How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce from The pARTnership Movement

About the How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce Collection

Just as local arts agencies act as voices and conveners for their arts and culture communities, so do local chambers of commerce for their business communities. This three-part curriculum will guide local arts leaders on how to build strong and lasting partnerships with their local chambers of commerce to achieve shared community and economic development goals. The collection and accompanying toolkits will focus attention on how local arts leaders can build business-to-business (B2B) relationships, shift thinking and actions to one of a creative business that positions one’s assets differently, and position their local arts agency as a driving force for equitable community and economic development alongside their private sector partners.

This collection aims to flip the conversation away from ‘business support of the arts’ to ‘how and why the arts are an essential part of business and community development strategies.'

Arts leaders will gain the following competencies:

  • Basic understanding of the chamber of commerce landscape, their service organizations and networks, and their primary challenges and priorities. Leaders will be able to identify the various spaces businesses organize and congregate in their communities and who are the leaders in those spaces.
  • The ability to perform ongoing analysis and inventory of organizational needs and identify which business partners can provide those assets in an exchange that isn’t cash-based. Organizations will be able to identify the return on investment of their activities and apply them as a benefit in terms of solving business, civic, and social challenges.
  • Learn how to expand their networks, allowing for access to potential partnerships and circles of influence, providing opportunity for previously unrecognized potential.
  • Create visibility for their organizations through new partnerships and build trust among their community of fellow arts organizations. 
  • Provide tools to change the case for the value of what the arts organization does in a narrow sense to one of an essential community and economic development partner.  

Part 1: Local Arts Agencies & Chambers of Commerce - The Very Basics

Part 1 of this collection will establish a foundational knowledge of local chambers of commerce, the networks in which they operate and that serve them, how to navigate a traditional business environment, and basic activations a local arts agency can undertake to establish a partnership. Participants will hear from chamber and arts leaders and gain perspective on chamber priorities and challenges and learn to identify the various chamber and economic development entities in their communities. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning, and participate in a live discussion with presenters once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series. 

Part 2: Connecting Community Impact to Arts and Chambers Partnerships

In Part 2 of the series, participants will take the foundational knowledge gained and basic activations from the first series and expand beyond their role as arts leaders into the role of community and economic development partner. Participants will learn about how to identify their own work and assets within their full community and creative ecosystem and begin to leverage new connections and relationships inside the chamber to address social impact, equity, and community issues. Participants will gain fluency in the Arts & Economic Prosperity studies, as well as learn how to use other creative economy research to make their case to their chamber and economic development counterparts. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning and participate in a live peer discussion once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series. 

Part 3: Supporting and Advancing Inclusive Creative Economies with Your Chamber of Commerce

Further building on parts 1 and 2 of the How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce collection, participants will consider what they can do in their communities alongside their chambers after building trust and mutual respect. How can local arts leaders navigate policy, politics, resource distribution, access to capital and economic development opportunities as equal players with their chamber partners? This module will also discuss centering equity and equitable economic development, and solidarity economy principals into the chamber space. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning, and participate in a live discussion with presenters once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series. Part 3 will become available in late spring 2022.


REGISTRATION

Participants can sign-up for all three parts of the collection or select individual areas of interest. Each part contains three prerecorded learning sessions which can be watched on-demand. Register on this page for the entire collection. To register for an individual Part of the collection, click the CONTENT tab, select the Part you wish to register for, and then press the red REGISTER button.  Questions? Please email artsu@artsusa.org


ARTSU SUPPORT PROGRAM

We are pleased to be able to offer registration support for those with limited resources who wish to register for this ArtsU Intensive. Sign up for the ArtsU Support program here. 

