Mon27Jan2020Tue28Jan2020University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Program evaluation is a multidisciplinary, rapidly expanding, global field. As such, guest speakers -from a variety of disciplines-have been invited to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) to host events that will broaden student understanding of how evaluation is applied in diverse, real-world contexts.
Alison has been invited to host two events at UNCW. During these events she will explore the critical elements for sound program evaluation in the arts and culture sector. By describing lessons learned along the way, Alison will highlight the importance of diversity of thought, inclusion, community engagement, and a holistic look at programs to inform future planning, advocate for needs, and create policy change. The intended audience is undergraduate and graduate students across Watson College of Education departments (1) Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, & Special Education (2) Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education, and (3) Educational Leadership. Additional attendees may include UNCW students from various academic departments across campus (e.g., arts, public administration), including students minoring in Leadership studies.
Sun10Nov20192:00- 3:30pmArts Administrators of Color 2019 Convening, Eaton DC, 1201 K St NW, Washington, DC
Alison is excited to be leading a workshop during the 2019 Arts Administrators of Color Network Annual Convening.
Preparing for change within an organization requires a bit of planning. In an ideal environment, we are able to collect and interpret data on our current experiences and use that insight to inform our future planning and decisions-making. But how do we know if we are asking the right questions? How do you use the information you’ve collected to make change within your organization? What are the best techniques to leverage the data you’ve collected? How can you use the data and insights collected to tell your story to your community and funders? This course/workshop/class presentation will provide guidance on how data can support understanding, mitigate risks, address equity disparities, plan for future success, and document impact.
Mon14Oct20193:30 pmGrantmakers in the Arts, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO
In 2017, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF) began exploring notions of health and equity as understood by Richmonders by funding eight artists and artist collectives to consider the following questions in tandem with their creative works. (1) What does it mean to be well? (2) How do aspects of identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, migrant status and socioeconomic status, relate to health outcomes? (3) What structural barriers exist to achieving states of physical, mental, and social well-being? The artists, through creative expression, unearthed experiences of the past, realities of the present, and possibilities for the future.
In 2019, RMHF doubled its original investment from 2017 to continue the creative exploration of health equity more expansively by funding nonprofit organizations that hire artists to engage diverse communities in participatory sessions in order to lift up their voice and perspective in fostering solutions for achieving equity. We call this EQUITY IN ACTION!
RMHF also committed capacity building funds for each nonprofit grantee to measure the impact of their programs.
This session will compare the evolution of RMHF's exploration of the intersection of art and health as it relates to equity and the impact that creativity plays in healing.
- Kendra Jones, Director for Arts & Equity, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (Funder)
- Alison McNeil, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises (Program Evaluator)
- Alfonso Perez, Artist (Former Grantee & Partnered with Grantee Organization)
- Gigi Amateau, Writer, (Grantee Organization)
Tue23Jul20192:30 pmYoung Women in the Workforce Intensive, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
The DC Department of Employment Services hosted its inaugural Young Women in the Workforce Intensive to allow young women (ages 19-24 years old) in Washington DC to gain exposure, resources, and other tools needed to confidently pursue their ambitions in the workforce. Attendees included young women from Washington DC enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Alison was honored to speak about her experiences as a consultant in creative spaces. She shared how she got started as an entrepreneur, her greatest lessons, and how she defined success for herself.
- Alison McNeil, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises
- Sehat Walker, Creative Consultant, The General Store Inc.
- Jovette Gadson, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Goldie Patrick, Executive Director, FRESHH Theatre Company
Sat15Jun201910:45am - 12:00pmDance/USA 2019 Annual Conference - Playhouse Square RJF West (Allen Lobby), Cleveland,OH
Each year over 500 individuals associated with the professional dance field join Dance/USA for the Annual Conference. Attendees include independent artists, dance presenters, agents and artist representatives, education and service providers, executive directors, artistic directors, company managers, fundraisers, presenters, development and marketing staff, and more from across the country and around the world.
