Sustaining Arts Organizations Through Peer Networking (2012)

In 2012 three very different arts organizations in Northeastern Ontario established a peer network to share, generate and mobilize knowledge in strengthening organizational capacity at a time when the region is undergoing significant changes in its demographics and economic and social environment. Read more

The three partnering organizations were: i) The Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie and District (the lead); ii) 4 Elements Living Arts on Manitoulin Island; and, iii) Conseil des Arts de Hearst. A variety of data collection tools, including on-site consultations and technology-delivered peer dialogues were utilized to create each organization’s profile within a sustainability framework.

The project allowed the time and space necessary to initiate an internal dialogue within each organization, as well as community members and mentoring partners. Overall, the research indicated peer mentoring contributed to: increasing organizational management capacity; strengthening community engagement and social capital development; and, mobilizing knowledge in the cultural sector within the Northern Ontario context. Specifically, the partners indicated peer mentoring to be a viable, cost effective model for building sustainability throughout the region as it established critical support in a region that is challenged by geographical distances and contextual differences to southern Ontario. The project was funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) Compass program, dedicated to organizational development. NORDIK Institute was contracted by the Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie and District to conduct the research. The research team was comprised of Jude Ortiz, Meghan Ableson, and Dr. Gayle Broad.

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