  • Contains 4 Component(s)

    Part one of the "How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce" collection will establish a foundational knowledge of local chambers of commerce, the networks in which they operate and that serve them, how to navigate a traditional business environment, and basic activations a local arts agency can undertake to establish a partnership. Participants will hear from chamber and arts leaders and gain perspective on chamber priorities and challenges and learn to identify the various chamber and economic development entities in their communities. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning, and participate in a live discussion with presenters once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series.

    image About Part One

    Part one of the "How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce" collection will establish a foundational knowledge of local chambers of commerce, the networks in which they operate and that serve them, how to navigate a traditional business environment, and basic activations a local arts agency can undertake to establish a partnership. Participants will hear from chamber and arts leaders and gain perspective on chamber priorities and challenges and learn to identify the various chamber and economic development entities in their communities. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning, and participate in a live discussion with presenters once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series. 

    View the three sessions by pressing "view web content-on-demand" button on the left side of the page. 

    Session 1 – Understanding the Chambers of Commerce Landscape 

    In session 1, local arts leaders will gain introductory knowledge of local chambers of commerce, how they operate, their general priorities, opportunities, and challenges. Sheree Anne Kelly, President/CEO of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives will provide a broad overview of the national chambers landscape and tips for engaging with local chamber leaders.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Participants will gain an introductory knowledge of local chambers of commerce, how they operate, their general priorities, and challenges.
    • Participants will gain an understanding of the national chambers landscape, the organizations that service them, and the relationships between different kinds of affinity or community-specific chambers. This includes relationships between the US Chamber, ACCE, the National Black, Hispanic, Disability, and Asian American Chambers, and how these groups intersect with economic development agencies.

    Session 2 – Navigating Your Chamber and Business Community 

    In session 2, participants will gain insight as to how to best navigate new relationships with the chamber and its business members. Attendees will consider how to reach beyond their role as an “arts person” and translate their work and goals into the frame of the business community. Basic business concepts such as KPIs, ROI, verticals and more will be discussed as a way for arts leaders to gain fluency in business ‘speak.’

    Learning Objectives:

    • With a basic understanding of how local chambers of commerce operate and their priorities, participants will learn how to navigate business-to-business (B2B) conversations and relationships within the chamber membership.
    • Participants will hear about communicating with clear value propositions and how to listen for connecting points with new chamber partners.
    • Participants will begin to learn how to translate their work and assets into the business network and chamber of commerce frame.

    Session 3 – Getting Started on a Partnership 

    In session 3, local arts leaders will hear about different kinds of basic activations and/or programs they can undertake with their local chamber of commerce in order to build and deepen their relationship. Participants will hear from Jill McMillan Palm about the Arts & Business Council’s partnership with the Nashville Chamber and how they work together alongside other municipal partners to produce the Periscope program.

     Learning Objectives:

    • With a foundational understanding about how local chambers of commerce operate and how to navigate conversations and the spaces within them, participants will start to hear about how to create simple activations to deepen their chamber partnership.
    • Participants will learn how to identify strengths and capacities for who can lead or take responsibility for different aspects of an activation.
    • Participants will hear about how to build on a simple program or activation for long-term partnership development. 

    This is Part 1 of the "How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce" collection. To register for Part 1 only, click the REGISTER button on this page. To register for the entire collection (including Parts 1, 2, and 3) please visit the collection page and press REGISTER. Questions? Please email artsu@artsusa.org


    ARTSU SUPPORT PROGRAM

    We are pleased to be able to offer registration support for those with limited resources who wish to register for this ArtsU Intensive. Sign up for the ArtsU Support program here. 

    Sheree Anne Kelly

    President & CEO

    Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

    Sheree Anne is the head of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) representing more than 10,000 industry professionals. ACCE serves the community via professional development, innovative problem solving, best practices, and industry thought leadership.

    Previously, Sheree Anne was senior vice president of the Public Affairs Council and executive director of their foundation. During her 16 years at the global association, she served as chief public affairs expert, and oversaw thought leadership, professional development, consulting and benchmarking. During her tenure, she opened the Council’s first international office in Brussels.

    Prior roles include positions in government affairs at the National Association of Home Builders, and on the corporate development and corporate relations teams at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    Sheree Anne holds an MBA from Georgetown, a Master of Arts in Government from Johns Hopkins and a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University. Current industry leadership roles include serving on the executive committee of the World Chambers Federation and as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Committee of 100. She’s also a board member of the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems and immediate past-chair of the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy.