During this conference session, we invite session attendees to consider the multiple ways of examining and tracking the impact of art.
It takes a certain level of transparency on both the grantee and grantmaker’s part to recognize that the existing evaluation and performance measurement models are not only limiting but can be dismissive of artistic intentions and desired outcomes. We will explore new ways to think about documenting and measuring impact. Through interactive dialogue, improvisation tested frameworks, and reading materials, we will begin the process of articulating new ways to identify and track our impact and efforts.
This session was informed by the reflections of lived and shared experiences of artists, arts administrators, and grantmakers gathered during the 2018 Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute.
Chanon Judson, Associate Artistic Director & Associate BOLD Coordinator, Urban Bush Women
Stephanie McKee, Executive Artistic Director, Junebug Productions
Alison McNeil, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises
Mon15Apr20196:00 pmGeorge Mason University - Founders Hall Multipurpose Room, Arlington, VA
George Mason University's (GMU) Office of University Life hosts its Pizza & Perspectives series to create a space for students and the surrounding community to discuss topics that relate to personal and professional growth. Alison has been invited to share her journey to leadership, the adversity she faced along the way, and the support she received from unlikely spaces and places. She will sit on a panel with incredibly dynamic leaders each carving out their own path along the way.
Rebecca Keatinge, GASPA President and GMU Graduate Student
Linda Mathes, CEO National Capital Region, American Red Cross
Alison T. McNeil, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises
Liz Nohra, Chief of External Relations, Leadership Center of Excellence
Wed03Apr20197:00 pmFRESHH Vanguard Workshop-Anacostia Arts Center, Washington, DC
FRESHH Inc. is a nonprofit grassroots theatre company and incubator committed to celebrating and cultivating the voices of Black Women and girls in theatre. Through its varied programming, FRESHH creates space and opportunities for Black women and girls to thrive in theatre. Alison has been invited to conduct a workshop for the members of FRESHH's Vanguard Women's Ensemble. During the workshop, participants will explore what it means to tell your story, identify ideal funders, and secure funding and grant opportunities.
Fri18Jan20199:00 am2019 Chorus Management Institute, New York, NY
Tue08Jan20196:30 pmDowntown Brooklyn Arts Management Fellowship, BRIC Brooklyn, NY
The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Management Fellowship is a paid 6-month opportunity for a cohort of young people to gain experience and skills for careers in arts management. The program aims to increase the diversity of staff in cultural organizations, by creating a route into arts management without unpaid internships or master’s degrees. It is sponsored by four organizations in the Brooklyn Cultural District: BRIC, Mark Morris Dance Group, Theatre for a New Audience, and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. This program is supported by generous funding from the Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC.
Alison was pleased to chat with the Fellows about preparing for and managing change within arts & culture organizations.
Thu13Dec20187:00 pmAnacostia Arts Center, Washington, DC
FRESHH Inc. is a nonprofit grassroots theatre company and incubator committed to celebrating and cultivating the voices of Black Women and girls in theatre. FRESHH centers it’s work on four pillars: Bold, Powerful, Brilliant and Resilient. Alison received FRESHH's Resilient award. She was recognized for her “relentless support and contributions” in support of Black women & girls and the arts.
Thu06Dec2018Sat08Dec2018NAS Summit, Minneapolis, MN
National Arts Strategies convened 50 arts & culture leaders from across their alumni networks to work together to explore how biases affect organizational culture, how to lead through adversity to create lasting change, and ways to implement racial equity principles in arts and culture organizations.
Alison was pleased to be invited to facilitate the dialogue for advancing racial equity in arts and culture organizations.
Sat29Sep20183:00 pmArts Administrators of Color-DMV Annual Convening: Baltimore, MD
Arts Administrators of Color-DMV (AAC-DMV) is committed to empowering artists and arts administrators in the Washington, DC metropolitan area by advocating for access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts. On September 29, 2018, AAC-DMV will host is annual convening bringing together artists and arts professionals across the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Alison McNeil will serve on a panel about entrepreneurship in the arts. The convening will be held in Baltimore, MD at The Motor House.
