How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce from The pARTnership Movement - Part 1

About the How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce Series

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 series 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 series 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.  

Register on this page for Part 1 of the series. Registration for Parts 2 & 3 will be published on separate pages.

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

Part 1 of this series 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. 

Included in this package:

  • The 3-part on-demand webinars will be available at the end of the month - registrants will be notified
  • The Live Conversation will take place on May 19, 2021, at 3:00 PM ET

About Parts 2 & 3 (coming in late 2021 and 2022)

Part 2: Connecting Social Impact to Arts and Chambers Partnerships

In part 2, 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 with their full community and creative ecosystem and begin to leverage new connections and relationships inside the chamber to address social impact 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 discussion with presenters once completing the 3-part on-demand webinar series. Part 2 will become available in the fall of 2021.

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 Series, 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.

  • Local Arts Agencies & Chambers of Commerce - The Very Basics Live Discussion

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 05/19/2021

    Interested in learning the basics about local chambers of commerce, their priorities and challenges, and some simple steps a local arts leader can take to establish a partnership with them? Participate in this 1-hour live conversation to learn about the broad chamber landscape and what initial activations you can do to begin a relationship with your chamber. This live session is designed to complement the How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce Series 101 Module which includes 3 on-demand webinars. We recommend you review the first three sessions and download the digital toolkit prior to participating in the live session, though the discussion is open and available to all.

    imageAbout this Discussion

    Interested in learning the basics about local chambers of commerce, their priorities and challenges, and some simple steps a local arts leader can take to establish a partnership with them? Participate in this 1-hour, free, live conversation to learn about the broad chamber landscape and what initial activations you can do to begin a relationship with your chamber. This live session is designed to complement the How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce Series - Part 1 which includes 3 on-demand webinars. We recommend you review the first three sessions and download the digital toolkit prior to participating in the live session, though the discussion is open and available to all. 

    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.

    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.   

    Jessica Stern (Moderator)

    Senior Manager, Local Arts and Business Partnerships

    Americans for the Arts

    Jessica is the Private Sector Initiatives Program Manager with Americans for the Arts. Prior to this position, she acted as the Membership and Resources Manager for the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO), providing oversight of NAO’s statewide membership program while curating and reinventing its online platform of nonprofit management best practice resources. Prior to NAO, Jessica spent nearly five years working with Portland’s local business committee for the arts, Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA), delivering programs that engaged employees from BCA’s 200+ business members, managing all marketing and communications strategies, and retaining and cultivating corporate and community partnerships. Jessica has also served in development roles at Metropolitan Youth Symphony and Literary Arts; and has freelanced as an independent web designer and developer.

  • Local Arts Agencies & Chambers of Commerce - The Very Basics

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Part one of this series 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 these Sessions

    Part one of the "How to Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce" series 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. 

    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.