    Kelly Johnson

    Executive Director

    Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene

    Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2006 with a degree in Theatre, Film, and TV.  She worked as a stage manager and on run crews at the Curious Theatre Company and the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities. She decided to pursue a career in Arts Administration and attended graduate school at the University of Oregon. Upon graduating, she worked in the nonprofit sector as a development manager and director for seven years. She returned to the arts world in 2018, to lead the Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene.

    Brittany Quick-Warner

    President & CEO

    Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

    Brittany Quick-Warner is the President and CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. In six years at the Eugene Chamber she has successfully served in multiple capacities including advertising sales associate, event manager, and Director of Business Advocacy for four years. Beginning in late 2016, Brittany served as interim President & CEO during sudden medical leave and passing of the long-term President & CEO. During that time Brittany stepped up to lead the staff and membership through significant organizational grief and transition and was ultimately selected in September 2017 to serve as the next President & CEO of the Eugene Chamber. Brittany is the youngest and first known woman to lead the 1200 member organization.

    A native of Missouri, Quick¬-Warner moved to Eugene in 2012. She holds two degrees from the University of Missouri¬, a master's degree in public administration with a focus in nonprofit management and an undergraduate degree in soil, environmental and atmospheric science. She has been active in the community since her arrival, serving as a board member of economic development agencies Greater Eugene Inc. and the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN Eugene), BRING Recycling, Better Eugene Springfield Transportation and the Junior League of Eugene as well as serving on the Eugene Sustainability Commission. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Western Association of Chamber Executives. She and her husband, Erik, have been small business owners since 2012. They own Blue Bus Creatives, a media production company.

    Jill McMillan Palm

    Executive Director

    Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville

    As Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, Jill McMillan Palm provides education, resources, and opportunities at the intersection of arts and business. Before moving to Nashville in 2017 for this role, she worked with arts organizations and creative businesses in Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; and Boston, MA. Using her breadth of experience and skills, Jill sustains and promotes the Arts & Business Council’s mission to create a thriving, sustainable creative culture in Nashville; ensures that the organization’s service to artists is of the highest quality; and is an advocate for artists at the local, state, and national levels. She is a member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Music Industry Advisory Group and has served on the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council since 2018. She was elected to the Nashville Emerging Leaders class of 2019, and was named as a finalist for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Leaders Award in the Arts, Entertainment, and Music Business category in 2020.

    Originally from Northwest Indiana, Jill holds a BA in Integrated Marketing Communications from Pepperdine University. A lifelong arts enthusiast, she continues to dabble in dance, music, and visual art, all to varying degrees of success. In her spare time, you can find her taking in a concert or performance; enjoying an iced coffee with a good book; or wandering the world with her husband and their dog.   

  • Contains 4 Component(s)

    In Part 2 of the How to Partner with your Local Chamber of Commerce collection, participants will take the foundational knowledge gained and basic activations from the first series and expand beyond their role as arts leaders into the role of community and economic development partner. Participants will learn about how to identify their own work and assets within their full community and creative ecosystem and begin to leverage new connections and relationships inside the chamber to address social impact, equity, and community issues. Participants will gain fluency in the Arts & Economic Prosperity studies, as well as learn how to use other creative economy research to make their case to their chamber and economic development counterparts. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning and participate in a live peer discussion once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series.

    imageAbout Part 2

    In Part 2 of the "How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce" collection, participants will take the foundational knowledge gained and basic activations from the first series and expand beyond their role as arts leaders into the role of community and economic development partner. Participants will learn about how to identify their own work and assets within their full community and creative ecosystem and begin to leverage new connections and relationships inside the chamber to address social impact, equity, and community issues. Participants will gain fluency in the Arts & Economic Prosperity studies, as well as learn how to use other creative economy research to make their case to their chamber and economic development counterparts. Participants are encouraged to use the toolkit as complimentary learning and participate in a live peer discussion once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series.

    View the three sessions by pressing the "view web content-on-demand" button on the left side of the page. 

