The culmination of the MAAA degree is the Capstone project–a semester-long, whole-cohort project that deals with a topic in arts administration. This year the 2015 cohort was tasked with being consultants for local beloved arts nonprofit, the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation. The project focused on Lotus’ desire to analyze their major annual fundraiser (Edible Lotus) in hopes of finding ways to raise more from this event. The cohort explored Lotus’ current fundraising practices, researched similar organizations across the country and conducted interviews with these organizations about their fundraisers, and explored all aspects of nonprofit arts event coordination/marketing/budgeting.
The result of the semester of research was a two part plan, one track offered suggestions to Lotus on how they could improve the current Edible Lotus without drastically changing the format of the event. The other track suggested a complete replacement of the current Edible. Both tracks were informed by the cohort’s extensive research throughout the semester, especially the general recommendations students distilled from interview data with comparable organizations. The full report explores nonprofit arts fundraising/development in depth, and allowed students to apply these principles to a real-life scenario.
The cohort gave a formal presentation of findings to the Lotus staff at the end of fall semester 2015. This presentation was done in conjunction with the final report, which took the form of a 120+ page document, complete with eight appendices of research findings/supplemental materials. The cohort also made a project website hosting all the report content. Check out the project website here!