Tue18Sep20184:00 pmFlorida State University, Department of Art Education, Tallahassee, FL
Alison McNeil was invited to deliver a guest lecture to Dr. Antonio Cuyler's graduate level Leading the Arts Organization class. His students were expected to design their own arts organization as a part of their coursework. To complement their preparation for this assignment, Alison was invited to reflect on her experiences and lessons learned as an entrepreneur in the arts and culture sector. She offered insights and sparked dialogue informed by her entrepreneurial journey, including what led her to launch an arts service organization, an arts consulting firm and a philanthropic fund that invests in artists.
Mon09Jul20181:00 pmArts Management Institute: Washington, DC
Words Beats and Life is a DC based nonprofit organization that creates arts based educational experiences rooted in hip hop that equips youth, arts managers, teaching artists and scholars to move from theory to practice. In June 2018, they launched the inaugural Arts Management Institute. Fifteen young people enrolled in Washington, DC's Summer Youth Employment Program will participate in this Institute. The Institute will include lectures, guest speakers, creative community tours, arts workshops and hands on management skill training for all participants. Alison has been invited to design and facilitate a workshop on program evaluation. What an incredible opportunity for the young people of DC!
Wed02May20181:30 pmAssociation of Performing Arts Service Organizations Conference - Austin, TX
This session will explore the following questions: (1) How does an arts service organization utilize a “systems-change” mindset when evaluating their offerings? (2) What are the challenges in translating the core values of a project to the core values of an organization? (3) What are the barriers in thinking about systemic change?
During this session, the panelists will reflect on their experiences unpacking the aforementioned questions through a project meant to accurately represent the operations of under-resourced and under-represented arts & culture organizations.
- Katie Ingersoll, Education Manager, DataArts
- Michelle Higgins, Community Engagement Manager, DataArts
- Alison McNeil, Co-Founder & Partner, Third Eye Cultural Collaborative
Wed18Apr20186:30 pmIA&A at Hillyer (formerly Hillyer Art Space): Washington, DC
ArtTable was founded in 1980 by a group of professional women in the visual arts to foster greater support, recognition, and opportunities among their peers.
Have you considered leaving your organization to try your hand at consulting? Does the appeal of flexible hours and choice of projects sound appealing? What are the risks with striking out on one's own? What are the benefits? This panel brings together four women who have successfully transitioned into consulting and freelance work, each with different reasons and trajectories. One panelist carefully planned the transition for several years (Alison's story), another turned to consulting suddenly when full-time employment ended. One panelist will talk about consulting as a gradual step towards retirement, and another will talk about why she returned to an organization after years as a freelancer. If you are considering striking out on your own, you won't want to miss this event!
- Alison McNeil, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises
- Carlyn Madden, Principal, Carlyn Madden Consulting Services
- Edith Graves, Director of Communications, Anthony Wilder Design/Build and Studio E Partners
- Marsha Semmel, Principal, Marsha Semmel Consulting, formerly Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services
- Claire Huschle, Director, Scaffold
Thu25Jan20188:00 amInternational Association of Blacks in Dance Conference: Los Angeles, CA
The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) is part of the Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. COHI builds organizational resiliency within the national arts ecosystem by broadening access to resources in underserved regions, creating more equitable systems of support for artists and cultural organizations, and strengthening community participation. While participating in COHI, IABD launched an effort to document the stories of blacks in dance as informed by a representative sample of IABD member organizations in a report called The Black Report: The State of the Union for Blacks in Dance. MCE is a contributor to this report.
IABD and MCE presented the preliminary results from The Black Report during the 2018 IABD conference in Los Angeles, CA.
