Inaugural Staging Change Cohort Announced

The Metcalf Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of fourteen Toronto-based performing arts companies and organizations for acceptance into Stage 1 of Staging Change, Metcalf’s latest version of its multi-year strategic funding program in the Performing Arts.

The cohort for Stage 1, comprised of companies, festivals, educational institutions, and a service provider, represent the vast richness of Toronto’s performing arts sector in terms of discipline and size. They are:

A tiered program, Staging Change is comprised of four stages. In Stage 1 of Staging Change, teams from each organization, representing artistic, administrative and board leadership, will participate in a series of six interactive workshops designed to uncover and name a complex challenge and begin to identify a potential response.

All organizations who successfully complete Stage 1 will be invited to apply to Stage 2, in early 2019, consisting of more in-depth organizational coaching leading to small scale experimentation. Stage 3, for up to five organizations, focuses on the most promising responses and provides research and design capital. Finally, over two more years, significant scaling grants will embed the strategy within the organizations.

In the delivery of Staging Change, Metcalf will be partnering with EmcArts, a non-profit cultural enterprise based in New York. This marks the first time that the Performing Arts program is partnering with an external service provider in the delivery of its flagship program. 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. In order to thrive, performing organizations must let go of traditional thinking which insists that organizations hold on to everything that they do well and adding on new initiatives. Staging Change creates the conditions for performing arts companies to experiment with adaptive strategies in a thoughtful and inclusive context.

In addition to launching Staging Change, we are also introducing the Staging Change Associate Facilitator Training Initiative. Led by Metcalf and EmcArts, this train-the-trainer program will develop the capacity of local consultants through the practice of adaptive change.

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