In-Conference Workshops & Panels

WAA’s workshops and panels - included in the price of registration - address the issues of the day with sessions taught by leaders in the field on subjects that range from building core knowledge to finding new approaches, techniques, and tactics. Through these workshops, forums, panels, speakers, publications, and mentoring, WAA seeks to strengthen your ability to fulfill your organization’s mission, accomplish goals, and advance your career. 

All sessions take place Thursday, September 4, 2:30 - 4:00 pm. 


The Art of "Big Data:" Leveraging Resources for Long-Term Sustainability 

Thursday, September 4 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm 
Kirkland Room, Union Street Tower, 3rd Floor

Over the past decade, industries in all sectors have experienced an explosion of “big data.” In the arts, we are learning more about leveraging available information to externally frame our value and make programmatic and funding decisions. Sustain Arts, a project of Harvard University, in partnership with The Foundation Center and Fractured Atlas, helps the arts and culture sector seize the potential of data visualization to advance the field and support sector-wide sustainability. Participants will engage with different scenarios in arts and culture for data-driven decision-making, and learn how the outcomes of this work will increase organizational effectiveness and adaptability.

Claire Rice, Deputy Director / Harvard University’s Sustain Arts Project
Marc Vogl, Field Director-Bay Area / Sustain Arts & Nonprofit Consultant, San Francisco

Sustain Arts equips communities with meaningful data about cultural activity, addressing the critical questions: What arts and cultural organizations exist in a region and where are they? Who participates in them? And where does the money come from? Organizations, artists, private foundations, and public agencies access this information through the Sustain Arts online platform. By combining innovative technology and on-the-ground capacity building, the project equips arts and cultural stakeholders with resources to make data-driven decisions, create strategic collaborations, and engage more effectively with communities. This hands-on session at WAA will dive deeply into the Sustain Arts resources, engaging participants in conversation about various national information assets available to the presenting field and how data can support day-to-day work in the performing arts. 


IN PURSUIT OF BALANCE: The Arts Professional’s Dilemma

Thursday, September 4 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Greenwood Room, Union Street Tower, 3rd Floor

In the field of Entertainment it is easy to feel overwhelmed by contracts, deadlines, and budgets. It seems to never end. It appears the only solution is to get out entirely and embrace the 9 to 5 world. But is that who we are? Is there a way to balance everyday life with the high pressure demands of presenting and artist(s) management? Have others in this industry found the secret to work/life balance or is burn out inevitable?  . . .and am I the only one who hasn’t discovered the trick? Come and share a moment with those who understand your challenges. There is security in numbers.

Ernest A. Figueroa, Producer / The Broad Stage, Santa Monica


Making Artistic Cents V:  I Thought We Had a Deal

Thursday, September 4 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Union Street Tower, 3rd Floor

This session will explore the best practices of getting to a “yes”, between presenters and agents/artists, by navigating expectations and overcoming potential obstacles and/or misunderstandings that may arise during the negotiation process. Contracting concepts such as placing holds, what constitutes offer and acceptance, offer expiration, key personnel, funding contingencies, and various deal types will be explored by our expert panel. Presented by NAPAMA. 

Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director / Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, Vancouver
Todd Walker, Agent / Windish Agency, Chicago
Renae Williams Niles, Vice President – Programming / The Music Center, Los Angeles
Mike Green, Owner / Mike Green & Associates, Ann Arbor


Programming New Work -- a Curator's Guide to the Arts and Audiences

Thursday, September 4 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Ravenna AB, Union Street Tower, 3rd Floor

Programming a season or festival is a painstaking process of exploration, investigation, assessment, reflection, intuition, chance, and choice. Take a peek behind the curtain, with Angela, Lane, and Norman, three friends and colleagues who live and work within 300 miles of one another. What is their practice for developing new work, finding original voices, and managing risk? When or how does one decide to collaborate or co-commission? Given their proximity, does the work of one influence another? 

How can we move away from "my audience isn't interested in new work" and apply our curatorial skills to developing the audiences along with the art. The panel navigates the essentials of artistic direction to reveal the global – how thoughtful process, relationships, values, and vision can strengthen programming and engage audiences. 

Norman Armour, Artistic Director / PuSh Festival, Vancouver, BC
Lane Czaplinski, Artist Director / On the Boards, Seattle
Angela Mattox, Artistic Director / Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland
Moderator: Michael Mushalla, President / Double M Arts & Events, St John, VI


Turn it Up! Turn it Down! Balancing Volume for Artists, Engineers & Audiences

Thursday, September 4 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Ravenna C, Union Street Tower, 3rd Floor

When it comes to volume, everybody wants to be heard. Some audiences like it loud. Others demand things dialed down. Performers consider it as much a part of their art as pitch or tempo, while sound engineers say controlling it is most important thing they do. How does one reconcile health and safety, artistic license, and the hall’s acoustic properties? And who’s in charge? Our expert panel explores the issues, dilemmas, and common ground for presenters, performers, crew, and audience. Will our panel find the sweet spot? Who knows, but this could get loud.

Mark Anderson, Audio Manager / Benaroya Hall, Seattle 
Claudia Engelhart, Sound Engineer & Tour Manager / Bill Frisell, New York
Jeremy Ganter, Associate Executive Director & Director of Programming / Mondavi Center - UC Davis
Moderator: John Gilbreath, Executive Director / Earshot Jazz, Seattle