Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AFTA-DMAI Toolkit Moves to Comment Phase

Posted for a period of comment now is a draft toolkit shaped by a Joint Task Force of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI.)  Copies will be posted soon by DMAI and AFTA and blog open for public comment will be available later today.image001

The purpose is simply to serve as a conversation and thought-starter to spawn closer collaborations and partnerships at at the community-level between cultural-heritage organizations, facilities, events and presenters and the community’s official community destination marketing organization, most often called a convention and visitors bureau.

Due to the recession, the Task Force conducted meetings by conference call and exchanged information and feedback via a listserv and a blog between calls.  I was very impressed with the the group’s ability to make pointed observations, stay focused and reach consensus even without face to face meetings.

I appreciate the opportunity past DMAI Chairman Maura Gast and current Chairman Dan Fenton gave me to chair the Joint Task Force and to finish off this phase from retirement.  I appreciate Randy Cohen at AFTA for helping to recruit their representatives and for his insight into the importance of non-mainstream cultural-heritage to a communities unique sense of place.

And special thanks to my former assistant Minerva Council and the team at DCVB for helping with the technical details of creating and proofing the document and to Karen Gonzales at DMAI for facilitating meetings.  I also want to thank my long-time friend E’Vonne Coleman Cook for advising the Task Force.

E’Vonne works for DCVB now but after a stint as an executive for the National Endowment for the Arts, she directed the Durham Arts Council for most of a decade before a stint at Duke University.  She helped DCVB initiate a very productive two way relationship with cultural-heritage stakeholders in Durham.

My appreciation as well to Shelly Green, the current CEO at DCVB for permitting them to be involved and for proofing.

Cultural-Heritage entities are crucial stakeholders for destination marketing organizations and in turn DMO’s and they are primary stakeholders in destinations with culture at the center of their visitor product and sense of place.

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