    Session 1 - Local Arts Agencies & Ecosystem Thinking

    In session 1 of Part 2, local arts agency leaders will learn how to expand their view beyond only being an arts leader, to gaining the agility to build on the local business ecosystem through their role as an agency leader representing a body of organizations. Participants will hear examples from Mark Nerenhausen, President & CEO of Hennepin Theater Trust, as to how Hennepin has become a trusted and vital community and economic development partner, beyond being a leading arts organization in Minneapolis.  

    Learning Objectives

    • Participants will gain awareness in shifting their thinking from their ‘lane’ of only arts and culture to their role within their full community ecosystem and economy; and where a partnership with their chamber can live.
    • Participants will learn about broad conditions that need to exist for a healthy business environment, and how their work can contribute to that landscape.
    • Participants will learn how a local arts agency can position itself as a good, “non-threatening,” challenging and complementary partner that will augment the Chamber’s goals. 

    Session 2 - The Economic Case for the Arts

    In session 2 of Part 2, local arts agency leaders will gain deeper knowledge in making the economic case for the arts using research, while understanding how to identify and communicate their own organizational assets as anecdotes to business and chamber challenges. While hearing from Americans for the Arts Vice President of Research, Randy Cohen, and Robert Quick, President & CEO of Commerce Lexington, local arts agency leaders will understand the importance of talent attraction and retention to chambers and their members, and how they can design partnerships alongside chamber leaders to help create a healthy business environment.

    Learning Objectives

    • Participants will receive an overview of the Arts & Economic Impact studies, and how they can use it and other research to help make the case for arts and culture in a chamber environment.
    • Participants will explore how to identify business needs and challenges among chamber members and connect their work and assets to those challenges.
    • Participants will understand the importance of talent attraction and retention to chambers of commerce, what it means to create a healthy business environment, and how their work as local arts leaders can intersect with that focus.

    Session 3 - Arts, Chambers, and Centering Equity

    In session 3 of Part 2, local arts agency leaders will gain insight as to how chambers are thinking about centering and integrating equity throughout their programs and business membership. In addition to hearing examples of programs, evaluation, and arts activations, participants will start to connect how local arts agencies are vital partners to help create a sense of place and belonging alongside their chambers, especially in terms of talent attraction and retention. This session will be presented by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

    Learning Objectives

    • Participants will explore how chambers are integrating equity initiatives throughout their business members, and how local arts agencies can draw parallels to their work with arts and culture organizations.
    • Participants will learn how to chambers are thinking about leveraging the arts to create equitable communities that attract and retain talent.
    • Participants will hear examples of successful partnerships between chambers, economic development agencies and local art groups that addressed equity initiatives. 

    This is Part 2 of the "How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce" collection. To register for Part 2 only, click the REGISTER button on this page. To register for the entire collection (including Parts 1, 2, and 3) please visit the collection page and press REGISTER.  Questions? Please email artsu@artsusa.org


    ARTSU SUPPORT PROGRAM

    We are pleased to be able to offer registration support for those with limited resources who wish to register for this ArtsU Intensive. Sign up for the ArtsU Support program here. 

    Mark Nerenhausen

    President/CEO

    Hennepin Theatre Trust

    Mark Nerenhausen is the President/CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. Prior to the Trust, he served as founding director and professor of practice of the Janklow Arts Leadership Program at Syracuse University. Before that, he served as president and CEO of the $354 million AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, where he secured AT&T as a naming sponsor, raised more than $4 million in the first year of operations, created a governing board and instituted an integrated business information platform. He also brokered strategic partnerships with regional and national organizations, several of which were devoted to minority arts, and initiated the Jazz Roots series.

    From 1998 to 2009, Nerenhausen led the Performing Arts Center Authority in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with responsibility for managing the multi-venue Broward Center for the Performing Arts and five other performing arts venues, fashioning it into a catalyst for tourism, economic development, education, industry innovations and cross-cultural exchange. Under Nerenhausen’s tenure, the Broward Center’s main concert hall consistently ranked in the world’s top 10 venues for ticket sales, according to Pollstar and Venues Today magazines.

