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Needs Assessment: Arts Administration Skills and Resources in Nunavut’s Arts and Culture Sector

November 23, 201623 November 2016

Provincial and territorial arts research reports

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Based on “a literature review, phone interviews, online surveys, artist roundtables and the development of an inventory of training providers”, this report examines the current situation and needs regarding skills training and supports for artists and arts organizations in Nunavut.

For artists, skills needs related to arts administration include financial literacy and management, long-term business planning, management of legal transactions, marketing, and grant writing.  For arts organizations, common needs include human resources, space, project management, strategic planning, and board management.

The report also outlines specific needs for different arts sectors in Nunavut. In the visual arts and crafts, the report highlights “a changing external market and declining sales”, which has intensified the need for skills development related to marketing, sales support, and financial planning. A key challenge in the film and media arts sector is “the lack of formal, institutional training”. Businesses in this area were found to need skills development in strategic planning, financial planning, and specialized production accounting. The performing arts in Nunavut is seen to be “emerging but under-supported”. Skills needs in this sector include grant writing, bookkeeping, and project management. The writing and publishing sector is seen as small but having growth potential. Needs in this area include “grant writing, business affairs (legal and accounting, and sales and marketing”.

Regarding cross-sector support services, the report indicates that “specific arts administration support only exists in pockets”, and “few national arts industry associations have much presence or dedicated resources for the territory, with some notable exceptions”. In Nunavut, arts administration training “includes: 1) one-off, industry-specific workshops at festivals, conferences, trade shows and summits; 2) courses and classes embedded in broader arts-focused curricula at the two Nunavut Arctic College programs; and 3) business skills training that is not specifically geared towards arts and culture”.

While the report’s scope did not include the development of specific recommendations, the report outlines possibilities for strengthening capacity within three general perspectives: 1) augmenting existing resources; 2) developing new capacity-building initiatives; and 3) fostering partnership opportunities.

The report concludes that “gaps in business and arts administration skills and support services are causing challenges at the individual, organization and sub-sector levels, and these challenges are, in turn, compromising the stability and growth of the Nunavut arts and culture sector”.

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