Institute for Cultural Advancement

Presented by

Cultural Council for Palm Beach County

Donald M. Ephraim Cultural Leadership Fund web gray

About the Institute for Cultural Advancement (ICA)

The Institute for Cultural Advancement (ICA) is the Cultural Council’s signature, multitiered professional development program for cultural organizations and creative professionals. Generously sponsored by The Donald M. Ephraim Cultural Leadership Fund through the Donald M. Ephraim Family Foundation, ICA sessions are offered throughout the year and are free to all members of the Cultural Council ($10 for non-members).

All sessions are held at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, unless otherwise noted. Main Sessions are general presentations for up to 50 attendees, while UpstART Workshops are more intensive learning opportunities limited to 25 attendees. Learn more about each session and register below.

Questions? Contact us at


The 2019-2020 ICA sessions are inspired by the book “The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations” by Michael M. Kaiser with Brett E. Egan. “The Cycle” is a theory of organizational activity that comprises four steps:

  1. Prioritizing impactful, mission-driven programming
  2. Aggressively marketing those programs, as well as the institution
  3. Newfound interest in well-marketed programs builds a family of ticket-buyers, board members, donors and volunteers
  4. The family grows and becomes more engaged with the institution and its programs, leading to increased revenue
That revenue is then reinvested in the creation of excellent programming, thereby completing “The Cycle.” Each of the following ICA sessions connects to at least one of the four parts of “The Cycle”:
ICA brochure - the cycle illustration

*All remaining ICA sessions through May 2020 have been cancelled. Please check back later this year for future sessions.


October 17, 2019
7:15 am – 10:30 am

Institute for Cultural Advancement Season Kickoff

Brett Egan DeVos Institute

2019-2020 ICA sessions kick off at the Flagler Museum, as guest speaker Brett Egan, President, DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, will review “The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations.” Board members and staff at all levels will not want to miss this insightful approach to creating a strong, sustainable enterprise.

November 8, 2019
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Design Thinking and Collaboration: Engaging New Audiences

Featured Speaker: Gerald Klickstein (Author, “The Musician’s Way”)

Join renowned arts entrepreneurship educator Gerald Klickstein for an interactive presentation to help organizations across all disciplines create high-impact, collaborative arts events to attract new audiences. Using the proven framework of “design thinking,” along with research from the National Endowment for the Arts and others, he helps organizations identify target audiences and define motivations and barriers to arts participation. Attendees will generate ideas to trigger motivations and overcome barriers; then map out ways to prototype, test, fund and scale up arts experiences suited to diverse audiences; and finally, review model events and examine audience-building resources from The Wallace Foundation and others. Attendees will depart with ideas, tools and best practices that can promptly be put to use.


Suggested for: executive, development, programming/events, creative professionals

November 8, 2019
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Essentials of Music Career Success

Featured Speaker: Gerald Klickstein (Author, “The Musician’s Way”)

To build sustainable income streams, today’s music makers need an array of entrepreneurial skills, few of which are taught in music schools. In this intensive workshop, arts entrepreneurship educator Gerald Klickstein will demystify the inner workings of the music profession and guide participants to build lasting careers as artists and professionals. First, attendees will articulate their artistic missions. Then, using the proven framework of “design thinking,” participants will devise authentic musical products and services that fit their missions and match community needs. Next, Klickstein will delve into financial, business and legal issues in music, distilling the core elements and enabling participants to handle the operational demands of the music profession. Attendees across all musical professions will depart with step-by-step action plans that may be used immediately to achieve short- and long-term goals.


Suggested for: creative professionals

November 12, 2019
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Major Gifts: What are They and How Do I Get Them?

Featured Speaker: Charlotte Pelton (Charlotte Pelton & Associates)

Learn what every fundraising professional needs to know about designing and implementing a major gifts program during this informative, focused presentation. Major elements include 1) How to define a major gift for your organization; 2) How to identify your organization’s best targets for major gifts; 3) How to develop the right cultivation strategies and approaches for each target; 4) How to conduct a successful solicitation; and 5) What to do once you have secured a major gift.


Suggested for: executive, development, board of directors

December 12, 2019
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Protecting Your Organization’s Reputation During a Crisis

Featured Speakers:
Bill Orlove (Florida Power & Light Company)
Naki Carter (Marketing Consultant)
Becky Peeling (Palm Beach Atlantic University)

An organization can be faced with a crisis at any time: a hurricane barrels toward South Florida; a high-level employee is involved in a scandal; the website crashes during a major gifts campaign. Crisis management is not a matter of if—it’s a matter of when. This session will explore the essentials of building a crisis communications plan—from forming a committee and communications chart to reputation management and more.


Suggested for: marketing, PR, executive, board of directors

January 16, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Understanding the Artist/Attorney Relationship

Featured Speakers: Phil DiComo and Leslie Adams (Haile, Shaw & Pfaffenberger)

In this workshop, local attorneys Phil DiComo, whose practice includes corporate and nonprofit law, and Leslie Adams, a specialist in intellectual property law, will provide a primer on trademark and copyright laws in a way that informs and educates creative professionals.


