The Lee Institute
Case Studies

Arts North Carolina

Strategic Planning Organizational Development Public Engagement Facilitation

A Vision for Arts Advocacy in North Carolina

In the summer of 2014, Arts North Carolina launched a five-month strategic planning process to define its future as the premier nonprofit advocate for the state’s creative sector. As a longtime champion of arts and culture, the Lee Institute was delighted to design and facilitate a process that created a vision, goals and strategies to build legislative and public support for the profound value of the arts in our daily lives.

I can say without hesitation that the Lee Institute team took us to a place of inspiration and productivity that we never could have imagined. There is magic in their process as somehow they transform very hard work into a pleasure and an opportunity.
— Karen Wells, Executive Director, Arts NC

The Arts NC planning journey began with detailed surveys of the organization’s board and its member organizations statewide. These results informed three half-day meetings of a board-appointed Strategic Planning Committee, which drafted bold new mission and vision statements and core goals for the next three years. The Committee also interviewed key legislators, policy makers, donors and arts administrators from Asheville to Wilmington, to ensure that their voices were included in the process. The full Arts NC board then gathered in October to review the Committee’s recommendations — which were approved unanimously — and to draft ambitious strategies for future success.

To learn more about arts advocacy in North Carolina, please visit