Foundation Collaborative Provides Support to Minnesota Arts Organizations

ArtsLab, a collaborative of the McKnight and four other Minnesota foundations, has announced the selection of seventeen nonprofits for participation in a three-year training and development program.

A $1.85 million venture of the Bush, F.R. Bigelow, Mardag, McKnight, and Saint Paul foundations, ArtsLab will go beyond traditional capacity-building approaches and work to improve individual leadership capacity within the state's arts sector. Among other things, the initiative will work to increase the leadership pool for the arts sector in Minnesota, strengthen the presence of visionary small arts organizations in both urban and rural communities, and use the power of the arts to enhance community vitality and engagement.

In addition to providing modest grants for operations, ArtsLab will provide technical assistance and peer learning opportunities designed to strengthen leadership skills, strategic thinking, and the impact of its grantees. The initiative also will provide traditional management tools and systems in areas such as board development and governance, executive assessment and coaching, staff and volunteer skills building, conflict management, organizational effectiveness, fundraising, evaluation and strategic planning, and financial management.

"With increased capacity, these exceptional organizations will be better equipped to serve their own audiences and our entire community," said Bush Foundation president Peter C. Hutchinson. "By focusing on visionary leadership, as well as artistic excellence and community connections, ArtsLab will enable these institutions to nurture current and future cultural leaders."

For a complete list of ArtsLab grantees, visit the McKnight Foundation Web site.