Just as local arts agencies act as voices and conveners for their arts and culture communities, so do local chambers of commerce for their business communities. Partnerships between the two are essential to community and economic development. But where to start?
Americans for the Arts is launching a 101-level, on-demand webinar series titled How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce that aims to flip the conversation away from “business support for the arts” to “how and why the arts are an essential part of business and community development strategies.” The full series will feature on-demand sessions, live conversations where you can bring questions, and a digital toolkit as accompaniment.
The 3-part series is free for Americans for the Arts members ($150 for non-members) and will roll out over the next 12 months. It will be available on ArtsU and is produced by The pARTnership Movement, a program and platform of Americans for the Arts.
Part 1: Local Arts Agencies & Chambers of Commerce — The Very Basics (available now)
Part 1 of this series will establish a foundational knowledge of local chambers of commerce, the networks in which they operate and that serve them, how to navigate a traditional business environment, and basic activations a local arts agency can undertake to establish a partnership. Participants will hear from chamber and arts leaders, gain perspective on chamber priorities and challenges, and learn to identify the various chamber and economic development entities in their communities. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning and participate in a live discussion Wednesday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m. ET with presenters once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series.
Part 2: Connecting Social Impact to Arts and Chambers Partnerships (launching Fall 2021)
Part 2 will use the foundational knowledge and basic activations from the first series to expand participants beyond their role as arts leaders into the role of community and economic development partner. Participants will learn how to identify their own work and assets with their full community and creative ecosystem; begin to leverage new connections and relationships inside the chamber to address social impact and community issues; gain fluency in the Arts & Economic Prosperity studies; and learn how to use other creative economy research to make their case to their chamber and economic development counterparts.
Part 3: Supporting and Advancing Inclusive Creative Economies with Your Chamber of Commerce (launching Spring 2022)
Further building on parts 1 and 2 of the series, participants will consider what they can do in their communities alongside their chambers after building trust and mutual respect. How can local arts leaders navigate policy, politics, resource distribution, access to capital, and economic development opportunities as equal players with their chamber partners? This module also will discuss centering equity and equitable economic development and solidarity economy principals into the chamber space.