Keene, NH

Contact Name
Alec Doyle
Project Dates
2007 - Present
Workshop Leader
Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) 2011
Real Estate, Business Planning, Marketing, Networking, Workforce Development
In 2007, a group of private citizens convened a meeting of regional cultural and artistic organizations to discuss plans for an informal collaboration that would facilitate communication and distribution of information regarding programming, fundraising and other activities of mutual interest. The first Plenary Session of the Monadnock arts and cultural organization was held on January 11, 2008, at Antioch University New England, and generated an enthusiastic consensus and collaboration. Arts Alive! was incorporated as a New Hampshire nonprofit corporation in 2009.
Project Goals
What were the project goals?
-Creating a vision and facilitating master plans for arts and culture in the region -Developing communication channels to increase awareness of and participation in artistic and cultural events -Cultivating funding sources for arts and culture throughout the region -Developing tools that foster collaboration, communication, and cooperation among arts and cultural organizations
Have they changed over time?
Who are the project partners and stakeholders?
Project partners and stakeholders include participating arts and culture organizations, key regional funders, representatives from regional colleges and universities, state and local elected officials and individual artists.
Project Specifics
How was the project implemented? What were the steps taken?
To date, Arts Alive! has implemented the following: -Developed an online planning calendar to help Arts Alive! participants work more collaboratively and avoid programming conflicts -Consulted with city master planning groups in Keene, Peterborough and other municipalities. -Worked with Americans for the Arts to conduct a major 11 month study to quantify the broad economic impact of arts and cultural activities in the Monadnock region -Retained Webb Management Services, a management consulting practice for the development and operation of cultural facilities.
Have they been refined over time?
Webb evaluated the market demand and user potential for a multi-arts campus in downtown Keene and developed a preliminary space plan and capital budget as well as an operating plan for its sustainable ongoing operation.
What were your major obstacles?
As the Monadnock Region covers a broad geographic area, one obstacle was gaining sufficient participation from the various towns across the region. Arts Alive! has also been intent on including arts and culture organization of all sizes and types. This effort to be inclusive and collaborative has presented a number of challenges along the way but ultimately has made for a more robust and cohesive group of stakeholders.
Who or what was instrumental in overcoming these obstacles?
These obstacles were overcome through a concerted to pursue strong, consistent and transparent communication with all of the participating organization.
What top three suggestions would you give to others attempting a similar project?
For those attempting a similar project, our top three suggestions would include: -Attempt to make the process as transparent as possible by soliciting input from a broad spectrum of arts and culture organizations -Involve key funders early on in the process - Actively secure participation from local educational institutions, elected officials and business leadership
Project Impact
How has this project contributed to creative community building?
Arts Alive has helped to greatly increase collaboration, communication, and cooperation among area arts and cultural organizations. One such partnership is occurring with The Colonial Theatre and MoCo Arts.
Why do you consider the project successful, as related to your project goals above?
These two organizations are actively examining the idea of creating shared facilities to accommodate the current and future needs of both organizations, and to offer space to other arts organizations in the area.
Were there unexpected impacts?
One unexpected outcome was the creation of the choral marketing group. As a result of their involvement with Arts Alive!, six local choral groups combined forces to create and secure funding for a group marketing approach for their annual concerts.
CCX Workshop Handout