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Sara Leonard Consulting


Savvy Strategy. Real Solutions.

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Sara Leonard Consulting


Savvy Strategy. Real Solutions.

Helping arts organizations thrive

As a consultant, my focus is on the nonprofit arts organizations at the heart of our nation’s cultural life. I work to empower clients with the strategies, relationships, and resources that they need to thrive internally and externally and to have a powerful impact on their audiences.

Together, we can build a nonprofit arts sector in which organizations and artists of all kinds are active and vibrant members of their communities, engage in meaningful relationships with their audiences, and fulfill their missions in healthy and creative environments.

AUDIEnCE DEVELOPMENT

Bringing artists, arts organizations, and audiences into meaningful and lasting relationships is a core focus of my consulting practice and research. 

I will work with you to articulate goals and create the plans you need to reach them, and will empower you with the information you need to develop a community around your work.

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capacity building 

Through strategic planning, staff and board development, and individual coaching, I help clients establish the foundation they need to create effective and exciting organizations and relationships both internally and externally.

We do our best work with inspirational leadership, clear direction, and in vibrant and positive environments.

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teaching + workshops

I offer workshops, courses, and guest lectures tailored to the needs, goals, and proficiency level of my clients - in professional, graduate, and undergraduate settings.

Recent and upcoming topics include motivations and barriers impacting arts attendance, grant writing, strategic planning, and the arts and social controversy.

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Principles


Principles


Informed by my experiences as an arts administrator and consultant, I have established six principles core to my approach.

Arts organizations of all sizes can have big impacts on their communities. Big, small, or in between, any organization can make a big difference for its audiences. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?

We all need a little outside perspective sometimes. We benefit from finding someone who can see a situation with a fresh set of eyes, rearticulate an idea in new language, or distill diverse thinking and find common ground.

We take the work seriously, not ourselves. Fulfilling our missions is serious business, but we can have fun getting there. A little levity can open the door to more creative thinking and stronger relationships, and, let’s face it, we work better and harder when we’re having a good time doing it.

It’s about bringing the art and the audience together. Organizations that put audience at the center of their missions, no matter what kind of work they do, are seeing it pay off as they create thriving audience communities built on their organizations and art.

Current research is an asset. In the nonprofit arts world we often rely on what we "know" based on conventional wisdom. Current research can be hard to access and a challenge to parse, but applied thoughtfully it can help keep us moving forward instead of relying solely on past beliefs.

Resources should be respected. Our big ideas compel us to take on more than we may have the current human or financial capacity to handle. Sometimes we need to say no. And sometimes we need to say yes - but also recognize that it may take an extra set of hands to get the job done.