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Devos Institute

Heroic Donors

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.15.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

While there certainly is an element of luck involved when searching for these heroic few, the organizations that have built a cadre of dedicated supporters almost always have a few who simply cannot imagine the organization going away and are willing to put their resources where their passion resides.

Teaching Abroad

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.08.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The arts environment is deeply challenging here in the United States, but it is more so in other countries where government funding is falling, sometimes precipitously.

Young Patrons Groups

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.01.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Arts organizations must work tirelessly to engage more and more people, to entice them to attend performances and exhibitions, to make it fun and interesting to become donors and volunteers, and to interest them in a long-term relationship with the organization.

What I Am Giving Thanks for This Year

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.24.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I am grateful to the many patrons who continue to support their favorite arts institutions, especially those who are willing to risk the most when things are at their worst.

A Tale of Two Cities

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.17.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Seattle lost a vital theater company when the Balagan Theatre announced on September 24 that it was permanently suspending operations.

No News Is Bad News

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.10.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I am a voracious consumer of arts news; I read as many news stories, reviews and features as I can in newspapers, websites and other electronic outlets. Yet, as a new arts season has begun, I have been struck by the nature of the arts coverage that I have been reading.

The Planning Committee

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.03.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Developing a potent strategic plan is not easy. Simply survey a large sample of plans for arts organizations, and one will find a bland sameness to mo...

The Search for Continuity

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.27.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

If arts organizations did far more thorough and forward-looking strategic plans, ones that really anticipated the world in which the organization was going to operate, we could provide our artists and donors and board members and audiences the continuity they desire.

City By City: Variations In The Arts Ecology

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.20.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

If the highest quality arts are to be accessible to everyone, after all, some of these regional differences must be eliminated in the coming years.

Needed: Arts Management Mentors

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.14.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

There is a great deal of discussion about the need for building tomorrow's audiences if the arts world is to survive. In response, most arts institutions devote substantial efforts to arts education and audience development programs.

Brava Joan Weill!

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.06.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

An ideal board, of course, requires an ideal chair: someone who has the wisdom and passion and collaborative spirit and leadership skills to run the board and coordinate with the artistic and administrative staff.

Strife (Again) at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.29.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has joined the growing list of arts institutions that have locked out (or threatened to lock out) its artists unless substantial wage concessions can be obtained. In each case, management believes that large deficits will only be erased if costs are reduced substantially.

Crisis in Europe

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.22.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The Concertgebouw is considered by many to be the finest orchestra in the world; Is it really possible that a world treasure will be forced to close? Did anyone see this coming?

In Search of Balance

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.15.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

A few weeks ago, a seasoned arts professional called me "the patron saint of artistic directors." He did not mean it as a compliment.

The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.08.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The major problems facing the arts today are not the lack of great artists but the dearth of sophisticated planning, marketing, fundraising and board development skills.

Settling at the Met

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.02.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Anyone who cares about the arts must be happy that this great institution will open its new season this month. But did the remarkable firestorm surrounding these negotiations do enough to stabilize the Metropolitan Opera?

Farewell to the Kennedy Center

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.25.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

This is my last week as President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It has been a remarkable honor to serve in this position for ...

An Amazing Week

Michael Kaiser | Posted 04.05.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I have grown increasingly nervous about the future of diverse arts institutions in the United States. So many have disappeared, others are facing huge cash problems and most are watching as donors shift their priorities to other interests.

Farewell, Kate Levin

Michael Kaiser | Posted 03.08.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Anyone who cares about the health of the arts sector in New York City must be grateful to Mayor Bloomberg for selecting such a grand champion and empowering her for all of these years.

My Visit to Prague

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.21.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

They all agreed that the most important thing they learned at the Kennedy Center was courage, the courage to ask for money, the courage to embrace a new funding paradigm, the courage to do something different than others in the Czech arts ecology.

What to Do if a Season Is Boring

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.10.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

It is the mark of the well managed institution that it addresses its problems head on, and refocuses the attention of its family members on the exciting programming to come. It is when we ignore our problems that our family members tend to drift away.

My Visit to Pregones Theater

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.13.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

If Pregones Theater can emerge from the current recession far larger and stronger than they entered it, then why can't every arts organization in America?

What a Difference 12 Years Can Make

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.20.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

When I left the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in December 2000, fundraising was still considered something rather distasteful by many in England. Fast forward 12 years.

Our Summer Intensive Fellowship Program

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.22.2012 | Home
Michael Kaiser

We hoped that giving our international students the opportunity to learn basic concepts, return home, get frustrated and return to us for another 'dose' three years in a row may help them have a better chance to experiment and learn and change their organizations.

A Most Unstable Summer

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.24.2011 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Virtually every American arts organization is dealing with the residual effects of several years of deep recession, but many of my international Fellows are dealing with far more difficult and dangerous situations.