A meeting of more than 450 cultural and business leaders ended yesterday at the Kennedy Center with recommendations that arts organizations devote more energy to staff training and cooperation with fellow organizations.
Reports from long-range planning workshops also suggested improved arts organization management techniques and increased communication between groups' boards and staff members.
The meeting called "Support the Arts," was called by Nancy Hanks, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Roger Stevens, chairman of the Kennedy Center, to stimulate concern about the increasing need for arts funding.
An underlying theme stated at the two-day conference was that arts organizations are in urgent need of better financial management and marketing.
Many arts groups have problems with staff continuity, high employee turnover, limited numbers of staff personnel and poorly trained staff members, according to the conclusions of the Long-Range Planning workshop.
Another workshop recommended that fund-raising consulting firms be used only for limited terms with emphasis on training for people within organizations.
In a speech to the conference, Rep. John Brademas (D-Ind.), the House majority whip, said the arts should be supported because they are intrinsically important, but that leaders of arts organizations should be concerned with basic questions on how to raise more funds for the arts and how they should be earmarked.