Reimagining Return

A Special Webinar Series

About the Series

AMS Analytics and AMS Planning & Research are pleased to announce a limited webinar series to address a range of topics germane to operating an arts organization in the age of COVID.
Join us as we explore a diversity of topics related to the transformation and reimagining of the arts & culture sector.

Coming up

The Dance of Self-Care for leaders in the Arts and Culture Sector
Tasha Golden, PhD,
Director of Research at the International Arts + Mind Lab
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Mikhayla Harrell
Museum Educator and Teen Intern Coordinator
Ogden Museum of Southern Art

10. The Dance of Self-Care for Leaders in the Arts and Culture Sector

Tuesday, December 14 at 3pm Eastern

Wellness and self-care are paramount to living a healthy and balanced life and science continues to support the notion that arts and culture are good for our well-being. Leaders working in the arts and culture sector are often focused on taking care of their stakeholders (staff, constituencies, etc), with little time and focus on themselves, but how can we best be there for others if we do not look after our own wellbeing? In this webinar the panelists will talk about the field of Neuroaesthetics, the importance of self-care, and the benefits of its application.

Join AMS Senior Associate Lynette Turner in conversation with Dr. Tasha Golden, Director of Research, International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins Medicine; Mikhayla Harrell, Museum Educator at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; and Rebekah Boggs, AMS Project Coordinator, for conversation regarding this important topic.

Optimism and Uncertainty: The Performing Arts Workforce
Meg Friedman
Senior Consultant
AMS Planning & Research
David McGraw
Program Coordinator
Arts Administration at Elon University

9. State of the Performing Arts Workforce - A final update

Tuesday, October 12 at 3pm Eastern

We’re back! Or are we? Join the researchers behind Return to the Stage for a briefing session on the final wave of the study. Meg Friedman, AMS Senior Consultant and Knowledge Manager, and David McGraw, head of Arts Administration at Elon University, will share key findings from the study and have a conversation with special guests. A Q&A will follow.

Come prepared to ask questions about the performing arts workforce, its priorities and sensitivities.

For more information about the study and to sign up for future reports, visit Return to the Stage.

Arts and Education in the Age of Covid
Jamie Kasper
Executive Director of the Arts Education Partnership
Tom DeCaigny
Executive Director at Create CA

8. Arts and Education in the Age of Covid

Tuesday, August 17 at 3pm Eastern

In March of 2020, our nation’s students headed home “temporarily” while we fought to flatten the curve. Fast forward to one year later. Many students only just returning to school, educators still adapting to synchronous and asynchronous teaching, parents continuing the delicate balance of working, “homeschooling” and parenting. Layer on existing issues of access, diversity, equity and inclusion, only exacerbated and brought to the forefront by the pandemic, where does arts education land and what is the critical path for content providers and advocates moving forward?

In this installment of Reimagining Return we’ll discuss the art of arts-in-education as our youth navigate learning in the age of Covid-19 and how organizations can support them. Join AMS Project Manager, Amy Ben-Kiki in conversation with Tom DeCaigny, Executive Director at Create CA, California’s Statewide Arts Education Coalition, and Jamie Kasper, Executive Director of the Arts Education Partnership.

The Art of Reopening
Gretchen Scott
Director of Marketing @ The Shed
Sara Villagio
Chief Marketing Officer @ Carnegie Hall
Michelle Holmes
VP Marketing @ AT&T Performing Arts Center

7. The Art of Reopening

Tuesday, June 22 at 3pm Eastern

By June of 2020, live performances had nearly all been cancelled and venues closed. One year later, concert halls, performing arts centers and arenas are gearing up to reopen. For many organizations, reopening represents the first live performance in nearly 18 months. What does it take to reopen safely and securely, while also providing unparalleled customer experience and committing to certain health precautions? What have we learned during COVID-19 that will inform the customer journey moving forward? How do we communicate with our audiences and patrons to embolden them to return with confidence?

In this installment of Reimagining Return we’ll discuss the art of reopening with the professionals behind the organizations unlocking their doors first.

Join Director of AMS Analytics Jordan Gross-Richmond in conversation with Gretchen Scott, Director of Marketing at The Shed, Michelle Holmes, VP of Marketing at AT&T Performing Arts Center and Sara Villagio, Chief Marketing Officer at Carnegie Hall.

Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19
Dayna Frank
CEO of First Avenue Productions
Ralph Remington
Director of Cultural Affairs, City of San Francisco
Julie Baker
Executive Director, Californians For The Arts and California Arts Advocates

6. Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19

Tuesday, April 13 at 3pm Eastern

April is Arts, Culture & Creativity Month in California and is also a time of concentrated arts advocacy activity in Washington D.C. and across the country. How will this April’s advocacy differ from ‘normal’ and even last year’s work? What will our sector’s new normal be with respect to public support? How should we set our expectations? What are the strategies, tactics, and messages that have been most effective and that we can build upon?

