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Inspiration and Implementation


MP Virtual Conference 2020!

Free for Michigan Presenters Members!

Register Here



2020 MP Virtual Conference Sessions

Tues, June 9 Schedule

12:30-12:45: Introduction


12:45-1:30: Keynote with Ken Fischer, UMS President Emeritus

Everybody In, Nobody Out: Applying Everybody In, Nobody Out to Today's Challenges in Performing Arts

The inclusion policy of EINO -- Everybody In, Nobody Out -- has been the guiding light for two U.S. performing arts presenters --  Washington Performing Arts (DC) and University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. UMS received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award the federal government grants to artists and arts organizations. UMS Emeritus President Ken Fischer, who served UMS from 1987-2017, will describe what EINO means and how it can be applied to the challenges presenters face today.


1:30-2:15: Panel Discussion - Re-Opening Implementation

Moderator: Dexter Brigham, Midland Center for the Arts

Panelists: Tracey Lawie, Miller Auditorium; James Carter, Ann Arbor Summer Festival; Mary Jennings, Rozsa Center

The possible paths to re-opening our facilities are as numerous as there are venues, and it can be overwhelming to wade through all the webinars and templates. But there are general themes and approaches that are beginning to emerge. Join Tracie Lawie from Miller Auditorium, Mary Jennings from the Rosza Center, James Carter from Ann Arbor Summer Festival in a discussion centering on the challenges and solutions of getting your doors open and patrons back into your venue.

2:15-2:30 Break

2:30-3:15: What’s Next? COVID-19 Status Update and Harm Reduction 
Ryan Malosh, PhD, MPH 
Epidemiologist, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan School of Public Health 

Dr. Ryan Malosh will join to talk about the current state of the outbreak and social distancing guidelines in Michigan and follow that up with best practices for re-engaging in a way that can mitigate risk to patrons, staff, and the community. His presentation will be followed by time for Q&A. 

3:15-4: Break-Out Chats:


Marketing and Audience Engagement

With subscription and season delays due to the pandemic, marketing and patron engagement has become very different. What does your marketing strategy look like right now, and how are you keeping patrons engaged and active with your organization now and in the near future while our curtains are closed? Join Kelsey Southwick and Ryonn Clute from Wharton Center for Performing Arts to share ideas in this round-table discussion. 


Special Events & Rentals

From micro-weddings to livestream fundraisers, join your colleagues in a discussion of creative ways your facility can enable clients and guests to celebrate life events and continue community gatherings in the “new normal” of social distancing and safety protocols



Join Frauenthal Center Building Operations Manager Tyler Dorman and Executive Director Eric Messing to discuss cleaning protocols, safety precautions and social distancing measures, focusing on operating in a ‘new normal.’  This is an opportunity to share what precautions and new guidelines you are implementing for a safe re-opening. 


Wednesday, June 10 Schedule

12:30-1: Welcome and Michigan Presenters Business Meeting


1-1:30: Panel Discussion - New Revenue Models

Moderator: Katie Miller, Midland Center for the Arts

Panelists: Ellen Engle, Saugatuck Center for the Arts; Beth Beaman, Playhouse at White Lake; Mike Nadolski, Mendel Center


1:30-1:45: Break


1:45-2:30: The Virtual Renaissance: How Virtual Artist/Venue Partnerships are (Still) the Way Forward

Guest Performers: The Accidentals

Moderator: Grace Kelmer, The Mendel Center; Panelists: Jim Fleming and Lara Supan, Fleming Artists

Over the past few months, artists and venues have had to rely on digital means of connecting with their audiences. With many artists almost immediately providing free performances from their homes, Fleming Artists saw an opportunity to partner with venues to increase the artists’ reach beyond their own homegrown followers and share revenue with venues. Jim Fleming and Lara Supan of Fleming Artists will discuss their process of vetting streaming platforms and ensuring their Virtual Roster artists have both a professional audio/video setup and the comfort to perform to an audience they can’t see.


2:30-3:30: Data with Colleen Dilenschneider

How COVID-19 is Impacting Intentions to Attend Performing Arts Entities – And What Will Make Patrons Feel Comfortable Visiting Again 

At present, the United States is facing a national emergency as it grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cultural institutions from museums to performing arts entities are closed to the public as much of the country is under stay-at-home orders. IMPACTS is collecting data on intentions to visit cultural entities, the types of organizations that may experience greater demand upon reopening, what people say will make them feel safe visiting again – and many other metrics. During this presentation, IMPACTS will share timely and pressing data to aid in informing strategic direction to maximize engagement upon reopening. 


3:30-4: Break-Out Chats:

Executive Sessions

Join Michigan Presenters Board Members Eric Messing from the Frauenthal Center and Xavier Verna from the Ramsdell Theatre on a discussion on executive leadership during Covid-19. What changes have you considered or already implemented? This goes beyond new cleaning and social distancing policies. How has this affected your mission? What other actions have you seen from performing arts centers? Sharing ideas is key, especially in times like these. 


Ticketing & Box Office

With scheduling changes over the last few months and the potential of artist cancelations/rescheduling in the future, how are Ticketing & Box Offices working with patrons to accommodate? A chance to talk about tools you are using, methods of communication, patron response, if and how you are re-allocating ticket sales revenue into fundraising and more. 


Join Bryan Jao from the Midland Center for the Arts to discuss the new world of programming we are embarking on. Share with and commiserate with colleagues about what is working and what isn’t, challenges you’ve faced, tips on artists and agents you’re working with, and bright spots you’ve encountered during this time. 


This year's conference features keynote speaker, Ken Fischer, University Musical Society President Emeritus

June 9 & 10, 2020
Tuesday: 12:30 - 4 pm 
Wednesday: 12:30-4 pm

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