NAMPC Reflection Series—Market Your Arts Nonprofit

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From Grace Robinson, Public Information and Research Coordinator —

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the National Arts Marketing Project Conference—NAMPC, hosted annually by Americans for the Arts. With the theme “Lift Off,” the energy humming throughout every keynote presentation, breakout session, networking conversation and coffee break was thick with the passion to truly lift the arts across America.

As it was my first NAMP Conference, I attended the NAMP Newbie Meet Up first thing Saturday morning. This session was short but interlaced with a welcome from AFTA President Robert Lynch, icebreakers, brainstorming and breakfast. We discussed and illustrated what the theme “Lift Off” meant to the conference and to the arts.

Our illustration in the works
Our illustration in the works

The group I was in drew a book to represent knowledge, open with pages turning to signify the past, present and future. Coming from the book were pictorial symbols for each of the artistic disciplines, showing how the arts are lifted from knowledge and experience. But take a step back from these images and you will see that the symbols are actually formed like icons and are living on the screen of a smart phone. This depicted the current innovations of how we are able to lift the arts and share them with others. See the hand holding the phone? The finished drawing was shaded to represent who is doing the sharing—everyone.

The versatility of the theme “Lift Off” is probably the best part about it. There is no one way to look at it, just as there is no one way to look at the arts. Just as there is no one way to disseminate information.

What we want to do — Lift the arts to the forefront of American life, culture and economy.

What do we want to lift them as — An avenue for education, economic growth and increased quality of life; a tool for social change, community pride and cohesion;  and for the promotion and celebration of diversity and inclusion. And, of course, as an expression of the human experience that can be related with on an emotional level for both pleasure and understanding.

How will we accomplish this movement — By marketing the arts not only for what they can do for us and the benefits, but for what they are fundamentally by the characteristics of each area.

The conference hosted three keynotes and numerous breakout sessions. Among other activities, I attended:

  • Opening Keynote with Jad Abumrad
  • New Content Models for a New Marketing Landscape
  • NAMP Ignite
  • The Social Media Power Hour
  • Disruption: Get Over Yourself
  • Click. Click. Done. Developing Your Google Analytics Skills
  • Community Forum: Your Audience Doesn’t Have an Age
  • Keynote Luncheon with Donna Walker-Kuhne
  • Curating Social Media Engagement with Social Design
  • Low Cost, High Impact Marketing: Making a Splash with a Small Budget and a Tiny Team
  • Closing Keynote with Beth Kanter

Over the next few weeks, I plan to break down some of the ideas, lessons and best practices that were discussed at NAMPC and share them here. Let’s see how together we can cultivate the arts in Tennessee and lift them to the national stage.

Click here to read Part 1—Walking the Gap