Arts Organizations At A Crossroads: Managing Transitions and Preserving Assets

Recorded On: 11/16/2021


About this series

Over the last year-plus, many arts and cultural organizations have found themselves at a crossroads of some sort. It’s not always clear how to go about weighing your options and making decisions in a proactive and thorough way. Free and online, The Arts Organizations at a Crossroads Toolkit: Managing Transitions and Preserving Assets was created to guide arts leaders through three significant transitions you are likely to face during your organization’s life. Each of these ‘crossroads’ is addressed in a self-standing section of the Toolkit: structural shifts, departure of key staff/leadership and the creation of artistic and physical assets which deserve preserving. The hands-on guide includes practical tools, and stories and wisdom from organizations who’ve navigated transitions themselves including 10 Hairy Legs, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and the Madison (WI) Children’s Museum.

Register to access the on-demand, 3-part webinar series which will be located on the right side of the page when made available. Registrants will be notified via email when the on-demand webinars are ready for viewing. Registrants will also receive reminders to join the live coffee chat discussion on November 16.

This series includes the following:

  • Part 1: Guidance for Making Legal and Structural Choices
  • Part 2: Protecting Your Knowledge Assets
  • Part 3: Managing and Preserving Your Legacy
  • Live Coffee Chat Discussion: November 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Local Arts Agency leaders will:

  • Learn how to utilize The Arts Organizations at a Crossroads Toolkit, its lessons, and findings
  • Gain awareness of issues to incorporate into training/professional development you offer to local arts organizations
  • Identify ways you may be a resource/repository/support as your local arts organizations address these crossroads

The Arts Organizations at a Crossroads Toolkit: Managing Transitions and Preserving Assets is written and developed by Mollie Quinlan-Hayes and published by NCAPER, the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response. This project was produced by NCAPER with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts to South Arts, the administrative home of NCAPER, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Mollie Quinlan-Hayes

Independent Consultant

Mollie Quinlan-Hayes is an Independent Consultant, working out of Marietta, Georgia. She consults widely for major arts organizations throughout the United States on strategic planning/organizational development, readiness planning, grantmaking and program design, as well as serving as a skilled facilitator in diverse settings. In addition to strategic planning, Mollie’s specialty is the conception, design/development and delivery of novel programs which address often nascent needs, and bring together teams of both internal and external players for successful rollout and adoption.  Mollie’s perspective on Board development and relations is informed by her experience as a Board member - on the founding Boards of ARTability Arizona, the Alliance for Audience/, and as an officer for the Georgia Arts Network – and as staff liaison to the Board members of South Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. 

Mollie directed the development and implementation of ArtsReady, a national initiative of South 
Arts launched in 2009, providing arts organizations with resources to create customized readiness plans for post-crisis sustainability. She continues to consult on this project, and ArtsReady 2.0 is rolling out in 2021.  Mollie works hands-on with individual arts organizations to develop readiness plans tailored to them. She serves on, and served as Co-Chair, of the Steering Committee of the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER). She coordinates the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants administered by NYFA; and provides professional development in the areas of New Approaches to Board Development,  Strategic Planning, and Readiness Planning.  She served as the Deputy Director and Accessibility Coordinator for South Arts, one of the six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, from 2006 through 2020.  Prior to that, she worked with the Arizona Commission on the Arts for over 14 years. She has been a speaker and grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, several regional arts organizations, and a dozen state and local arts agencies. 

Betsy Sobo

Founding Executive

10 Hairy Legs dance company

Elizabeth Shaff Sobo (Betsy) is a Fundraising and Vision Planning Professional with more than 30 years of experience working in the not for profit sector. She is a passionate believer that the arts are integral to our lives, and can be a transformative force for communities when managed organically as a response to need and opportunity. She considers among her greatest attributes strengthening the craft of relationship building for organizations, internally and externally.

Betsy served as founding Executive of 10 Hairy Legs dance company for the entirety of its 8-year tenure (Highland Park, NJ) bringing it to national and international acclaim. In December 2020 the company dissolved due to the Covid19 pandemic. Betsy managed this transition as well as the company’s full archive in the Library of Congress. She was founding Director of Development at Two River Theater Company (Red Bank, NJ); and held management positions in arts education, fundraising and marketing at The State Theatre Regional Arts Center at New Brunswick, American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, Kean University, Hartford Ballet and Ballet Hispanico. As a fundraising professional she has earned major grant awards from the region’s leading foundation and government sources, and has solicited multiple significant major gifts.

Betsy served in a leadership capacity on the boards of Dance New Jersey, Nimbus Dance Works (2011 – 2014, President 2012-2014) and Randy James Dance Works 2005-2007. In June 2021 Betsy was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year for her work as Co-Chair of Temple Sharay-Tefiloh Israel’s Social Justice Task Force (South Orange, NJ). She serves on the Community Dance Advisory Committee at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Betsy’s professional dance career included Pennsylvania Ballet, Les Compagnons de la Danse (Montrèal) and New Jersey Ballet. She earned a Certificate in Arts Administration from New York University. Prior to her career in Arts Administration she was spent 10 years in Senior Management in the Retail industry.

Susana Smith Bautista

Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D., an art historian and experienced museum administrator, is currently the Director and Chief Curator of the AltaMed Art Collection at AltaMed Health Services based in Los Angeles, California. For over 20 years, Dr. Bautista has held leadership positions with arts and cultural organizations including: the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena Museum of California Art,, and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. She has also worked as an independent museum consultant and curator, with a focus on Chicano/a, Latino/a, and Latin American art. Dr. Bautista obtained her doctorate degree in Communication from the University of Southern California and her Master’s degree in Art History/Museum Studies also from USC, graduating Phi Kappa Phi. She has published and lectured widely on the topic of museums, and has taught at both USC Annenberg School of Communication and Claremont Graduate University’s Arts Management Program. Her first book is entitled Museums in the Digital Age: Changing Meanings of Place, Community, and Culture, (AltaMira Press, 2013), and her recent book is entitled How to Close a Museum: A Practical Guide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021), based on her experience of having closed one museum permanently and transitioned another. Dr. Bautista served on the Board of Directors for the American Alliance of Museums, and was Arts and Culture Commissioner for the City of Pasadena. She identifies as a Latina, is trilingual, and lives in Los Angeles with her family.


Part 1: Guidance for Making Legal and Structural Choices
Part 2: Protecting Your Knowledge Assets
Part 3: Managing and Preserving Your Legacy
Arts Organizations At A Crossroads Coffee Chat
Live event: 11/16/2021 at 3:00 PM (EST) You must register to access.
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