Thu30Nov201711:30 amArmy Navy Country Club: Arlington VA
For the last several years the Leadership Center for Excellence has identified 40 leaders under the age of 40 that live in the DC metro area and are actively committed to creating change in their community and/or profession. These leaders are doing incredibly impactful work in health, education, the arts, technology, environment, and the law. Alison was recognized as one of 40 individuals doing work to change the world. Alison was recognized for efforts to create equitable systems in the arts and culture sector. What an honor!
Wed15Nov20175:30 pmRhode Island State Council on the Arts: Providence, RI
Supported by a collaboration between the Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the Expansion Arts Program (EAP) offers funding and organizational assistance to community-based, culturally diverse arts and cultural organizations. To support the capacity building efforts of the EAP grantees, Alison co-designed and presented a 3-hour workshop with her Third Eye Cultural Collaborative colleagues to help grantees better understand the grant making process. Participants discussed ways to navigate the traditional grantmaking system, learned how grantmakers are working to reduce funding gaps and disparities to address the cultural equity issues in philanthropy, investigated creative models that are emerging to support artists and organizations and went through the process of looking at their organization’s traits and systems and developed a practical plan to begin to work with grantmakers.
Sun08Oct20171:00 pmAmerican University: Washington, DC
Alison will be moderating a panel during the inaugural convening of the Arts Administrators of Color DMV Network.
Panelists share their challenges in building capacity and the creative strategies that lead to new funding opportunities.
- Alison McNeil, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises
- Ruby Harper Lopez, Director of Local Arts Services, Americans for the Arts, Americans for the Arts
- Takenya LaVisount, Senior Grants Program Manager, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County
- Regan Spurlock, Grants Programs Manager, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Thu09Mar20173:00 pmUniversity of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, PA
For the last several years, National Arts Strategies (NAS) and the University of Pennsylvania hosts the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy for early to mid-career professionals in the arts and culture sector, as well as those seeking to enter the sector.
The University of Pennsylvania faculty, the NAS team and some of the best and brightest leaders working in the world come together to deliver tested tools, frameworks and expert industry knowledge to help develop understanding of the business side of the industry. The program is part distance learning and part in person convening.
During the in-person convening, at the University of Pennsylvania, Alison McNeil discusses how to plan for a fruitful online learning experience. She shares strategies for success, common barriers and pitfalls, and best practices applied during the online learning experience.
Thu16Feb20179:30 amArts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County: Silver Spring, MD
Alison with her Third Eye Cultural Collaborative colleagues facilitated discussions and exercises that provided guidance on how data can support arts organization's efforts to understand current demographics, engage new audiences, and identify varied approaches to leveraging data to plan for the future.
Thu15Dec20162:30 pmAmericans for the Arts Webinar Series
A thriving network chapter needs a clear structure and strategy to ensure continuity and relevant programming. Often networks are started by a couple of energetic individuals doing it all but if they forego proper planning and recruitment they will ultimately face burnout and a dying network.
Join consultant and planning expert Alison T. McNeil and Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles Advisory Board member Lauren Nichols for a conversation on how to approach the planning process in order to create a strong framework and grow a successful and sustainable network. McNeil is the Founder & President of McNeil Creative Enterprises. She has experience consulting with Emerging Leader Networks, including Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles, on strategic visioning and building a strong foundation.
Webinar participants should expect insight on the following topics:
- What to Consider When Launching an Emerging Arts Leaders(EAL) Network
- How to Plan for EAL Network Success
- Common Issues/Challenges Faced by EAL Networks
- Techniques to Address Issues/Challenges
Sat18Jun20163:00 pm2016 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention: Boston, MA
Join the deputy director of Fractured Atlas to discuss ways to foster innovation even inside risk-averse organizations, such as most nonprofits. This session addresses issues of capacity, diversity/equity, engagement, evaluation, and leadership.
Session Speaker: Tim Cynova, Deputy Director, Fractured Atlas.
Session Moderator: Alison McNeil, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, McNeil Creative Enterprises