In this installment of Reimagining Return we will explore the art and craft of arts & culture advocacy and how efforts have adapted and shifted in the age of COVID-19.

Join AMS Director Bill Blake in conversation with Julie Baker, Executive Director of Californians for the Arts, Ralph Remington, Executive Director of the San Francisco Arts Commission and Dayna Frank, President of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

Meg Friedman
Senior Consultant, AMS Planning & Research
David McGraw
Program Coordinator, Arts Administration at Elon University

5. Signs of Hope: Has the Performing Arts Workforce Recovery Begun?

Tuesday, March 2 at 3pm Eastern

Join the principal researchers behind RETURN TO THE STAGE (featured in our December 9th webinar) for an update and conversation about the latest results from this 18-month study.

The program will include a look at expectations about the future of the field and how employer interactions, employment opportunities, and the impact of coping strategies could reduce future attrition from the field. 

For more information about the study and to sign up for future reports, visit

The Frontyard Festival transforms the outdoor areas in front of the Dr. Phillips Center’s three front parcels, including the Seneff Arts Plaza, into the region’s most unique, dedicated outdoor entertainment venue that will showcase a diverse mix of music, comedy, films, health and wellness programs, and local community arts performances.
Kathy Ramsberger
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Michael J. Fresher
President & Chief Executive Officer
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

4. Innovations in Program Delivery

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 12:30pm Eastern

The long intermission that we have been experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic has all but eliminated our ability to connect with our communities in a traditional way. This program will focus on innovation in performance space and business models that have enabled performing arts centers to remain connected to their communities, audiences and artists a like–at scale.

AMS Principal Steven Wolff will speak with CEOs Kathy Ramsberger of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Arts in Orlando and Mike Fresher of the Tobin Center in San Antonio on topics related to their experiences with creative program delivery over the past months as well as how those experiences might impact the business going forward.

Rachel Moore
CEO, Music Center of Los Angeles County
Joan Squires
CEO, Omaha Performing Arts

3. Return...or Transformation

Wednesday, December 9th at 3pm Eastern

Even as we are experiencing a major surge in COVID cases, we are also beginning to see positive indicators of the vaccines and tools that will be essential to re-opening our performing arts venues. Steven Wolff will be joined by Rachel Moore, CEO of the Music Center of Los Angeles County and Joan Squires, CEO of Omaha Performing Arts to discuss steps they have already taken and innovations they are considering as they look ahead. 

In this conversation, Steven will draw on literally thousands of contacts and tens of thousands of audience surveys to frame a series of observations and questions around addressing conditions that preceded the pandemic and the reality of being the “first to close and last to reopen.”

Meg Friedman
Senior Consultant, AMS Planning & Research
David McGraw
Program Coordinator, Arts Administration at Elon University

2. Return to the Stage: A Snapshot of the Performing Arts Workforce in COVID

Wednesday, November 10 at 3pm Eastern

The Performing Arts sector is grappling with extraordinary change, and the workforce faces urgent and complex stresses in economic, social, and professional terms. Return to the Stage is an independent study launched in July 2020 which documents the Performing Arts workforce’s coping strategies, potential attrition from the field, and more. 

The program will include a brief overview, a deeper dive into key findings, and a 10-minute Q&A with the researchers, Meg Friedman, Senior Consultant for AMS Planning & Research and David McGraw, Program Coordinator for Arts Administration at Elon University.

Jennifer Arnold
Director of Artistic Planning & Orchestral Operations, Richmond Symphony Orchestra

1. Operating in COVID

Tuesday, October 13 @ 3pm Eastern
AMS Managing Director Michele Walter (currently supporting the Richmond Symphony in an interim role) will lead a conversation with Jennifer Arnold, Director of Artistic Planning & Orchestral Operations for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Richmond, Virginia.
The orchestra quickly jumped on three concurrent initiatives:
  1. The launch of a community music school, accessed through the virtual learning environment. 
  2. The orchestra’s new Music Director Valentina Peleggi collaborated with a partner and local artists to devise an event entitled “African American Voices” which highlighted inspirational music of Black composers alongside living history portrayals. 
  3. The RSO planned to completely rework its season and move forward with a full year of concerts starting in September – indoors and virtually.
During this half hour, Michele will converse with Jen about the challenges, opportunities and creativity required on the part of every stakeholder – musicians, venue management, staff, and of course the audiences, as well as answer questions posed by participants.