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Lawrence Arts Center Strategic Plan

The Lawrence Arts Center is a public and private partnership whose charter recognizes it as the City’s leading and unifying arts organization. Since its 1975 origin in a Carnegie Library Building, the Arts Center has grown to offer the best in contemporary exhibitions, visual and performing arts education, and performance to diverse audiences.

In collaboration with the Leadership Team, the CEO updates the Strategic Plan the third quarter of each Fiscal Year before the next year’s budgeting process begins.

The Lawrence Arts Center’s strategic plan focuses on eight areas.

1.) Visual and Performing Arts Education: The Lawrence Arts Center’s visual and performing arts education programs encourage students of all ages and experience levels to experiment and deepen understanding of art while making lasting connections in related areas of study as well as with their teachers and each other.

2.) Performance. The Lawrence Arts Center’s performing arts program includes family shows and adult productions, in dance and theater. We value collaborations between artists from various disciplines, including commissioning visual artists to create unexpected and compelling scenic elements and musicians to perform live as an integral part of productions.

3.) Exhibitions. The Lawrence Arts Center supports and exhibits the work of artists at all stages of their careers. We choose exhibitions for their provocative and coherent ideas, artistic excellence, use of materials, and use of space. We market and sell art, encouraging the involvement of potential collectors with artists through art talks and other events. All Exhibitions and Art Talks are free and open to the public.

4.) Artist support. The Lawrence Arts Center supports two annual yearlong residencies, many short-term visiting artists each year, and project-based residencies for local artists who wish to work in our studios. We maintain a home for up to four artists in a neighborhood near the Arts Center. We also offer technical expertise in studios and in installing exhibitions, print and online publications, the ability to market work, grant writing workshops, and exhibit work, including film and other digital media.

5.) Financial Stability. The Lawrence Arts Center’s annual budget provides the guidelines for fundraising and programming in a given year, relying on an active, generous, and connected Board of Directors to meet fundraising objectives. Our strategic plan aims to increase earned revenue (tuition, ticket sales, art sales) while increasing the percentage of our total revenue that is not market-driven and therefore allows for experimentation, direct support for artists, access for all families regardless of ability to pay, and carefully chosen non-commercial exhibitions and productions. The Lawrence Arts Center relies on individual and corporate philanthropic giving, and our development staff and board committee work to recognize and cultivate these donors.

6.) Community, Regional, and National Influence. The Lawrence Arts Center works to place art at the center of Lawrence’ economic development strategy and to uphold Lawrence as a model creative community for the region and the nation.

7.) Access. The Lawrence Arts Center is committed to removing physical and financial barriers to access to visual and performing arts for all children, teens, and adults.

8.) Capital Improvements. The Lawrence Arts Center maintains a plan capital investments in this city-owned building. Capital improvements are usually grant-funded or, on occasion, funded by the City of Lawrence. Replacement, upgrading, adding capital improvements, except where infrastructure such as HVAC is concerned, is the responsibility of the Lawrence Arts Center.