    Nerenhausen has held other major positions at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, Hawaii (1993-98); the Oshkosh Grand Opera House in Wisconsin (1990-93); the Bijou Theater Center in Knoxville, Tenn. (1987-89); the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center in Wisconsin (1985-87); and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville (1983-85).

    Randy Cohen

    Vice President of Research

    Americans for the Arts

    Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, and using the arts to address community development issues. He publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study about the arts, and produces the two premier economic studies of the arts—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts businesses and their employees. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.
     
    Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences, and worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

    Twitter: @artsinfoguy

    Bob Quick

    President & CEO

    Commerce Lexington

    Bob is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Commerce Lexington Inc., a 1,800 member investor-driven chamber of commerce and economic development organization.  In 2020, Commerce Lexington was awarded a Top 20 Mac Conway Economic Development Agency by Site Selection Magazine, and in 2016 was named Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Under Bob’s leadership in 2014 and 2015, Commerce Lexington Inc. was recognized among the Top 3 chambers of commerce by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). During his 32 years in the chamber profession, he has also served as the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Evansville (IN) Chamber of Commerce and as the Executive Vice President of the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce.

    Bob has served as the assistant director of the World Agricultural Expo (1988), administrative aide, Public Liaison Office of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1982), and served as the National FFA Secretary (1980-81).

    Bob is extremely involved in the Central Kentucky region in matters of public policy, community, economic, and leadership development.   He is involved in the Bluegrass Alliance, an eight-county consortium of regional economic development entities and was a founding partner in the Central Kentucky “Regional Public Policy Group.”  Both entities have proven to be ‘region builders’ by unifying cities, towns, and counties across Central Kentucky.

    Bob is a 1985 graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is also a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma in early 2017 and now declared cancer free. In his spare time, he enjoys participating in outside sports and reading political memoirs.  He is married to Julie (Lindemeier) Quick and has three adult children:  Kierstin, Andrew, and Morgan.  They reside in Lexington and attend St. John’s Lutheran Church.

    Josie Burgett

    Downtown Activation Manager

    Greater Des Moines Partnership

    Josie Burgett is the Downtown Activation Manager at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. In this role, Burgett works to ensure that Downtown DSM is a vibrant destination for employees, residents and visitors, alike. This includes implementing placemaking strategies that create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, lining up unique attractions and producing pop-up activations throughout the year that encourage visitation and support the economic and cultural vitality of Downtown DSM. Prior to working at The Partnership, Burgett was the Customer Success Lead at an ag-tech company based in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Burgett is a graduate of Iowa State University, where she earned a degree in Agricultural Business and International Agriculture.

    Sanjita Pradhan

    Sanjita Pradhan Consulting

    Sanjita has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in India. Sanjita worked as resettlement Director of the refugee resettlement program at Catholic Charities where she helped resettle and integrate thousands of refugees from Nepal, Iraq, Burma, Eritrean, Sudan, Liberia, Tunisia, Pakistan and many other countries resettle and reunite with their families. 

    Sanjita also worked at the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Sanjita’s role at the Department of Human Rights was to serve as the central agency to advocate for Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) in the state, coordinate and cooperate with the efforts of the state departments and agencies to serve the needs of API persons in participating fully in the economic, social, and cultural life of the state, and to provide direct assistance to those who request it.

    Sanjita was appointed by President Obama to be on the ‘Presidents advisory commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans in 2015.

    Sanjita was awarded ‘Citizen of the Year’ by the City of West Des Moines and West Des Moines Chamber of commerce in 2021 and MLK Community Leadership award by City of West Des Moines in 2022.

    For the last five years, Sanjita has worked at the Greater Des Moines Partnership leading Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work for the region.

    In this role Sanjita provided one on one consultation to The Partnership Investors on creating a comprehensive DEI plan that has measurable goals and outcomes, leads an internal DEI initiative and coordinates regular events/webinars around DEI to share best practices and inspire action. Sanjita also provides in-depth trainings on various DEI topics to member organizations.

    Sanjita is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE)®.