) at that time. Fellowships begin September 1, 2011 and will last until January 31, 2012. Feedback on unsuccessful full applications will be provided upon request.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Createquity Writing Fellowship
(from editor Ian David Moss)

Q: What is the time commitment for the Createquity Writing Fellowship?
A: The Createquity Writing Fellowship is designed to carry a time commitment roughly equivalent to that of a graduate-school class. Based on the experience of past Fellows,you should expect to spend an average of between 4-8 hours per week reading, researching, writing, editing, and posting articles, and in conversation with your fellow writers.

Q: Who should apply to the Createquity Writing Fellowship?
A: While the Fellowship is open to all, emerging leaders (including students) are particularly encouraged to apply. This opportunity will be especially attractive to anyone who is currently or will soon be looking for a job/contract work in arts policy, philanthropy, research, or consulting.

Q: I’m from outside the United States. Am I eligible to apply?
A: Yes! Just keep in mind that Createquity’s audience is primarily American, so you will need to focus your writing in a way that will be relevant to readers Stateside (e.g., take the time to explain details of how arts policy or funding works in your country that may seem obvious to you).

Q: Is this a paid opportunity?
A: As Createquity is not currently a revenue-generating operation, there is no financial compensation offered with the Fellowship. Fellows receive a robust set of nonfinancial benefits from participation, however, including high-impact exposure to industry leaders, extensive mentorship and writing help, and access to a growing network of collaborators who are part of the Createquity “family.” School credit (for internships) is available on request.

Q: What is the editorial process for publishing articles on Createquity?
As a Fellow, you will work closely with me (Ian) and can expect to receive significant editorial guidance on the content, structure, and prose of your pieces. I will not ask you to change your opinions, but I will challenge you to articulate your arguments clearly and expect you to offer compelling justifications for them. In addition, I will work with you to eliminate imprecise language and other common writing pitfalls from your prose, hopefully for good. It is not uncommon for articles to go through several drafts before they finally appear on Createquity.

Q: What are some tips for crafting a successful statement of interest?
A: The main purpose of the statement of interest is to give me a sense of your writing style and skills. The two qualities I value most highly in your writing are clarity and personality. So even though it’s only 250 words, put some time into communicating your thoughts and make sure there are no typos. Second, be as specific as possible when stating your interests. You can even go so far as proposing an article topic or two if you feel comfortable doing so. Finally, keep it short, but don’t be a slave to the word count. If you need 230 or 270 words to present your best case, so be it – just don’t send me pages and pages.

About Ian David Moss
As Research Director for Fractured Atlas, Ian David Moss helps institutional funders, government agencies, and others support the field more effectively by harnessing the power of data to drive informed decision-making. Ian designed and leads implementation of Fractured Atlas’s pioneering cultural asset mapping software, Archipelago, which aggregates and visualizes information about creative activities in a particular geography in order to better illuminate who’s making art, who’s engaging with it, where it’s happening, and how it’s made possible. A composer and choral singer, he founded two first-of-their-kind performing ensembles in New York City: a hybrid electric chamber ensemble/experimental rock band that commissioned works by classical composers for rock instruments (Capital M), and a choral collective dedicated to the music of living composers (C4). Ian is a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council and was recently named one of the nonprofit arts sector’s top 25 “most powerful and influential leaders” by arts consultant and blogger Barry Hessenius. He holds a BA and an MBA from Yale University.

Welcome aboard to our new Steering Committee members

Hello fellow Emerging Arts Leaders —

We interrupt your post-July 4 recovery to introduce ourselves, Sloan MacRae and Corinne Neal, your new Co-Chairs of the PEAL Steering Committee.

Please join us in welcoming our new Steering Committee members:

New members, thanks in advance for your work and guidance as we continue to connect Pittsburgh’s arts leaders to the resources and people they need to keep our cultural workforce thriving.

Please join us in thanking former Co-Chairs Dano Casto and Rebecca Himberger. We’ll do our best, but rest assured that your shoes are intimidating to fill.  We’re grateful for your leadership and diligence.

We must also bid farewell to the Steering Committee members whose terms came to an end this year — Jennifer Atwood, Lauren Bracey, Jara Dorsey, Adam Kenney, and Ellie Pfeuffer. Thanks for your hard work and creativity. Hope we’ll see you soon!

Enjoy your summer — and stay tuned for updates.

– Sloan and Corinne

Ever wonder how your Social Media strategies measure up?

Have you spent countless hours uploading photos to Flickr/designing Facebook ads/tweeting about what your ED had for lunch/moderating the unsavory comments posted to your blog? Do you ever wonder how all your efforts measure up with like-sized organizations around the country? Or maybe you secretly want to know a little bit more about TED and their social media efforts.

If any of the above cases describes you, Social media researcher Devon Smith and Theatre Bay Area have produced The Tangled Web: Social Media and the Arts, a 30-page social media benchmarking report, just to let you know where your organization stands in the Social Media Hierarchy.

In it you can find how many followers each org has, if they tweet and are retweeted (and the frequency of both) and so much more.

It’s really interesting – so get comfortable and get ready to be jealous of how many fans TED has on Facebook.

Here’s the full report:


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