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  • Location: DePaul University | 1 E Jackson Blvd, 8th Floor | Chicago | 60604

Activating Heritage Engaging Chicago with the World

The Chicago Cultural Alliance is pleased to present 2016 Activating Heritage Conference, one-day professional development conference for the Alliance members, partners, and nonprofit professionals. Breakfast and lunch will be provided; a reception will follow the presentations at 5 p.m. Please register below for the conference to guarantee admission. Last year’s conference was sold out.

Please scroll past session descriptions for the registration form.

The Conference offers 4 distinct learning tracks as a suggestion on how to productively spend the conference: One Person Fundraising Team, Creative Interpretation for Today’s Audiences, Turning the Museum & Cultural Center Inside/Out, and Entrepreneurship & Technology.

Registration deadline is Friday, November 4th!

On the day of the conference, you may select one track or mix and match workshops across different tracks.  Click on the different links below to find out more about the workshops and panels included in your registration. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to register over the phone at (312) 846-6814.

Keynote Speaker

tracie hallTracie D. Hall is incoming Director of the Culture Program at the Joyce Foundation. She was most recently the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) for the City of Chicago where she oversaw the Arts and Creative Industries Division which included the Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music Industry, and Farmers Market programs, as well as the Chicago Film Office, Chicago Artists Month and Lake FX Summit and Expo.

Prior to her work at DCASE, Hall served as Vice President of Strategy and Organization Development at Queens Library in New York City, one of the nation’s busiest libraries; at Boeing Company’s Global Corporate Citizenship Division where she worked as community investment strategist for 9 US and 16 non-US sites and later as Chicago Community Investor; as Assistant Dean of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science; as Director of the Office for Diversity at the American Library Association; as visiting professor at Catholic, Southern Connecticut State, and Wesleyan Universities and in non-profit and public sector posts across the country.

Deeply invested in the intersection of arts access, literacy, youth and economic development, Hall led the organization and founding of the NYC Early Learning Network; developed the Seattle-based SCRIBES program, which has become a long-running youth creative writing initiative; conceived and curated the NEH-funded Festival of Caribbean Literature with the Connecticut Center for the Book at Hartford Public Library; and served as author and principal investigator on three milestone Institute of Museum and Library Science (IMLS) grants and a new NEA grant to create an incubator residency program at the Chicago Cultural Center for promising, local arts organizations.

Born and raised in and near South Los Angeles, Hall is a published poet, fiction writer, playwright and Founding Curator of new Chicago experimental arts space, Rootwork Gallery. A recipient of various awards for her creative and community work, Hall holds degrees from the University of California, Yale University and the University of Washington and continues to make time to serve on various non-profit boards and committees.


The One-Person Development Team

Speakers: April Arnold, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Northern Illinois University Foundation; Jennifer Van Valkenburg, Vice President of Development, Openlands; Erin Meyer, Annual Giving Director, The Field Museum (moderator)

Facing the world of fundraising all by yourself? You are not alone! Learn to establish priorities among individual, corporate, foundation, and government funding sources when time, resources, and staff are scarce. Discover how you can efficiently track and communicate with potential donors. Our panelists have extensive experience in organizations both big and small to share.

Giving for a Cause: How to Tell Your Fundraising Story

Speakers: Janet Grogan, Vice President of Membership, Annual Fund and Constituent Services, Shedd Aquarium 

You know why you love your organization. You know why others love it too. Now how do you convince someone who has never heard of you to love the organization too? Learn how to turn craft the stories around your cause into successful direct mail appeals, email campaigns, testimonials for your website, and more. Hear how to parse out the perspective and voice that will resonate most with new audiences.

Grant Seeking in a Cultural Organization

Speakers: Stephanie Kimmel, Director of Corporate and Foundation Giving, The Field Museum

Stephanie Kimmel, Director of Corporate and Foundation Giving at The Field Museum will give an overview of foundation grant seeking for cultural organizations. Learn the best strategies for researching private foundations, writing proposals and crafting budgets. Discover how managing relationships is key to your success. 

Crucial Conversations: Working with History to Illuminate Today

Speakers: Kamilah Rashied, Assistant Director of Community Programs, The Art Institute; and Ryan Yokota, Legacy Center Manager, Japanese American Service Committee

History is complex with multiple perspectives yet not all views on a historical event are given priority suppressing some voices while giving priority to others. History comes in layers especially in context of traumatic historical events. Hear from about practical strategies how your organization can create public programs on difficult or controversial topics.

