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State Arts Conference Welcome-"The Arts for a Changing Time"

Arts South Dakota
Event organized by Arts South Dakota

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What does a successful arts organization look like in 2018? With changing demographics, the impact of technology and younger generations seeking more hands-on involvement, how are we planning, operating and programming for the future? Past CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national arts funders association, and South Dakota arts leader, Janet Brown, will speak on the trends and realities of today’s nonprofit arts sector: engaging community, supporting artists and strengthening organizations.

“Today’s environment has challenged the arts sector to make some interesting choices,” stated Brown. “The structures and programs of the past forty years may not be effective any longer due to growing competition for people’s time and entertainment dollars, and generational trends and changing demographics.”

Janet Brown recently retired as president & CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a position she held for nine years. During her tenure, GIA increased its programming, membership and visibility as a philanthropic association. Under Janet’s leadership, GIA became nationally recognized for its bold racial equity in arts philanthropy work and its focus on the financial health of the nonprofit art sector.

Prior to her role at Grantmakers in the Arts, she was an adjunct faculty member at Goucher College, Baltimore, MD teaching Public Policy and the Arts and Chair of Performing and Visual Arts at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. She began her arts management career in theatre where her work included Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and national and European theatrical tours. She began her theatre career as an actress at the Black Hills Playhouse and was co-owner of the Deadwood Production Company for ten years.

A registered lobbyist for 15 years, Janet was executive director of South Dakotans for the Arts, a statewide service, education and advocacy organization. Janet received numerous awards for arts advocacy including the Selena Roberts Ottum Award from Americans for the Arts, Washington, DC, and the Robert Gard Award from the University of Massachusetts Arts Extension Service (AES), Amherst. She's served on many local and national boards of directors including Americans for the Arts and the American Folklife Center and has been a panelist and site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, numerous state arts agencies and private foundations. She has an undergraduate degree in Theatre and a Masters in Public Administration.