BA Conversations

Conversations with arts professionals that are of interest to small and mighty arts organizations

What are BA Conversations?

At Benvenuti Arts, we mainly work with small and very small organizations just like you! This means we’re hyper-focused on the needs of those groups who are doing amazing things with limited resources; groups with strong community connections and uncompromisable values. Our consulting services and memberships are built around a deep understanding of your work and unique challenges, and our BA Conversations are an effort to address those challenges.

Each month, we’ll be having live conversations with arts professionals about topics that are of interest to small and mighty arts organizations, and we invite you to join! At about 90 minutes each, Founder Sarah Benvenuti will lead the conversation, but we’ll be sure to save plenty of time to answer your questions, too. So watch and learn or bring your own challenges to get advice from the people who know best. 

All conversations are Free for BA members and clients, and just $5 for non-members, these conversations will be intimate, practical, and undoubtedly, a bit of fun. We hope you’ll join us!

See upcoming BA Conversations or sign up to attend here:

UPCOMING CONVERSATION SESSIONS

March 19, 2021 at 12:30-2:00 pm EST

A Year of Radical Change, with Randi Berry and the Indie Theater Fund

When New York City began shutting down; when plays and musicals and cabarets had to close down overnight, the Indie Theater Fund flew into action. After years of working hard to show the world that there was a different way to fund theater, the Indie Theater Fund was now leading the charge in getting much needed funding directly into the hands of theater artists across the city. Larger funders who had previously been hamstrung in their granting rules were now partnering with the Fund to grant money, and looking to Randi Berry and her Board for leadership.

A year later, almost to the day, after COVID-19 changed our industry indelibly, Founder and Executive Director Randi Berry joins us to talk about this change, what she has learned, and her hopes for the future. How can we continue to push the philanthropy world to do better, while also pushing ourselves in the coming years? How can we work to ensure our post-pandemic arts community is more equitable, innovative, and radical in the years to come?

Randi Berry, Executive Director, has an arts advocacy, theater, and real estate background that spans over 20 years. She is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Wreckio Ensemble, www.wreckio.com, a collective theater company that has been producing original work in New York City since 2000. Randi also specializes in contract review and real estate due diligence. She was Director of Operations for CBRE’s Investment Sales team for five years and then ran her own consulting business working on many of the largest commercial real estate transactions in history. Randi’s real estate work parlayed into Wreckio receiving free rehearsal for over a decade. Randi is the Executive Director of IndieSpace, which creates permanent real estate solutions for the indie theater community (www.indiespace.org). Randi is a board member of the League of Independent Theater and Chair of the Real Estate Committee. She has secured a 5,000 square foot rehearsal space for The League and has piloted a program that pairs theater companies with schools and exchanges free rehearsal space for educational theater workshops. Randi is a member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She was named an Indie Theater Person of the Year in 2013 and an Indie Theater Hero and Influencer.  She was also inducted into the Indie Theater Hall of Fame in 2014. Randi was an Indie Theater Leading Light in 2015 and was given a citation for service to her community by the NY City Council in 2018. Randi lives in Astoria with her husband Sam and her son, Eli.

April 21, 2021 at 12:00-1:30 pm EST

Making Finance Your Friend, with Jeanine Hall

“What is your budget this year?” Such a simple question, but one that seems to strike fear into the hearts of every artist and organization we speak with. Why are financial matters so scary to us? With money matters a part of everything you do – from producing to grant writing to Board meetings – we’re on a mission to help make financial management an easier and, dare-we-say, enjoyable part of the job.

This month, we tackle some basics around financial management with Quant Solutions’ Founder, Jeanine Hall. We’ll talk about what every small and mighty arts organization should be doing to make their financial presence easier -no matter how small your budget – while preparing for a more sustainable future, and we’ll do it all in plain language and the minimum amount of pain. Finance? More like FUN-ance, amiright?

Jeanine Hall has 15 years of experience helping business owners gain control of their day-to-day finances. She brings her tactical knowledge in financial management to organizations to untangle complicated or messy financials. Enabling the owners to know and understand their company’s financial position and future trajectories. Whether it’s an artist’s live workspace, or a multi-national media production company, her straightforward, collaborative, and honest approach is a breath of fresh air to all her clients.

Past Conversation Topics Have Included:


The Strange World of Grants Panels, with Rosalind Grush 
– 
who joined us for a chat about the reality of grants panels, both from the perspective of someone who has sat on plenty of them, and as someone who has written many grants judged by panels. 

What Funders Want, with Conrhonda Baker – who shed some light on funding from the other side of the application process. We discussed basic, nonprofit-y things that funders look for and how you can prepare yourself for funder conversations.

Meet Your Host – Sarah Benvenuti!

Sarah Benvenuti | Benvenuti Arts

Sarah Benvenuti is Founder and Lead Consultant of Benvenuti Arts. Sarah brings her operational excellence and fundraising skills to the table with experience that includes Managing Director and Director of Development of The Civilians, Managing Director of Curious Theater Company, and, currently, Benvenuti Arts. Since 2014, Benvenuti Arts has served over 60 small and midsize arts nonprofits in areas of fundraising and management. She has a B.M. in Music from Mercyhurst University and an MA in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and has taught workshops and led panels on fundraising, real estate, and management in the arts.

 

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