Plenary Session: Richard Evans

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Nova Scotia Ballroom, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel

Following the keynote address, in this interactive session, Richard Evans will build on the ideas and approaches introduced in his keynote presentation. The workshop will engage participants around complex challenges that they share across the presenting field, rather than any theoretical overview of change. Working in small groups, participants will focus on the following topics, bringing their own perspectives to bear:

1. Describing shared challenges, using criteria to identify complex challenges, and determining one high priority challenge to focus on

2. Questioning existing organizational assumptions associated with the selected challenge, and identifying evidence that contradicts those assumptions

3. Developing new directions for future success, on which new strategies can be built

Each step will involve a valuable tool that participants can take home to use with their individual organizations or in their practice. Participants will share their new strategic thinking and explore areas of shared interest in working adaptively toward a thriving future.


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.


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