Suggested for: creative professionals

January 22, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Marketing Strategies and Planning

Featured Speaker: Dawn Frisby-Byers (Pennsylvania Humanities Council)

Every day, arts organizations are under pressure to produce more and do better with less resources. Success largely depends on the ability to translate your organization’s goals into a marketing strategy that drives results. To ensure optimal success, both your strategy and plan need to work together. Learn how to set realistic and achievable marketing goals that support organizational goals, how to construct the elements of a marketing plan, and how to execute a content marketing strategy during this session.


Suggested for: marketing, PR, programming/events

January 23, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Building New Diverse Audiences through Effective Practice

Featured Speaker: Dawn Frisby-Byers (Pennsylvania Humanities Council)

Demographic change is reshaping the make-up of communities across the U.S. and once tried-and-true marketing approaches are yielding diminishing returns. Arts organizations need to grapple with the reality of a more diverse population and position themselves to communicate with, and market effectively to, a more diverse population. This workshop will incorporate emerging new knowledge specific to audience building and consumer market research generated through the ongoing national Building Audiences for Sustainability initiatives supported by The Wallace Foundation.


Suggested for: marketing, PR, executive, development, programming/events, creative professionals

February 5, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Human Flourishing: Innovative Thinking in the Workplace

Featured Speaker: Dr. Matthew Lee (Harvard University)

Few would dispute that the arts play a crucial part in a life well-lived. Aesthetic experience is part of the story, but only part. There is so much more. It is good to remind ourselves of an expanded vision of the role of a musical composition, a painting, a poem, or the performance of a dance in the lives of all people. The arts can act as a bridge to connect disparate groups of people, while at the same time helping us to diagnose and remedy well-being deficits in our own organizations. But there are disparities in the extent to which the arts are utilized by different groups. Drawing on a wealth of interdisciplinary research, this session will envision a deeper role for cultural organizations in fostering a more inclusive experience of flourishing, or complete well-being, for all members of the community in Palm Beach County and beyond.


Suggested for: board of directors, executive, development, programming/events, creative professionals

February 5, 2020
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Human Flourishing: Practical Applications for Engaging Underserved Populations

Featured Speaker: Dr. Matthew Lee (Harvard University)

How might cultural organizations play a more central role in helping to promote flourishing, or complete well-being, for underserved populations? What steps can these organizations take to connect groups that otherwise have limited contact with each other? Using an appreciative inquiry process, this workshop will offer practical guidance on how to use research on flourishing and the science of behavior change to guide the daily work of cultural organizations.

This practical workshop will identify actionable steps within the arts and cultural community to promote human flourishing, especially for underserved populations. Attendance at both sessions is encouraged, but not required.


Suggested for: board of directors, executive, development, programming/events, creative professionals

February 20, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Using Storytelling in Your Brand Voice

Featured Speakers: Staci Sturrock and Lulu Carter (Ideabar)

Your brand is more than a logo and tagline. Your brand is a story that attracts an audience, connects with them emotionally and keeps them coming back for more. Before you can tell your brand story, you have to own that story, and know it inside and out. Led by two professionals from Ideabar Agency, this session is meant primarily for marketing, advertising and public relations professionals looking to crystallize the story of their organization’s brand—then flesh it out with an engaging personality, a distinct style and an unmistakable voice.


Suggested for: marketing, PR, executive, development, programming/events, creative professionals

February 27, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

MASCHINE and What it Means to Be an Artist

Featured Speaker: Gabriel “Gato” Ferrer (Native Instruments)

This session will invite attendees to learn about the real-world applications of MASCHINE (music production and performance system developed by Native Instruments) and have the opportunity to hear about the vulnerabilities associated with music production (or art itself). Attendees can expect to interact with MASCHINE software and to participate in exercises that help create space in which a real discussion about experiences in creativity and being an artist can be explored.


Suggested for: creative professionals

March 5, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

The Creative Process: Liberating Great Ideas

Featured Speaker: Craig McInnis (Craig McInnis Studios)

This session will explore McInnis’ favorite topic, the creative process, and discuss best practices for attendees to maximize their efforts. McInnis will offer tips for overcoming artist’s block, coming up with fresh ideas, and taking concepts from thumbnails, sketches and outlines to finished products.


Suggested for: creative professionals

March 10, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Strategic Planning: Your Roadmap to Mission Success

Featured Speaker: Gerry Czarnecki (National Leadership Institute, Deltennium Group)

Creating and fulfilling a strategic plan is absolutely essential for a healthy nonprofit. It sets priorities, focuses resources and energy, and helps the staff, board and other stakeholders work smoothly together toward agreed upon goals. In this session, National Leadership Institute Founder Gerry Czarnecki explores key elements of a strategic plan, including who does what and when, along with common best practices.


Suggested for: executive, development, programming/events, board of directors

March 20, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Cancelled: Don’t Let Your Board Be Bored with Donor Relations

Featured Speaker: Lynne Wester

*This event has been cancelled.
The dynamics of donor relationships are experiencing a revolution unlike any seen before. Donor relations are at the center of fundraising relationships. How do we work together with our boards, fellow teammates and other key stakeholders to show the value of donor retention through brilliant donor relations? This hands-on session will provide tangible takeaways and new thoughts about donor relations and board development and education. In this economic environment, competition for the gift has never been greater, making effective donor relations programs more important than ever.


Suggested for: marketing, PR, executive, development, programming/events, board of directors

Generously sponsored by: