Lutman & Associates works with nonprofit clients and independent producers in cultural, media, and philanthropic sectors, and in the intersections among these. We are known for creative, future-facing projects that help organizations explore new initiatives and break new ground. As consultants we are hired to develop strategy; conduct program assessments; collaborate on planning and launching new initiatives; and support and lead planning and evaluation.
Our distinctive capability comes from having done the work: we’ve been there.
As entrepreneurs we are actively engaged in developing and testing our own ideas. For example, our highly-successful What’s Up Pop Up events are public projects we create to build community capacity for dialogue, debate, and discovery. Pop ups feature the ideas and people that are influencing us, and turn our work inside out to share with you. In 2014, we created Hothouse at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a pop up coworking space involving 35 solo-preneurs, independent producers, small nonprofits, and businesses who worked at the MIA while drawing on the museum's collection for inspiration. (Read about it here.) Stay tuned to learn more about what we have up our sleeves.
Sarah Lutman is also a widely published author for local, regional, and national publishing platforms.
Current projects include:
+ Continuing evolution of our work with the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation to amplify the ideas and findings in our Like, Link, Share report. We're researching and writing about cultural institutions are embracing digital media, and seeking ways to learn more about this subject. We're developing workshops for the Broward County Cultural Commission and for this year's League of American Orchestras' conference, and creating a tool kit for resource-constrained organizations to help them get started or strengthen their digital strategy and practice.
+Supporting program development at the Minneapolis-based George Family Foundation.
+Providing background information and analysis for entities within Minnesota Philanthropy Partners as they consider whether and how to provide operating grants.
Please be in touch! We’re happy to provide work samples and references.
We produce What’s Up Pop Up events that bring you interesting people and ideas from our work in informal settings. We are building community capacity for dialogue, debate and discovery, and creating forums where people can connect in person.
Follow us on Twitter to hear about the next event. We'll post it here as well.
Initially published in the April Twin Cities Business Magazine.
Ben Cameron became president of the St. Paul-based Jerome Foundation in January. He previously led Target’s giving in the arts and most recently worked in New York for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, one of the nation’s largest arts funders. With a background in theater, Cameron also served as director of the theater program at the National Endowment for the Arts, and as executive director of the Theatre Communications Group, a national service organization for the theater community in the United States. TCB spoke to Cameron recently to learn about the Jerome Foundation’s vision for arts funding.
TCB: What brought you back to the Twin Cities and to this particular position?
Ben Cameron: Really, three things. I’ve been very public ever since I left, that I considered the Twin Cities my home. This was an opportunity to come back to a city that I really love. The second thing that was really powerful for me was, I’ve gone to the national mayors’ conference, and I remember Mayor [Eric] Garcetti of Los Angeles standing up to say that today, national governments will never be the home of successful innovations. They are too mired in bureaucracy and self-interest. Going forward, the breakthrough solutions to the problems we face today will be found on the local level, and it will be the federal government’s job to bring successful innovations to scale. Third, I think we’re in a moment of profound realignment and reorganization for the arts in this nation, and I think the most interesting experiments and solutions are going to happen at the local level.
So as much as I loved my job as a national grantmaker, the opportunity to work with a local focus, with the potential to think about these issues, was deeply attractive.
TCB: You just said that our society’s most important innovations are going to come at the local and regional level; tell me how they will occur.
BC: As a national grantmaker what’s fantastic is you get to interact with great ideas wherever they are. But change, I think, comes from a denser, concerted mass of people working together, and in the local community. There is different potential to watch a system move and adapt when you make many grants in the same community. You can have a kind of local impact that helps nudge a needle that is more likely, compared to, say, 15 grants given across 15 states. Those grants are wonderful for those 15 organizations, but they may not move a system. So it’s about the density of activity.
Click on the title of this post to read my full column, and thanks!