In this podcast interview, guest Karen Gahl-Mills of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture returns to discuss current and emerging risks facing arts nonprofits across the nation. She emphasizes the need for arts organizations to demonstrate their continuing relevance to their target communities, addresses the pervasive culture of scarcity in arts organizations, and notes how the emerging “maker” movement and shifts in donor demographics present both opportunities and threats to the arts. Questions we discuss include the following:
We’ve talked off-line about what you’d be able to do with a magic wand to fix only one problem in the nonprofit sector. At that time, you would mentioned that you would give arts organizations a greater appreciation of how to frame their work in terms of the public interest. Could you expand on that for me?
You know that I focus on risk management and process improvement for nonprofits and other organizations. What do you think are some of the most important or special risks faced by arts nonprofits right now?
What do you see as emerging issues (either threats or opportunities) just over the horizon?
You live and work in Northeast Ohio and also teach at Indiana University. Is that right? That’s one heck of a commute. How did that come about?
What do you teach, at Indiana and elsewhere?
Give us a story about a student question about nonprofits that really made you think about your work from a new perspective.
You and I have spoken before about nonprofit fragility, in terms of cash on hand. What does fragility look like for the nonprofit sector in northeastern Ohio?
In her answers, Karen mentioned Helicon Collaborative’s report, Not Just Money.