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:


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

Standing Out with Artist-Centric Funders with Candace Feldman

Applying for grants can often feel like you’re shouting into the void. The exceptions, we’ve found, are often the more artist-centric grants, which can usually provide more depth of support throughout the process. But even with these grants, it can be hard to know that you’re showing your work in ways that put you in the best light.

Building off our January discussion about grants panels, and last month’s about standing out as an individual artist, July’s BA Conversation will feature Candace L. Feldman, Co-Founder, Creative Producing Director, Unlock Creative. Candace and Sarah will discuss what it’s like to usher artists through a more hands-on process, selecting the work samples that best highlight your work, and other tidbits around building stronger relationships with funders.

Candace L. Feldman is the daughter of a Zimbabwean Father and Hawaiian mother. She has fifteen plus years of experience as a creative producer and theater director with a history of presenting award-winning performances in the arts, entertainment industry, and live television.

In Brooklyn, NY, Candace honed her creative producing skills during her seven-year tenure at 651 ARTS and had the opportunity to explore her love of performing arts throughout the African Diaspora. Previously, she was the Managing Director at Kinetic Light, the project-based disability arts ensemble. Candace served as the first Black director of Programming at UA Presents in Tucson, Arizona. Before that, she held leadership roles at both CBS Corporation in Los Angeles, CA, and The Juilliard School in New York, NY.

As an advocate for equity and social justice, Feldman’s work includes, Co-Founding Next Generation National Arts Network, a nationwide movement to create stability, legacy and cultural equity in arts administration, former Co-Chair for Women of Color in the Arts’ (WOCA) Professional Development Committee and has served on panels for equity diversity and inclusive leadership. Candace participated in the 2014 American Express Leadership Academy, selected as one of the Changemakers to attend the 2019 American Express Leadership Academy Global Alumni Summit, recipient of the Joey-Lee Garman Award for Social Justice, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Fellowship, a Kennedy Center Gold Medallion Award for Excellence in Theatre.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies from Kansas State University and her MBA from the University of Arizona. Candace has served on numerous boards, committees, and funding panels including Theater Communications Group, South Arts Performing Arts Exchange, Arizona Arts Commission, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

August 19, 2021 12:30-2:00 pm EST

Researching the Right Grants for You, with Kaitlin Kitzrow of Unbound Philanthropy

For many artists and organizations, the hardest part of grant writing is figuring out which grants are the best prospects for you. When a funder has a website, it can be filled with confusing jargon. And for those that don’t have a website, finding up-to-date information can seem impossible. This month, Kaitlin Kitzrow – US Grants Manager at Unbound Philanthropy – will talk with Sarah about some tips and tricks she has for sorting through grants. Having sat on both the applicant and funder side of the relationship, Kitzrow will help us to navigate through the noise so that you aren’t wasting your time on grants that aren’t right for you.

Kaitlin Kitzrow is the US Grants Manager at Unbound Philanthropy, where she supports the Foundation’s US grantmaking processes through database management, compliance review, and financial analysis.

Kaitlin joined Unbound in 2018, after working as the Grants Manager for the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, a Grants Officer at University Settlement/The Door, and the Development and Communications Associate at Epic Theatre Ensemble. Kaitlin holds a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Past Conversation Topics Have Included:

Standing Out as an Indie Artist with Ana Fiore, Director, Grants & Services, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council – who joined us to talk about how indie artists can represent themselves more fully, from demonstrating their capacity through past experience to better planning and budgeting, and more.

Licensing Your Mission with Kathy Damkohler and Rainah Berlowitz of Education Through Music, where we talked about their journey into licensing, how they manage their relationship with affiliates, and things to consider if you are interested in heading down this path.

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.

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

Making Finance Your Friend with Jeanine Hall – who talked about what arts organizations should be doing to make their financial presence easier – no matter how small the budget – while preparing for a more sustainable future in plain language and the minimum amount of pain.

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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