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ArtReach Saint Croix Board Retreat

This past week, Melinda and I (kirstin) joined the board and a few key volunteers of ArtReach Saint Croix at the Carpenter Nature Center. This is the second time I have been able to design and facilitate a day-long retreat for this awesome group of people as they investigate their role as an arts service provider to the artists, arts organizations and communities of the Saint Croix Valley region. We spent the day teasing out a number of key goals - embracing the shifting strategic direction of the organization, generating ideas for serving the region, and investigating the ways the board of directors can support the sustainability of the organization.

The day flowed easily from one activity to the next. We started the day by presenting and gathering feedback about a document that was designed to offer a snapshot of the full scope of the organization. To gather feedback, participants read it and we navigated a structured dialogue together, asking questions and generating critical feedback that staff could use to further refine it.

From there, we moved on to an all out brainstorm. Since ArtReach embraces a regional philosophy, participants were invited to brainstorm ideas for programming in the valley that would serve a wide audience - by traveling from place to place or being available to the many cities and towns. They came up with amazing ideas and I am thrilled by the prospect of connecting them to artists here in the Twin Cities.

That was just the morning! But, you get the point....the afternoon honed in on what we learned in the morning and we left with a stronger understanding of what the organization needs and how each board member can play a role in its success.

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