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Join the book club: The Art of Relevance


Attendees connect at the 2017 Arts Midwest Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Terry Gilliam.

Brand new in 2018, attendees of the Arts Midwest Conference are invited to participate in a summer book club culminating in a discussion in Indianapolis. This year’s book is The Art of Relevance, in which Nina Simon weaves together inspiring stories of organizations who discovered how to build deeply meaningful connections with diverse members of their communities.

Join us for a group conversation about this quick but transformative read and what it means for presenters, managers/agents, and artists.

Friday, September 7, 4:30–5:15 p.m.
Indiana Convention Center

Join the Book Club

“Relevance is an exercise in empathy—in understanding what matters to your intended audience, not what matters to you.” – Nina Simon

Get the book

Read the book free online, or buy it as a paperback or an audiobook.

Quotes from the book

  • “Our work is only relevant when people tell us it is. When they feel connected to it. When they believe that it matters.”
  • “Relevance is a moving target. Your content can be relevant to different people at different times for different reasons—or not. Even at institutions that have undergone radical reinvention, the change doesn’t stop. As Will Rogers said, ‘Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.’”
  • “Can an organization pursue its mission and be irrelevant to its community? Absolutely.”

Session leader

As program director for Arts Midwest’s ArtsLab, Erin Brueggemann creates spaces for cultural leaders to come together, learn from one another, and strengthen the role of arts in community. Erin’s work in arts program management spans nearly 15 years in varying roles. Common threads across these roles include: community engagement, building and deepening relationships and collaborations, developing new initiatives to serve new audiences, strategic planning, advocating accessibility, and a commitment to artists.

Join the Book Club