Fargo Moorhead Peer Learning Community

This cohort brought together 13 arts organizations from throughout the Fargo, North Dakota/Moorhead, Minnesota marketplace. 52 individuals gathered over the 5 retreats in 2015, including artists, administrators and board members.

In addition to the 5 retreats, 7 webinars were held on topics related to building healthy management practices. All participating organizations also crafted their own healthy business model, and a strategy roadmap, which was shared in the final session.

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Retreat sessions revolved around the ArtsLab healthy business model, exploring topics related to

  • the development and nurture of relationships within the organization’s marketplace—response to the question, "Who are the people and groups for whom we are creating value?"
  • the development of artistic mission and programs in response to community—response to the question, "What value do we provide to our community?"
  • exploration of infrastructure and the ability to generate resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.
  • probing leadership and governance culture, building a healthy staff/board culture to guide the organization.

Feedback from participants

As is so frequently the case, participants reflected in their evaluations "We realize the need to create this type of ‘time away’ on a regular basis to focus our attention toward goals and progress toward plans."

It was frequently commented that, "this works so well with multiple members of the team and the board present. Turning theory to practice is hard to do solo."

What we refer to in ArtsLab as the "elegant simplicity" of our model was again validated in this cohort: "A board member who is a writer looked at the Strategic Direction for us and said ‘Wow, this is wonderful.’ I agree. What a great tool."

"This was a great opportunity—I’d love to hand on to this community as a driver to grow/develop together in support of arts and nonprofits."