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Richard Evans

The real work – new practices for a new era


Richard EVANS, President and Founder EmcArts INC., USA


Innovation can be systematized as a new organizational discipline

Behind the ongoing programmatic and financial stresses being felt by nonprofit organizations at a time of economic uncertainty lays a vast territory of change in the sector as a whole. This means practitioners of all stripes unlearning a lot of things we have taken for granted, surfacing new assumptions to drive new thinking, and doing things differently across the board. Organizational innovation is challenging in a resource-strapped sector, but is now essential if field leaders are to successfully re-orient themselves to this new era. Fortunately, innovation can be systematized as a new organizational discipline, one that brings our best thinking together across traditional organizational and sector boundaries, and helps us make competitive use of our creative assets. Organizations across many countries are beginning to see that daring to risk a new approach can reveal new pathways to relevance and sustainability.


Richard EVANS,

EmcArts INC.


Richard Evans directs EmcArts programs and strategic partnerships. Richard’s recent research, program design, and facilitation places particular emphasis on innovation, adaptive organizational change, and effective ways that the arts and culture field can respond to the demands of a new era for the sector.

His studies on innovation and capacity building led to his design for the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts. An expansion of EmcArts’ successful pilot Lab for American orchestras, the Lab launched in Fall 2008. Fall 2011 saw the launch of a second national lab – the Innovation Lab for Museums. Richard also leads the design and implementation of the New Pathways for the Arts Initiative, a series of community-based innovation programs that is active in cities across the country.

Prior to founding EmcArts, he held numerous senior positions in performing arts management and philanthropy, including co-director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Advancement Program, Chief Executive of the Bath International Festival of Music & the Arts, England, and Vice President of the National Arts Stabilization Fund.




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