Gather Round Series

Join Arts Midwest for three virtual Explorations in the Gather Round Series. The Gather Round Series is dedicated to advancing sustainable resilience and recovery for historically under-resourced communities, organizations and leaders.


April Exploration

Rebuilding and Reimagining: How to Use Scenario Planning to Make Strategic Decisions

Thursday, April 29, 2021 from Noon – 1:30pm Central Time

In the April Exploration, participants learned how to rebuild and reimagine through scenario planning with Julie Koo of the nonprofit management consulting firm TDC. They explored how to weigh strategy with financials, asked questions of an expert, and walked away with a framework.


Watch the Exploration Recording  Read the Exploration Transcript
Download the Slide Deck  Download a Cash Flow Projection Template 


May Exploration

Nurturing the Rural Ecosystem

Thursday, May 20 from Noon – 1:30pm Central Time

In the May Exploration, Benya Kraus, Lead for America Co-Founder and Minnesota Executive Director, led a conversation on building sustainability within our collective work.

Best practices and challenges were shared across the areas of community care, revenue, public investment, and self-care (how to ensure your organization is sustainable for future generations).

Benya was joined by these dynamic Midwestern leaders and United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund grantees:



Watch the Exploration Recording  Read the Exploration Transcript (Coming Soon)
Host a Lead for America Fellow   Read or watch more about Lead for America 
Kauffman Center: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Playbook


June Exploration

Anti-Racism in a Rural Setting

Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 1:00pm – 2:30pm Central Time

In the June Exploration, Stuart’s Opera House and their community partners led a conversation on building a community-wide anti-racist action plan in the rolling Appalachian hills of southeast Ohio as they continue to listen, learn, and make mistakes.

 In April, Stuart’s hosted the first of what will be many gatherings in support of building an anti-racist arts community in Athens County Ohio. The April summit was the culmination of the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in which Stuart’s has been engaged.



Watch the Exploration Recording  Read more about moderator Kayla Kim Votapek
Find out more about the land you are on or text your location to 907-312-5085   Read The Four Parts of Accountability: How To Give A Genuine Apology  
Learn more about Stuart’s Opera House Cultural Equity Read Dr. jw Smith’s Vital Speech of the Day delivered at the first Black Summit in Athens, Ohio on February 18, 2021
NPR’s list of books, films, and podcasts: Racism is a Start, Not a Panacea Fractured Atlas’ Anti-Racism Resources for Arts and Nonprofits


This series is part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, a national recovery and resilience initiative made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and an anonymous donor. For the last few months, grantees have been sharing ideas, perspectives, and experiences in Circles. Circles are small sessions that grow into themes and topics for larger field-wide Explorations.