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Leadership Development 

LeadershipPartners in Performance delivers competency-based professional development initiatives for artists and artistic directors, executives and senior staff, and trustees of arts and cultural organizations.  Specific competencies include effective communications for leaders, managing change, aligning vision and strategy, and building sustainable collaborations.





Powerful Partnerships: Sustaining Arts Education through Collaboration

QuotePowerful Partnerships: Sustaining Arts Education through Collaboration, a idea inspired by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, brought together about 20 ‘teams’ from organizations from across the five boroughs of New Work City to reflect on their own collaborative activities with other organizations, and develop approaches to making those partnerships even stronger. On January 18 and 19, we worked together at the Ailey Studios at  55th Street and 9th Avenue, and we ably guided by some wonderful faculty including partnership consultant Beth Vogel, and three ‘teams’ representing existing powerful partnerships in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. Sarah Calderon, of the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education and Aviva Davidson of Dancing in the Streets from New York City; Julie Simpson from Urban Gateways (Happy 50th to Urban Gateways!) and Ernest Sanders from the Auburn Gresham Community Development Corporation in Chicago; and Toni O’Karma, a teacher at George Washington Elementary School and Magda Martinez from the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. John McCann, President of Partners in Performance served as Program Designer and Lead Faculty member. 

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts-Board Development

Partners in Performance continues its work with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as it strives to develop a more ‘generative’ Board of Directors. To date the work is focusing on revitalizing the committee structure with the addition of a number of time bound and goal specific task forces; and redesigning the six annual Board meetings in ways that increase Board engagement; tackle specific timely issues and opportunities; and break most of the rules about how Board meetings are ‘supposed to be’!

Community Arts Education Leadership Institute

The purpose of CAELI is to equip emerging leaders in the arts field with the skills to lead healthy, robust organization. To learn more about CAELI CLICK HERE!

Strategic Thinking/Planning Projects

Strategic PlanningFrom comprehensive strategic planning, to organizational restructuring, to mergers and strategic alliances, John McCann has engaged with more than 100 clients to develop a safe and focused environment within which decisions of great consequence are made.  One of the core strengths of the firm is its ability to bring the numerous constituents (artists, executives, trustees, community partners and supporters) into a purposeful dialogue around current challenges and future possibilities.


The Weston Playhouse

The Weston Playhouse, one of the nation’s oldest professional theatres is examining its role regionally and nationally. Partners in Performance is designing and facilitating a process where the leadership of the Playhouse is redefining its relationship with theatre artists and with audiences---in ways that will lead to creating greater value with/and for its stakeholders. We’re looking forward to the organization-wide retreat in August when the Playhouse will launch the implementation of its newly minted strategic plan!

National Alliance for Musical Theatre

We're having such a great time with Kathy Evans, all the staff, and the Board as we help them develop a strategic plan for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT).  NAMT works, "to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production, and presentation of new musicals."  As we enter March, we're refining the plan documents in preparation for the annual NAMT membership meeting scheduled for April 1 & 2 in San Francisco!

National Symphony Orchestra

Working with orchestras has been one of our most important learning journeys over the past decade, and we're excited to be facilitating the work of the strategic planning committee of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO).  As part of the American Residencies program, the NSO has just completed a tour of Kentucky with stops in Louisville, Lexington, Somerset---and points in between.


Facilitation Projects

facilitationWhen the quality of the conversation matters, Partners in Performance is recognized nationally for its broad experience and strong commitment to effective meeting design, inquiry-based models of engagement, and the achievement of meaningful results. 

Grantmakers in the Arts

We helped design and moderate the first in a series of  Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) Thought Leader’s Forums. GIA Executive Director Janet Brown has positioned the Forums as opportunities to get a diverse range of funders, "in the room to have discussions that are honest, open, and strategic". The theme of the June 24 Forum was Assuring equitable arts learning in urban K-12 public schools. John’s summary of the session will be published in the Fall edition of the GIA Reader and available on their website. This session is cited in the Reinvesting in Arts Education, a publication from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. First Lady Michelle Obama, Honorary Chair, provides the forward for this piece where she talks about the importance of providing arts and cultural education to children. 

Bush Foundation

Continuing our longstanding relationship with the Bush Foundation in Minneapolis, MN, Partners in Performance helped Bush engage it Large Cultural organizations cohort of grantees in a series of discussion about how to create increased value across the communities served, especially in pursuit of the Foundation’s strong commitment to developing courageous leaders and strong communities across the twin Cities, across Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Visit CLIENTS to see a complete list!