Thrive Arts Conference 2018

Big Ideas Start Here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018
9:00am – 4:30pm

Lewis Arts complex at
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Join hundreds of executive, marketing, and development professionals from regional arts organizations for the fourth biennial Thrive Arts Conference. Spend the day exploring how we, as an arts community, can confront the challenges and opportunities we face now and in the decades to come.

Conference Schedule

9:00am – 10:00am
Registration & Networking Breakfast

10:00am – 11:45am
Morning Plenary Session / Keynote Address

12:00pm – 1:00pm
First Breakout Session

1:00pm – 2:00pm
Networking Lunch

2:00pm – 3:00pm
Second Breakout Session

3:15pm – 4:30pm
Closing Plenary Session

Download the Thrive Conference App

Stay connected with everything Thrive-related by downloading the free Attendify app from the App Store or Google Play. Join the Thrive Conference with event code “ThriveArts18.”

You’ll get venue and parking details, a complete conference schedule, list of speakers and their bios, a map of the facilities, and much more. The app will even connect you with speakers and fellow attendees once you’re at the event.

Don’t wait. Download the app before the conference and take full advantage of all it has to offer.

Thanks to our sponsors:

9:00am – 10:00am: Registration & Networking Breakfast

Take advantage of your time before the morning plenary session to grab a bite to eat and network with your colleagues.

10:00am – 11:45am: Morning Plenary Session

We’ll kick off the conference with a performance by the Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir. Consisting of 60 singer/dancers between the ages of 15 and 22, the choir has delighted more than 350,000 people across the region with rousing renditions of Broadway, pop, and classics.


Keynote Address

Exponential Creativity in a World of Abundance
Adam Huttler – CEO, Exponential Creativity Ventures

The world is better than you think. Despite our many serious challenges, when you dig into broad global trends, the clear positive trajectories may surprise you. Against this backdrop and fueled by the opportunities it creates, our culture is shifting from an obsession with consumption to a human-centered paradigm of creation. By far, more people are making art today than ever before in human history, and we’re still at the leading edge of this trend.

With so much cause for optimism, then, why are our arts organizations still facing so many legitimate, sometimes existential, threats? The dizzying pace of change – in technology, culture, and demographics – has left our 20th century model institutions ill-equipped to navigate the future that’s unfolding around us. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel! Let’s take a deep breath and an unflinching look at this brave new cultural landscape. Then, let’s talk about how to thrive amidst exponential creativity in a world of abundance.

12:00pm – 1:00pm: First Breakout Session (Choose One)

Expanding Our Voices to Reflect Changing Demographics – SESSION FULL
James Claiborne – Public Programming Manager, African American Museum in Philadelphia

The demographics of our nation are changing, but the arts industry struggles to reflect these societal shifts. We’ll discuss ways to combat this challenge by addressing the need for a more diverse workforce in order for arts programming, and its related messaging, to authentically reach a broader and more diverse audience. Our facilitated conversation will openly tackle the obstacles, both real and perceived, related to making progress and discuss practical solutions to effect meaningful change.

Catching Our Breath: Assessing Digital Technologies for Meaningful Audience Engagement

Matthew Fisher – Principal, Night Kitchen Interactive

The arts community faces an ever-growing variety of digital tools and platforms to engage audiences. We’ll discuss how to navigate the technological landscape and look at strategies for implementing thoughtful digital solutions to foster meaningful audience engagement both on site and online.

Everyday Data – SESSION FULL

Katie Ingersoll – Education Manager, DataArts

Now, more than ever, savvy cultural leaders are using data in everyday ways to grow and thrive. Knowing the types of data to collect and how that data connects to important questions can help organizations of all sizes find inspiration and support their programs, marketing, fundraising, and finances. We’ll look at some case studies and discuss a few initial steps toward action that you can fit into your everyday work.

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Networking Lunch

Take a break and enjoy your lunch. Catch up with colleagues and share takeaways from the morning sessions. After all, we take great pride in bringing people together and putting out a good spread!

