“[Mayor Kip Holden] is going into the four-man race with more than $400,000 in his war chest and near-record approval ratings of more than 80%...[and] the experienced campaign team of Marmillion/Gray advising him and producing his media.”

- Baton Rouge Business Report, 8/25/08

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Case Study: National Endowment for the Arts
Home » Specialties » Arts » Case Study: National Endowment for the Arts

The Challenge:
In 1996, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), after an agency restructuring, decided to continue an organized national discussion with the arts community regarding the ecology of the arts process in America that had begun years earlier. The NEA wanted to spark a national dialogue that would enrich the country's cultural legacy for future generations and decided that it would be necessary to seek input from many different arts organizations from all parts of the country.

The Solution:

The National Endowment for the Arts turned to Marmillion + Company to assist in the planning and execution of its initiative, called American Canvas, a series of meetings and forums that would be used to spark the national dialogue. MCo coordinated, managed and facilitated community forums in six cities and three national steering committee meetings in which national, regional and local leaders explored various aspects of the successful integration of the arts into communities.

Before the community forum was held in each city, MCo worked with local arts organizations to heighten interest in the event, secure high-profile local participants and ensure a “sold-out” venue. As part of these efforts, MCo devised a plan to coordinate and manage the volunteer network at each location.

Marmillion + Company also designed a visually appealing "look and feel" for each forum and utilized an entertaining, yet functional, "talk-show" format to facilitate stimulating discussions. Valsin Marmillion, MCo's president, co-moderated each of the forums along with former NEA Chair Jane Alexander.

Following the community forums, MCo coordinated a follow-up research effort targeting all the forum participants. The survey designed by MCo elicited innovative ideas for promoting support of the arts and resulted in the American Canvas Action Plan and the final published report, American Canvas: An Arts Legacy for Our Communities.

The Result:

Six privately-funded forums were held across the nation that explored a different aspect of the successful integration of the arts into communities. Locations included: Columbus, OH; Los Angeles, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Rock Hill, SC/Charlotte, NC; San Antonio, TX; and, Miami, FL
Three national steering committee meetings were convened and included representatives from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Americans for the Arts, the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and the American Assembly, as well as others
The final report, American Canvas: An Arts Legacy for Our Communities, was widely disseminated across the nation and was used to foster debate across the country

Services Provided:

Meeting Facilitation
Event Planning
Collateral and Materials Development
Community Relations
Sponsorship and Cooperating Organization Outreach
Media relations