It’s been just about five years since Like, Link, Share: How cultural institutions are embracing digital technology, was published by the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation (and authored by 8 Bridges Workshop’s Sarah Lutman and Jessica Fiala). The premise of the report was that digital strategy is no longer optional but essential: the public expects to engage with culture digitally, to sample and share, to connect and participate.Read More
Writing, projects, ideas
Sarah Lutman, principal, and 8 Bridges Workshop have been supporting the St. Paul-based arts organization, Springboard for the Arts, as it develops SpringBOX. In June, Knight Foundation made a $1 million investment in the redevelopment of the new site, a former car dealership located on light rail’s Green Line on University Avenue near the state capitol. Even while under renovation, the space is already being used by the community. In just ten months, more than 150 organizations and community groups have used the building—for free—with more than 4,500 people participating.Read More
On May 6-7, 2019, music stations across public radio gathered for the first-ever convening of the noncomMUSIC Alliance, a new cross-format organization of more than one hundred jazz, rock, classical, alternative, Americana, eclectic, and mixed-format radio stations. Held just before the annual Triple A NON-COMM gathering in Philadelphia, the meeting drew some 125 participants from radio stations across the United States.Read More
The arts require more than artistic talent; a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into any project. 8 Bridges Workshop associate Anika Fajardo shares some of the activities surrounding the publication of her debut memoir, Magical Realism for Non-Believers, which is being released this month from University of Minnesota Press.Read More
In a recent article on Medium, Sarah Lutman wrote about how foundations are exploring more ways to involve community members in helping boards make good financial decisions. A recent report from the Foundation Center serves as a playbook for “participatory grantmaking” and details how seven featured foundations draw upon community expertise to make grant award decisions. Read the full article.Read More
The Wyncote Foundation enlisted 8 Bridges Workshop to write a new report on the organizations and initiatives that are trying new things in local communities. Building Stronger Communities Through Media: Innovations in Local Journalism, Public Media, and Storytelling profiles nine examples of projects making a difference in communities with local support. This report follows the 2018 Wyncote report profiling nine local grantmakers’ media funding strategies. By providing information about groundbreaking work across the United States, together these reports broaden the pool of examples that can inform grantmaking strategy and inspire deeper investment.Read More
Giant Steps, a one-day conference held annually in Minneapolis, is now in its eighth year of gathering “creative entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial creatives.” This year’s theme was “Grit, Guts, and Joy,” and the speakers and panelists used these concepts as a jumping-off point to discuss their paths toward success—both personal and professional.Read More
The Minnesota Association of Museums (MAM) held its annual conference this fall, gathering museum professionals from across the state to delve into the theme Moving Forward Together. As a regular partner of arts and culture clients, 8 Bridges Workshop attended to gain insights into the challenges, trends, and debates facing the museum field today.Read More
Food hubs are places that can serve many small farmers from a single site, and there are a few hundred food hubs in the U.S. Something like an aggregator, forwarder and expeditor, a food hub is both a facility and a service provider that has the tools, equipment, space, and marketing expertise to allow small farmers to reach new buyers. Food hubs enable wholesalers to meet regulatory standards for preparing and storing their produce for new markets.
The Green Acre is one food hub in Minnesota that helps farms sell local produce to 20 area schools.Read More
In early 2017, 8 Bridges Workshop launched Wanderway, a free online course to help small nonprofits and creatives tell their stories and connect with their audiences online. Throughout the course’s development, our collaborator Beck Tench underscored that we were entering an ever-changing terrain. This impermanence hit home over the past year and a half amidst widespread social media burnout. We’ve therefore decided to accept ephemerality and plan for Wanderway’s retirement, giving users one more year to explore the course’s lessons, resources, and questions.Read More
The art of storytelling has become a major topic in the nonprofit sector in recent years as nonprofits’ fundraising, marketing, and engagement with communities depend on honing their narrative skills.
At the annual Media Impact Forum in Philadelphia, social scientists spoke about what they have learned from a deep dive into the science of story building. Conclusions and examples of stories they think are great are available at scienceofstories.org.Read More
How much do you know about the eight bridges of St. Paul? To honor the bridges we are named after, 8 Bridges Workshop is partnering with prolific Instagrammer Waqar Ahmad to capture the eight bridges. Throughout the year, we will be highlighting his photos of the bridges on our website and sharing via social media.Read More
A new Minnesota nonprofit, the Venn Foundation, is offering a streamlined approach to using an underutilized tool in philanthropists’ tool kits. Venn aims to provide philanthropic organizations and foundation with the outside expertise and legal structure that will allow them to make more loans. Specifically, Venn will focus on facilitating program-related investments (PRIs): below-market-rate loans that can provide flexible working capital for a range of causes.Read More
We're excited to announce the launch of 8 Bridges Workshop, a refreshed, rebranded, and reimagined vision for Lutman & Associates.
Why 8 Bridges? That’s the number of ways you can cross the Mississippi River from our offices in Saint Paul. (Unless you go by boat or freight train!) Go ahead, count them (Lafayette, Robert, Wabasha, Smith, Lexington, Fort Road, Ford, Marshall)! And the idea of bridging is central to our work, as connectors, partners, and capacity builders.Read More