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Second Breakout Session (Choose One)

Breaking Through Digital: How to Make Noise with Your Content – SESSION FULL
Katryn Geane – Director of Client Services, Situation

With constantly changing algorithms and dwindling attention spans, what types of content will engage audiences and attract new followers to your organization? We’ll explore content creation and distribution best practices, as well as audience engagement strategies to help amplify your institutional message and cut through the digital noise.

Harnessing the Power of Google – SESSION FULL
Bruce Mishkin – President, Adventix

Whether you’re new to search engine marketing or are a seasoned pro, this session will help you gain new insights into the ways your organization can take advantage of Google’s latest free, traffic-boosting and audience engagement tools. We’ll discuss strategies for attracting and managing online reviews and dive into voice search, which is expected to account for 80% of all search queries by 2020. For those currently using Google Ad Grants, or planning to, we’ll explore the new rules around account maintenance and campaign performance.

National Trends, Jersey Implications
Eddie Torres – President & CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts

Chris Daggett – President & CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Are you concerned about recent economic trends? Do you wonder how tax reform will affect charitable donations? Do battles to maintain support for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities cause you worry? Are you trying to figure out how increasing demands on a still struggling state economy will impact your organization? Well, you’re not alone! We’ll delve into these and other challenges related to generating earned and contributed income from individuals, private foundations, and all levels of government from both a national and local perspective.

3:15pm – 4:30pm: Closing Plenary Session

The final session of the day will begin with a performance by Whitman Winds, a newly formed chamber ensemble featuring current and former members of Symphony in C, one of the nation’s premier training orchestras for young professional musicians.




Thrive Jeopardy
Moderated by Paula Alekson – Artistic Engagement Manager, McCarter Theatre Center

We’ll wrap up the conference by coming together to share the day’s ideas with a rousing game of Jeopardy. In this highly interactive session, attendees will break into teams to see just how much everyone learned at Thrive.

Door prizes from some of New Jersey’s favorite destinations will be presented to Thrive Jeopardy winners!
Courtesy of: Steel Pier and Resorts Hotel & Casino (Atlantic City); Cape May Stage and Cape May Brewing Company (Cape May); Surflight Theater and Chowderfest (Long Beach Island); MPAC and Giralda Farms Music & Arts Festival (Morristown); McCarter Theatre Center and Cargot Brasserie (Princeton)

Post-Conference Networking

Just because the conference ends doesn’t mean the conversation has to! Why fight rush hour traffic? Stick around and join fellow conference-goers for discounted pints and bites at the Dinky Bar & Kitchen – a short walk from Thrive and a comfortable gathering place where you will enjoy honest fare, good drink, and great hospitality. Show your Thrive Conference badge to get 20% off everything on your tab!


Early Bird Registration (April 12 – April 27)
Individual Rate: $75*
Group Rate: $65* per attendee (minimum of 3)

Advance Registration (April 28 – June 5)
Individual Rate: $85*
Group Rate: $75* per attendee (minimum of 3)

Walk-Up Registration (Space Permitting)
Individual Rate: $100
No discounts or group rates available

*15% discount for ArtPride member organizations with promo code
ArtPride Member Organizations: Don’t have your promo code?
Contact Shoshanna Wiesner in the membership department to get one.


Registration includes continental breakfast, buffet lunch, admission to two plenary sessions and two breakout sessions.

Be prepared to select which breakout sessions you wish to attend during the registration process.


The arts complex is across the drive from the NJ Transit Princeton Station.

Lewis Arts complex
at Princeton University
122 Alexander Street
Princeton, NJ 08544


Free parking is available in Lot 20 behind the train station, a short walk from the arts complex.

See public transportation details.
See accessibility details.


Why not make the most out of your time in Princeton? Just a block away from campus, the Nassau Inn welcomes visitors with an uncompromising standard of hospitality that dates back to 1756. A unique blend of historic charm and modern style makes the Nassau Inn a perfect option for your overnight stay. Learn more and book a room.

Click here for other hotel options, courtesy of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers and sessions listed are current as of the time of publishing but are subject to change. No refunds are allowed. If you require assistive listening or have questions regarding accessibility, please contact Shoshanna Wiesner at 609.479.3377 x301, or email, at least two weeks prior to the event.



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