Keynote address + lunch Speaker: Richard Evans (President, EmcArts)

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Location: Nova Scotia Ballroom, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel

The Real Work – New Practices for a New Era in the Arts

In this time of disruptive change for the arts, there is a convergence of questions across Canada: How are the roles of artists changing? How can we strengthen our impacts in the community, and collaborate with other sectors to achieve this? How ready are we for change? Contributing to our theme, Culture of ConvergenceRichard Evans, President of EmcArts, will present and facilitate a conversation on the importance of addressing adaptive change in this new era for the arts through innovative strategies to create public value and impact in our communities. The conversation will focus on complex challenges and adaptive responses rather than technical fixes, shifting our underlying assumptions, developing new organizational capacities that emphasize innovation and inclusion, and what EmcArts has learned about innovation in the arts.

Richard Evans says: “Behind the ongoing programmatic and financial stresses being felt by arts organizations at a time of economic uncertainty lies a vast territory of change in the arts and culture sector as a whole. A 50-year period of arts development tied primarily to growth in the professional arts infrastructure as the measure of success is giving way to a new phase, which will emphasize active participation in the arts, co-mingling of amateur and professional pursuits, and the integration of creative work with wider community interests. This convergence of factors means practitioners of all stripes unlearning a lot of things we have taken for granted, surfacing new assumptions to drive new thinking, and doing things differently across the board. Organizational innovation is challenging in a resource-strapped sector, but is now essential if field leaders are to successfully re-orient themselves to this new era. Fortunately, innovation can be systematized as a new organizational discipline, one that brings our best thinking together across traditional organizational and sector boundaries, and helps us make competitive use of our creative assets. Engaging the future via new and imaginative responses to the hunger for meaning through the arts, organizations across the United States and Canada are beginning to see that daring to risk a new approach can reveal new pathways to relevance and sustainability.”


Richard Evans

Richard Evans directs EmcArts’ programs and strategic partnerships. Richard’s recent research, program design, and facilitation places particular emphasis on innovation, adaptive organizational change, and effective ways that the arts and culture field can respond to the demands of a new era for the sector.

His studies on innovation and capacity building led to his design for the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts. An expansion of EmcArts’ successful pilot Lab for American orchestras, the Lab launched in Fall 2008. Fall 2011 saw the launch of a second national lab – the Innovation Lab for Museums. Richard also leads the design and implementation of the New Pathways for the Arts Initiative, a series of community-based innovation programs that is active in cities across the country.

Richard is a frequent speaker on the relationship between cultural policy and emerging practices in the arts. His past research and analytical expertise has been published in numerous field studies in the USA and the UK. Richard received his M.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, England. Prior to founding EmcArts, he held numerous senior positions in performing arts management and philanthropy, including co-director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Advancement Program, Chief Executive of the Bath International Festival of Music & the Arts, England, and Vice President of the National Arts Stabilization Fund.


This session will be webcast live in partnership with Max Digital et Sound Systems Plus.

Watch the live webcast


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