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Arts of Life’s Strategic Plan | FY21-24

As our 20th anniversary comes to a close, Arts of Life is excited to lay the groundwork for the next phase of our organization’s history with our FY21-24 (July 2020-June 2024) Strategic Plan. As part of this plan, we are laying a framework that will guide the work of our Executive Board and staff over the next three years. This Plan is the result of a long process with our Executive Board, staff, artists, and extended community.  Culminating in the middle of a global pandemic and human rights reckoning that will further clarify our role in the State of Illinois’ efforts to support a meaningful quality of life for all residents with disabilities.

Now more than ever, Arts of Life must do its part to strategically diversify, strengthen, and expand our progressive programming to become a true thought leader within the sector. We are proud to present this plan, which will guide us along this journey.

Become an Employer of Choice

It is crucial for the success and sustainability of our community to continuously improve our competitiveness as an employer. Staff retention and diversity will be the two primary priorities within this goal. Our main focus will be on employee engagement, diversity, and inclusion.  

Tactics include:

  • Continue to benchmark externally and compensate accordingly.
  • Determine and implement the necessary organizational structure for today and the future.
  • Assess and prioritize benefits beyond salary and implement as appropriate. 

Strengthen Financial Health

In its initial years, Arts of Life was funded entirely by fees for service. We have steadily grown our contributed and earned revenue streams to bring that dependency down to 50%. Further diversification is essential to maintain and even expand our program in the upcoming years. 

Tactics include:

  • Increase fundraising by 10% each fiscal year. 
  • Implement a Membership Program.
  • Increase Art and Merchandise Sales.

Increase Community Involvement

To further increase the visibility of our artists, we intend to expand our community reach through strategic marketing efforts, increased partnerships and events, and a diverse Executive Board. 

Tactics include:

  • Design and implement a comprehensive Communications, PR, and Marketing Plan
  • Increase our public engagement through virtual and in-person opportunities with target audiences
  • Improve Board Health with an outreach/onboarding system, an established pipeline, and diversified membership

Become the Creative Destination for Studio Artists

Our community thrives on having 30 active full-time equivalent artists in each studio. Over the next three years, we will aim to increase our participation in in-person programming while continuing to explore opportunities that expand our reach beyond our studio walls. 

Tactics include:

  • Continue building enrollment (in coordination with the PR & Marketing Plan)
  • Maintain current partnerships while increasing public partnerships and collaborations
  • Reimagine AofL programming by assessing current programs including mediums, program offerings, new models, and partnerships.