Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island

Arts and Business Council
10 Dorrance Street, Suite 102
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: 401-621-6127
Fax: 401-621-2237

Peter Bramante
Executive Director

Tonya Langford
Director of Programs
Phone 401-521-5000



A&BC/RI was spun off from RISCA in an effort to help fledgling art organizations increase their chance for survival through sound business tactics. Executive Director, Peter Bramante is a retired dancer and one of the founders of the wonderfully inventive (and now defunct) Groundwerx Dance Company. He brings a unique understanding to A&BC/RI of the problems and issues that face dance companies.

Since 1989, the programs and services of A&BC/RI have helped to increase the capacity of arts and cultural organizations across the state to enable them to expand and thrive. A&BC/RI will continue to build a vital arts community for Rhode Island while it works to expand the role of the emerging creative cluster's impact on Rhode Island's economic, new business and tourism development.

The Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island recruits and brings expertise, resources, educational opportunities and leadership talent from the business world to increase the viability of the state's non-profit arts and cultural organizations. The A&BC/RI supports additional program opportunities within Rhode Island's emerging creative economy cluster, assuring Rhode Island's economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Corporations and businesses that partner with the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island benefit through meaningful volunteer opportunities for employees, improved workforce and professional development opportunities, greater access to arts resources, and the opportunity to be part of a community enhanced by the presence of a vibrant arts sector.

A&BC/RI provides eight distinct programs, services and events that advocate for the arts and cultural sector and it's vital economic development role in Rhode Island's future.



SHORT STORY: A low cost reservation and ticketing service for arts events.
LONG STORY: ArtTIX is a comprehensive, information, marketing and ticketing service that serves as a marketing vehicle for all of the arts in the City of Providence, across the state and throughout southeastern New England. It is intended to provide more demand for arts and cultural performances and events, thereby generating new earned revenue sources for participating arts and cultural organizations.


Arts After Hours is a new series of roving social and networking events that provide an opportunity to get together at different arts/cultural venues around the city or state. It offers arts groups an opportunity to show off their spaces and work, business people an easy way to get more acquainted with the arts community, and arts/cultural leaders the chance to interact on a regular basis.


Gamm Theatre hosts the largest arts & business social/networking event of the season!
Gamm Theatre
Pawtucket Armory Annex
172 Exchange St
Pawtucket RI
Tuesday, May 18th
5:30-7:30 pm
Reception is FREE
RSVP Required: online - or email - or call 401.621.6108
Hey, here's your chance to network with other artists, performers, people with all kinds of great ideas looking for other creative people to work with or to just to meet and interact with.



  • The BVA Consultancy Match Program recruits, trains and places business executives as pro bono consultants with non-profit arts and cultural organizations. The program helps organizations build capacity while providing business people the opportunity to expand their professional and personal experiences. Since its inception in 1989, the program has provided over $6 million dollars of professional consultation services to over 140 arts, cultural and educational organizations.
  • Encore Arts and Business Awards honor the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations that work to improve the quality of life of all Rhode Islanders through their dedication to and support of arts and culture in the state. Whether they play the role of advocate, creator, manager, performer, presenter, producer, supporter or sponsor, these leaders ignite our potential and inspire our future.
  • MetLife Foundation National Arts Forums Series provide a forum for Rhode Islanders to engage in a dialogue on arts and business issues ranging from our ability to grow the creative economy to statewide cultural policy planning, cultural tourism and arts in education. Providence is one of nine sites selected by the MetLife Foundation to host the program.
  • The National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) helps organizations acquire and implement sophisticated marketing skills and enables arts groups to increase earned income through innovative and effective audience development planning. This program is supported by American Express and includes a local workshop series, an advanced training and granting program, an interactive website and an international arts marketing conference. Providence is one of twelve project sites across the country.
  • Stable Growth Organizational Development Series provides professional development workshops, best practices, case studies and a network of mentors and colleagues for arts managers, board members, operational and artistic staff.


LOCATION (for most workshops):
Arts & Business Council
Chamber of Commerce Bldg
1st Floor Conference Room
30 Exchange Terrace, Providence
Monday, May 9, 2005 -- 8:30am - 12:00pm
Special Location: Biltmore Hotel - Garden Room

This intensive half-day course is aimed at the sponsorship seeker who wants to take his or her program to the next level but is often frustrated by longer sales cycles and proposals that seem to dead-end. Sponsorship Bootcamp teaches participants how to re-think their offerings and see them through a buyer's eyes, as well as providing concrete advice on how to price, package and manage the pitch.
You will learn...
Secrets for Penetrating the New Sponsorship Market
- What's selling . Who's buying . Myths and truths about today's marketplace
How to Think Like a Sponsor
- What motivates sponsors? . What turns them off? . Industry terms sponsors use . Common industry metrics and methods for sizing up an offer
What is Your Worth
- Drill-down methods for discovering your value . Putting a dollar value on your assets . Pulling it all together into a package
Selling and Closing - Prospecting the sales cycle . Getting in the door . Writing a proposal with stopping over
Sustaining the Revenue Stream
- 10 rules for sponosorship renewals . How to build a foundation for sponsorship success

Patricia Martin , nationally recognized expert on sponsorship
To register contact Tonya Langford at 401.621.6108 or online at

Monday, May 9, 2005 -- 12:00 - 1:45pm
Special Location: Biltmore Hotel - Grand Ballroom

The Cultural Consumer: How the performance they see Saturday night affects your bottom line Monday morning
Are you looking for Marketing Alliances That Can Turbo-Charge Your Company's Growth?

Media-numb and cynical, customers are tuning out and turning off. Yet, audiences still respond to innovative sponsorship. Whether it's Yoplait's record-setting 'Save Lids to Save Lives', American Express's breakthrough Charge Against Hunger, or Fairy Tale Brownie Company's sponsoring new playgrounds, marketing alliances move brands directly into people's lives.

What's the net result of creative marketing alliances? Extraordinary business outcomes -- more sales, deeper loyalty, and genuine excitement, but pulling it off means harnessing the power to think BIG, and building alliances that will:

- Turn your brand into a cultural phenomenon
- Attract priceless media coverage
- Crack new sales channels you can dominate
- Elevate your leadership status
The Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island would like to invite you to a unique luncheon forum to learn first hand how you and members of your marketing and sales team can create rewarding, innovative marketing partnerships.

Please join us for 'The Cultural Consumer: How the performance they see Saturday night affects your bottom line Monday morning' as part of our MetLife Foundation National Arts Forums Series on Monday, May 9th from 12:00-1:45 in the Grand Ballroom of the Providence Biltmore.

Sponsorship marketing expert and keynote speaker Patricia Martin will share insights from new research on consumer attitudes and behaviors related to their desire for cultural experiences, as well as models from companies that are capitalizing on these trends to extend their brands, infuse their sales environments and excite their customers.

Attendees of the luncheon forum will learn how to:
- Tap into street-tested, innovated ideas for developing entertainment & cultural partnerships
- Get insights into emerging trends and alternatives that are gaining share-of-wallet from youth, women, and elite customer markets
- Leverage entertainment and cultural ties to generate media coverage, word-of-mouth, employee loyalty and new sales channels
- Build business from their arts and entertainment alliances

Full Day - first attendee (8:30am - 1:45pm) non-profit: $90
Sponsorship Bootcamp - first attendee (8:30am - 12:00pm) non-profit: $70
Full Day additional attendees (same non-profit) $60
Bootcamp Only additional attendees (same non-profit) $50
To register contact Tonya Langford at 401.621.6108 or online at

Succession Planning / Recruitment
Tuesday May 17, 2005 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Board evaluations/needs assessment; developing structures to build leadership and outreach; cultivation and recruitment; orientation and training; ongoing engagement; leadership development.
Michael Fournier, Vice President of Leadership Development, YMCA of Greater Providence
To register contact Tonya Langford at 401.621.6108 or online at


Opt in
The Power [and perils] of Direct Email Marketing

May 18, 2004
3:00pm - 5:30pm
Gamm Theatre
Pawtucket Armory Annex
172 Exchange St
Pawtucket RI
Tuesday, May 18th
Registration by phone 401-621-6108
Price: $25/ Additional attendees from the same organization $15
SPEAKERS: Michelle Girasole, President, Next Step Web Marketing
Callum Grieve & Gina DiSpirito, Gladworks, Inc.
Lisa LaDew, Festival Ballet
Email is an inexpensive way to interact with your patrons, donors, and constituents. But making it work for you can be challenging. This workshop will teach you the key components of developing a successful email marketing campaign and help you avoid the common pitfalls of electronic communications.
You will learn - the importance of strategy; various technology options and requirements; keys to successful list building and management; practical design hints; and valuable tips for tracking and interpreting results.