Storytelling Made Easy: Audio Tours via iziTRAVEL Workshop

Speakers: Peter Vega, Head of Business Development, iziTRAVEL

Learn how your organization can create an audio tour of your museum or neighborhood for free or at a low cost complete with a studio recording and editing support.  iziTRAVEL is a free audio  tour platform originating in Europe and now growing in the U.S. The mission of iziTRAVEL is to help organizations in the culture, heritage and tourism sectors bring their stories to life by creating access to exploring museums and cities for visitors and travelers alike.

Collections and Creative Partnerships: Lessons from the Field Workshop

Speakers: Alaka Wali, Curator of North American Anthropology, The Field Museum; Soo Lon Moy, President, Chinese-American Museum of Chicago; Irene Falconer, Volunteer Museum Collections Manager, Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago

Collections can take on interesting and illuminating life through creative interpretation. In this workshop you’ll learn lessons in the field both from small and large projects that invited new perspectives, people and events to bring new life to objects.

Turning the Museum Inside Out: Programming in New (Public) Spaces

Speakers: Uday Joshi, Director of Engagement and Innovation, Old Town School of Folk Music

Sometimes the best engagement you can do to build relationships with audience is meet them where they are, and that may not always be IN your museum or center! Learn strategies to engage community in fun, interactive and innovative ways with Director of Engagement and Innovation at the Old Town School of Folk Music, fellow at the Kennedy Center, Uday Joshi.

Voices of the Future: Engaging Youth as Authors in Heritage and Culture

Speakers: Jillian Gryzlak, Program Specialist, After School Matters

Engaging youth is not just about investing in our future, but giving voice to our present. This session is designed to engage organizations who are interested starting youth programs or have programs they want to build upon to utilize citywide initiatives like After School Matters, a program that pairs youth to organizations to create paid skill and job training for middle school and high school students. Hear from ASM program managers as well as CCA members who have successfully built programs from the ground up and learn how to build your own youth authored program or event at your museum or center.

Museums & Cultural Centers as Community Conveners: Working with Civic and Community Leaders

Speakers: Lori Baptiste, University of Illinois at Chicago African-American Cultural Center; Karin Moen Abercrombie, Swedish American Museum; Joseph Podlasek, Trickster Art Gallery

Museums and Cultural Centers today are increasingly opening their doors to outside community and cultural groups to activate their spaces for meetings, programs and/or rehearsals – sometimes even providing another source of revenue for them. But the benefits extend far beyond revenue support to becoming a central place for your community members to feel welcome in their neighborhood and becoming regular patrons to your programs and exhibits. Learn how to engage your local alderman, state representative, chambers of commerce, community groups and more with this engaging workshop.

Where’s the Funding? Where are the Audiences? – Free and Easy Data for the Chicago Cultural Community

Speakers: Claire Rice, Consultant, SustainArts

Introducing Sustain Arts/Chicagoland, a free online resource for cultural workers, funders, and all those who care about arts and culture in Chicago!

Sustain Arts National Director, Claire Rice, will introduce a new online tool tailored to meet the needs of the Chicagoland arts community across 7 counties (Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, DuPage, Will, and Lake). The Sustain Arts interactive web platform, which will launch publicly in late November, brings together an extraordinary universe of data on arts funding and audience participation in both for-profit and nonprofit arts activity across a wide range of disciplines. All resources are free and easy-to-use. Claire will discuss the history of the project, its potential to create a more vibrant and sustainable Chicago arts sector, and show attendees how they can use Sustain Arts resources to: 1) Track funding connections between grantmakers and grantees, 2) Locate participants in various disciplines across 7 counties, and view participation statistics by zip-code, 3) Search arts organizations and filter results by geography, discipline, and budget size, 4) Find partners and collaborators with advanced search features that identify like and nearby organizations

Free Internet Tools for Entrepreneurial Management Styles

Speakers: Jessica B. Rivas, Adjunct Professor, DePaul University, and Sustainability Consultant; Levi Baer, Adjunct Professor, DePaul University, and Entrepreneur; Patrick J. Murphy, Professor, DePaul University, and Board President, Chicago Cultural Alliance (moderator)

Learning online tools and whether they can actually work for your organization takes time and money. In this workshop, learn from professionals who have successfully used simple and free Google and other online-based tools successfully.  Get insights into how to transform your organization and manage more efficiently and effectively for no cost. 

Entrepreneurial Team Building

Speakers: Rajiv Nathan, Founder, RajNATION Innovation; Jessica Rosas, Creative Engineer, Idea Lemon; Martin McGovern, Digital Marketing Consultant, Idea Lemon; Patrick J. Murphy, Professor, DePaul University, and Board President, Chicago Cultural Alliance (moderator)

Team building activities are sometimes a bit boring, and not often seen as effective uses of time.  However, research shows that team building is the best way to engage and transform teams when it is effective. In this session, learn some radically innovative and fun team building techniques from some entrepreneurs who do it for a living.



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