Arts & Business Council’s Workshops Prepare Arts Groups for Success

Written By Josie Gulliksen
June 3, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Arts & Business Council’s Workshops Prepare Arts Groups for Success

Presenting a re-vamped workshop series in 2016, the Arts & Business Council of Miami hosted monthly inter-connected sessions from January to May. The Council’s Miami Arts Marketing Project Steering Committee was tasked with conceptualizing the topics and bringing together moderators and panelists to make the workshops happen.

Workshop topics were:

  • January: Transformation – Digital Marketing Landscape, Strategies Session and a Creative Mixer
  • February: Purpose – Designing Time, Organizational Tools & Reimaging Your Audience
  • March: Relationships – Adaptive Leadership, Rockstar Storytelling, Curating Innovative Content
  • April: Action – Leveraging Mindfulness, Measuring & Selling Your Impact and Art of the Pitch
  • May: Inspire – Sparking a Movement, Influence the Influencers and Media Sharing Session

Each workshop was strategically organized to lead participants from informational talks led by the panelists on that workshop’s specific topic to breakout sessions where they formed into groups for one on one discussions and brainstorming with a speaker and finally, presenting their ideas to the moderator.

The idea presentations, along with all the other info gathered, allowed everyone in attendance a take away from each individual workshop.

That means, each person went back to their respective organizations with tools on how to navigate digital marketing, learn to reinvigorate their audiences, and freshen up and innovate their storytelling to create unique and innovative content.

The fourth workshop, where they perfected the art of pitching their group’s story and learning to be impactful, was the ideal lead-in for the final workshop in the series.

In May members of the media, from online, blogging and radio platforms, as well as arts supporters from the corporate community, participated as panelists and gave participants the ultimate take away to culminate the previous four sessions.

Noelle Galperin of Galperin Associates led the panel discussion with Rick and Margarita Tonkinson, owners of Tonkinson Financial and major arts supporters.

The Tonkinsons shared their insights into best practices for asking for support.

Noelle Galperin of Galperin Associates with Rick and Margarita Tonkinson of Tonkinson Financial. Photo by

“Think back to when you attended school and then think of your generation’s sons and daughters. Instead of talking to the heads of certain foundations, talk to the younger generation, they know what mom and dad are doing,” said Rick Tonkinson.

He used as examples Armando Codina, whose daughter Ali supports various causes, as well as The Batchelor Family, who support nearly 250 charities and Bacardi. “Most important is to personalize your elevator pitch and tell them why you’re doing this. Personalizing it will do you a world of good,” he said.

Moderator Suzette Espinosa, vice president of communications at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, then served as moderator to the media panel. Engaging the trio in a lively discussion, Espinosa asked them to share their favorite social media outlets and speak specifically about how best to approach each of them with pitches and content.

Panelists included Annie Vazquez, blogger with; Alicia Zuckerman, editorial director of WLRN, and Fred Gonzalez, editor at

Here’s what each had to say:

With regards to social media, Vazquez, because of her online presence and being a blogger, puts her info up across all social media channels, while Zuckerman and Gonzalez both said mainly Facebook and Twitter.

When asked what they are currently working on at WLRN, Zuckerman said they are looking closely at sea level rise from many different angles and how it affects the arts, particularly during Art Basel. is currently re-branding their Website to accommodate their readers and giving them social currency to share with others. They are focusing on how to tell the story in terms of technology, and also know that readers have reacted positively to humorous stories, particularly ones that resonate with locals.

“Our stories about how hot it is in Miami and the Seven Places Miamians Don’t Know About are two examples of that,” said Gonzalez.

When it came to tips about pitching, Zuckerman shared the following:

“As editors, we want to know what the story tells us about this part of the country. We want to give our audience something that broadens their experience in this part of the country. Know WLRN’s voice when pitching them and if you do, you’re ahead of the game,” said Zuckerman.

While Gonzalez added, “the noise in my inbox is real so if you can help us by having something unique, an angle, solving the problem that is a tremendous advantage. You can also create the content. For example, we recently ran a video of the Alvin Ailey dance troupe that showed them doing a particular move or teaching something. This is a new and welcomed approach as opposed to writing a long story.”

L-R: Moderator Suzette Espinosa of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Fred Gonzalez of, Alicia Zuckerman of WLRN and Annie Vazquez of Photo by

MAMP participants then engaged with each individual panelist. Panelists moved from table to table after a short period of time to ensure they engaged with each one. Participants were encouraged to use this time to present their pitch and receive feedback based on the panel discussion. This invaluable take away allowed everyone attending to gain knowledge on what is interesting to the media about their particular organization.

Following the entire series, the Arts & Business Council fulfilled their mission and sent arts group marketers, administrators, and publicists off armed with the tools to maximize their visibility across a variety of platforms.


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