Jamie Martino, Michael Mori, Keith Fernandes, Angie Caunce, and Jessica Derventzis of Tapestry Opera. Photo: Guntar Kravis
Eight Performing Arts Companies and Organizations Accepted Into Staging Change Stage 2

We are pleased to announce the selection of eight Toronto-based performing arts companies and organizations for acceptance into Stage 2 of Staging Change, Metcalf’s latest version of its multi-year strategic funding program in the Performing Arts.

The cohort for Stage 2 is comprised of the following:

A tiered program, Staging Change is comprised of four stages. In Stage 1, teams from fourteen organizations came together and participated in a series of six interactive workshops designed to uncover and name a complex challenge and begin to identify a potential response.


Stage 2 consists of individualized onsite organizational coaching. Designed to build on the learning from the Stage 1 workshops, the onsite coaching will allow participating organizations to further explore their adaptive ideas, approaches, and strategies. Additionally, participants will enroll other organizational stakeholders to create an expanded working group in support of the identified new approaches. Over the course of three, half-day coaching visits, each organization’s working group will begin to develop an adaptive response, and will test its emerging strategy by designing and carrying out “small experiments with radical intent.” The intention is to guide each organization in significant self-reflection alongside early experimentation as it prepares to plunge into an innovation project.

In Stage 3, which begins in September 2019, up to five organizations from the eight in Stage 2 will be invited to proceed. Stage 3 will focus on the most promising approaches. Research and design capital will be provided by the Foundation. Finally, in Stage 4, successful applicants from Stage 3 will receive significant amplification grants over a two-year period, which will allow the organizations to embed the strategy.

In the delivery of Staging Change, Metcalf is partnering with EmcArts, a non-profit cultural enterprise based at the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. EmcArts comes with a solid track record in using the adaptive change process to address some of the most intractable and complex challenges facing the arts sector.

Underpinning the philosophy of Staging Change is the recognition that growth and longevity are no longer the only sustainable goals for performing arts organizations. In today’s rapidly changing environment, success means finding a healthy balance between stability and adaptability. Staging Change creates the conditions for performing arts companies to experiment with adaptive strategies in a thoughtful and inclusive context.

For more information on the program, please visit Staging Change.