Positioning Yourself in the Market
Arts & Business Council
1st Floor Conference Rm
30 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903
Identity & Branding
Tuesday, June 15th
9:00am - 1:00pm
Price: $30/ Additional attendees from the same organization $15
Registration by phone 401-621-6108
Presenter Deborah Obalil, Executive Director, Alliance of Artists' Communities
Does the community really know who you are and what you do? If you are trying to expand your audiences, donor base or participants for your organization, branding is critical to achieving those goals. The key to successful branding is developing a brand identity that expresses the uniqueness of your organization.
This workshop takes an inside look at the components that make up image and positioning and then shows how these concepts influence audience/donor development. You will learn - branding basics; the process of developing a strong brand identity; how to transition from an old brand to a new one; how to incorporate key constituents; and how to use your brand to position your organization in the marketplace.


Building Effective Board Leadership in the Arts
Monday, June 21, 2004
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset Street
Providence RI
Registration Fee: $10 (per person)
includes Arts After Hours reception
Or contact Tonya Langford
Phone: 401.621.6108

An enlightened board of directors is a key to growing and sustaining a healthy organization. But what are the leadership roles and responsibilities of a board, and how can we cultivate effective leadership?

Many organizations suffer from ineffective or inefficient boards of directors whose behavior can jeopardize performance and even survival. But when directors fulfill their roles as leaders, the board can become an asset rather than a liability. Arts organizations everywhere are searching for additional resources: the board represents a latent resource that directors and administrators can mobilize to fill the gap.

The forum will begin with a discussion of Servant Leadership as a model for creating a board culture of trust, respect, learning, and ethical behavior. It will then explore four steps to effective board leadership:
  1. - Designing the right board structure
  2. - Selecting the right directors
  3. - Assigning directors the right roles
  4. - Asking the right questions
If you currently serve on a board, are considering joining a board, or work with a board, this forum will offer you critical insights and tools for building leadership within your organization.

Allio Associates LLC
Robert is a management consultant, educator, and writer, focusing primarily on the fields of strategy and leadership. After a number of years as a corporate executive, he served as Dean of the School of Management at Rensselaer and Professor of Management at Babson.
He has been director or chairman of numerous boards in both the corporate and non-profit sector (including the Arts & Business Council of NY). In Providence, he has worked with the Arts and Business Council of RI and the RISD Research Foundation. His latest book is Seven Faces of Leadership.
Performance Management Associates
Pam has over 20 years of leadership, management, technical, sales and training experience with a wide range of corporations and small businesses. In 1993, Pam co-founded Performance Management Associates to provide top quality, innovative and customized training solutions for clients.
Pam is the former board president of Partners In Education and the Rhode Island Special Olympics. Pam also chaired the 1997, 2001 and 2002 Program Committees for Leadership Rhode Island, an organization devoted to building leaders within the business community. She currently sits on the board of that organization.

Pitching Your Story to the Press
Tuesday February 15, 2005
9:00 - 11:30 am
Positive media coverage has to be earned - you have to craft a great message; find the appropriate media outlets; and locate the reporter who is going to love your story. Discover how to find your media 'hook', write a press release, navigate the local media market and successfully pitch your story. Plus, learn how to determine your measurement of success and the value of your earned media to impress your boss, your board, or yourself!
PRESENTER: Mary Sadlier is Executive Vice President of Advertising Ventures (in 2003 one of Inc. magazine's 500 fastest growing companies) and President of the Public Relations Society of America, Southeastern New England Chapter. Mary will share her media lists, tips on writing a good press release, and some examples of good media pitches.
To register contact Tonya Langford at 401.621.6108

The Board's Role in Marketing
March 8, 2005 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Role of marketing in a mission-driven organization; importance of planning and strategy; board members as ambassadors; using board member expertise and connections; role of a marketing committee.
Deborah Obalil, Executive Director, Alliance of Artists' Communities
To register contact Tonya Langford at 401.621.6108

Deborah Nash at
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