SAN JOSE SELECTED AS KEY CITY FOR INNOVATIVE ARTS ORGANIZATION TRAINING PROGRAM

New Pathway for the Arts bridges entrepreneur and creative spirit for arts and culture organizations

SAN JOSE, CALIF., Feb. 8, 2011—The City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of the San Jose Office of Economic Development, announced today that San Jose has been selected to participate in the New Pathways for the Arts initiative, directed by EmcArts, a not-for-profit provider of innovation services for the arts sector.  San Jose competed against cities across the United States, and was successful based on its signs of readiness, proclivity towards innovation, and robust cultural sector.

By focusing on innovative responses to major challenges and opportunities, New Pathways for the Arts aims to directly impact the future health and public value of participating not-for-profit arts and culture organizations across the country, significantly assisting organizations in enhancing their ability to realize their artistic and public service goals.

“This is an important and timely opportunity as San Jose arts organizations are facing the challenges of the changing landscape,” said San Jose Cultural Affairs Director Kerry Adams Hapner. “New Pathways ties directly into our new cultural plan, Cultural Connection, and to the City’s Economic Development Strategy.  Through this facilitated innovation training, our arts and culture sector will ignite new ideas and put them into action.”

Richard Evans, President of EmcArts, said, “The organizations that continue to thrive in the future will be those that increase their emphasis on innovation, showing that they are creatively adaptive in their thinking and nimble in their response to change. This means planning for the near-term future with a firm commitment to innovation as the means of securing a sustainable future, and building value in the community.”

Designed and led by EmcArts, New Pathways features two complementary and simultaneous components:

1.   A series of three Community Convenings for cross-functional teams (management & artistic staff and a board leader) from up to 20 arts organizations, and

2.    An intensive Core Program for a cohort of three organizations—an in-depth intervention around innovation to develop and test breakthrough strategies.  The Core Program participants will receive risk capital grants of up to $10,000 to test promising new concepts.

Selection for the program will be by a short application from a field of San Jose’s leading professionally-managed arts organizations that have demonstrated strong, adaptive leadership and an appetite for organizational learning.

New Pathways is now being implemented through locally tailored programs in New Haven, CT, Denver, CO, and New York City, NY.  San Jose was selected, along with Saint Louis, Missouri, after a national competition to be the next cities to implement this initiative.  “San Jose was selected because of the richness and diversity of the City’s leading arts organizations, and the freshness of approach being taken to the challenge of developing a strong local following for the arts,” said Richard Evans, President of EmcArts.  “In the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs we also have an energetic partner, committed to purposeful innovation in building public value and strengthening the local economy through the arts.”

New Pathways | San Jose is supported in part by generous grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

About EmcArts
Recognized as the leading not-for-profit provider of innovation services to the arts sector nationwide, EmcArts (www.EmcArts.org) serves as an intermediary for arts funders and as a re-granting agency and service organization for the arts field around innovation.  Our innovation programs support the development and implementation of mission-centered new strategies by arts organizations of all sizes.  The programs range from directly incubating specific innovation projects to introductory programs that enable new thinking and build a culture of innovation across local arts communities.  EmcArts is a 501(c)(3) organization.

About the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs
The Office of Cultural Affairs is part of the City’s Office of Economic Development. Together, they foster cultural and economic development as related strategies for building San Jose as the creative center of Silicon Valley. The Office of Cultural Affairs coordinates services for outdoor events and festivals, offers financial support for arts and culture providers, supports arts education, and leads the development of public art works throughout the city.

About the San Jose’s Office Of Economic Development
The City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development (OED), part of the San Jose Office of the City Manager, is committed to a vital, competitive San Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances City revenues.  The Office—which includes the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs—guides the City’s economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, please visit, www.sjeconomy.com.

About The City Of San Jose
From its founding in 1777 as California’s first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world’s leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live.  For more information, visit, www.sanjoseca.gov.

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