Arts Progress | Arts Administration Resources
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Arts Administration Resources

We have a high degree of respect for arts administrators – without them, artists would have a much harder time with the marketing, fundraising and administrative tasks that need to be done. But we also know that it’s not rocket science – if you want to learn how to do something (and have the time to do it), the library and the web are full of resources to help you on your way. Here are a few favorites to get you started on a home-study course:


General arts management resources

Springboard for the Arts offers many resources for individual artists as well as organizations.

How to Run a Theater: Creating, Leading and Managing Professional Theater by Jim Volz. Guidance in all areas of management, with lots of humor and real-world examples.

Performing Arts Management: A Handbook of Professional Practices by Tobie S. Stein and Jessica Bathurst. More of an encyclopedia than a book, this comprehensive guide covers mission statements, board structure, marketing, fundraising, education, facility management, touring and financial management.

Becoming a nonprofit –Minnesota Council of Nonprofits walks through all the steps involved.



Part 1 – To audiences and communities

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. A refreshing approach to developing and caring for your audience/clients/customers.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott. Overview of many outlets with up-to-date info on Facebook algorithms, current trends and more, updated for 2015.

Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture and Community by Donna Walker-Kuhne. Methods for developing diverse audiences.

PR in Your Pajamas – blog with practical advice on working with the media, writing a successful pitch, social media and more.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk. The best book we’ve found on social media strategy that will help your content rise above the noise.

The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need To Know Before Your Next Interview by Brad Phillips. Great preparation for dealing with the media.

Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message by Steven Fink. What to do when things go wrong…

Part 2 – To colleagues, employers and other humans in your life

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton. Classic guide to navigating difficult situations and arriving at win-win resolutions.

Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro. Another classic – negotiations, whether it’s in a personal, artistic or professional realm, is hard, and knowing how emotions play a role will strengthen your position.


Raising Money

Part 1 – Grants

The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need – great outline of researching grants, writing them, and handling them once you have them.

Minnesota Council on Foundations grant writing tips

And if you’re in Minnesota, serving on grant panels for the Minnesota State Arts Board or your area Regional Arts Council is both an important community service and an invaluable way to improve your own grant-writing skills. If you’re not in Minnesota, contact your local/state arts funding groups and see if they offer similar opportunities.

MRAC and Access Philanthropy offer a free database of Minneapolis-St. Paul arts funders.

Minnesota Grantmakers Online (subscription required; available free at Minneapolis Central Library) is a more complete listing of funders in all subject areas.

Foundation Directory Online (subscription required for detailed data, but there is a free version online and full version is available free at Minneapolis Central Library) National grant listings.

Part 2 – Corporate sponsorships

The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit, Fourth Edition by Kim Skildum-Reid and Anne-Marie Grey. Smart, clear guidance on how sponsorships work, serving the needs of all involved parties.

Part 3 – Individual donors
Yours for the Asking by Reynold Levy. A clear-headed approach, from someone who’s not afraid to ask for money.

Running your company and your life

The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman. Inspirational guide with real-world suggestions how to make your life and your organization heathier.

The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams – On Your Terms by Sara Horowitz. Guidance on contracts, insurance, setting fees, taxes, marketing yourself and much more.

Becoming a nonprofit –Minnesota Council of Nonprofits walks through all the steps involved on a state and federal level

Nolo is a fantastic starting point for legal guidance in many areas applicable to nonprofit artists and arts organizations. Start with:
Nonprofits; Intellectual Property; Starting a business


Don’t want to go it alone? We’ve got your back.