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Francine Sheffield ('12) in Pursuit of Sustainable Cooperative Business Model for the Arts

Francine Sheffield

COVID-19 has gotten artists, presenters, and venues across the world exploring new ways of doing business. Performing Arts Administration alum and Founder/CEO of Sheffield Global Arts Management, Francine Sheffield ('12), joined a global partnership, Rhizome Arts Consulting, to form a hybrid arts collective in pursuit of a new business model that moves away from the transactional presenter-artist model and replaces it with a dialogue model, delving deeper into how artists, presenters, artist representatives, funders, and partners can engage audiences digitally and continue to deepen the relationship beyond the COVID pandemic.

She, along with three other partners of this joint venture, talks about this alternative approach in an interview with International Arts Manager (IAM):

IAM: For your clients/potential clients, what will be different now – or will it essentially feel like business as usual?

Francine Sheffield: There is no ‘business as usual’ at times like this. Instead, it is about working together and finding solutions to problems through digital engagement. It is not about opening channels to stream recordings of performances on the internet – it is about creating channels for more connectivity.

Our work could take the form of helping to integrate technology in artistic works (such as Company-E’s development of augmented reality dance), or curating programs like our Artists’ Connectivity Series, which brings artists together to have important conversations, supporting artists as they expand their boundaries and form deeper relationships. 

Read the full interview.