Memphis hosts arts professionals at AFTA’s National Arts Marketing Project Conference

By Suzanne Lynch, Director of Marketing and Development –

The TN Arts Commission was so honored to be a sponsor of the 2017 National Arts Marketing Project Conference(NAMPC) that was hosted by ArtsMemphis. The annual conference found itself an ideal home in Memphis whose arts were highly visible not only on the conference stage but everywhere. The conference was held downtown at the Peabody Hotel, a stone’s throw away from Beale Street.

The conference reception was held at the Clayborn Temple, the historic Presbyterian church, which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited on multiple occasions. The Sanitation Workers’ Strike in 1968 served as the Church’s most famous and successful contribution to the legacy of Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement as a whole. It was at Clayborn that the “I Am a Man” Signs were distributed. The Memphis Leadership Foundation won a TN Arts FY18 Creative Placemaking award to install public art as a part of the “I AM A Man” Plaza, a public park area adjacent to Clayborn Temple, commemorating the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike.

The largest gathering of arts marketers in the country, the conference is a critical forum for arts groups to discuss the rapidly changing demographics and behaviors of U.S. consumers, as well as how arts and culture organizations can remain relevant in the era of consumer control. Conference keynotes included a discussion on cultural marketing, secrets to creative fulfillment, and surviving the future. One of my favorite sessions was about creating purpose-driven brands for a better world and a better bottom line, featuring a panel of speakers from ArtsQuest, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company.

NAMPC seemed like the friendliest conference I have ever attended. The staff from Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and ArtsMemphis were amazing — happy, helpful and having fun. It was a great atmosphere and we applaud ArtsMemphis for a job well-done in introducing arts marketers from across the country to the breadth and depth of arts and culture in Memphis.

In case I am not to be believed, here a few words from other TN attendees:

The NAMP Conference was an outstanding opportunity to learn marketing tips from the staffs of our nation’s leading arts organizations. The concept of “branding being more than a logo” really resonated with me. That approach will help guide our organization to build a more comprehensive strategy to communicate all that we do for our community. — Rodney Van Valkenburg, ArtsBuild

The NAMP Conference allowed me to meet other arts marketers working in performing arts centers. We were able to compare notes and talk strategy for marketing specific performers. In the sessions, I learned some helpful stats and techniques to use in Facebook advertising. — Yasmine Omari, Germantown Performing Arts Center

NAMPC was truly a great experience. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase a few of the amazing arts organizations we have in Memphis and it made me so proud to be a part of it. — Julie Goebl, New Ballet