In 1995, Corinne Estrada, a French expert in communications, branding and event management, founded a Paris-based communications agency called Agenda. For over 20 years, through Agenda, she has managed international communications and global positioning strategies for major museums, arts venues and tourist destinations across Europe, advising organisations such as the Tate, The National Gallery in London, and Guggenheim Bilbao among others.
In 2013, Estrada founded Agenda Pacific in Sydney. Now based in Sydney, she goes back and forth to Paris, and has also expanded Agenda’s operations to North America.
Several times a year, Agenda hosts conferences bringing together cultural leaders, senior arts professionals, artists and other experts to share their thinking and debate global best practice.
“The whole idea is to share practices, to learn from each other and to improve [policies and strategies]. It’s about professional development so it’s very much learning from each other, and from other industries, and being confident that you are going in the right direction,” Estrada tells Limelight.
On 16 and 17 November, Agenda will run a Roadshow Australia conference at the Art Gallery of New South Wales called Communicating the Arts. The two-day event is aimed at fundraisers and communication professionals, and will address the important challenges arts and cultural institutions face today, including the need for diverse voices, how to “decolonise” museums, fund-raising and new revenue streams, and the importance of well-being and digital agility.
“We will talk about COVID of course and all the new ideas [necessitated by the pandemic] but the big objective is to bring back everybody together. We expect a lot people [will attend in person] but also online so the idea is that it is available for everybody who wants to join on the day, so it is very flexible in terms of ticket offers,” says Estrada.
“The second thing is to bring the people from the performing arts together with the people from the visual arts because what I find doing my conferences for the past 20 years, is that the visual arts is very branding oriented and the people in visual arts are very good in positioning and communication strategy, while the people from the performing arts are very good in marketing, as they have to fill the [venue], so the combination of the two is magical. Each has a lot to bring to the other sector.”
Speakers include Emma Cantwell from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, John Richardson from the AGNSW, Anna Jansson from the Nationalmuseum in Sweden, Benji Wiedemann from Wiedemann Lampe in the UK, Stuart Buchanan from the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival Director Wesley Enoch, Sean Hall from Energx, Kate Clugston from The Social Outfit, and Adrian Burnett from SAMAG among many others.
“We will invite artists to talk as well because we feel they are really at the core of what we are doing and we will invite people from the Getty, the Museum in Boston in the US, because it will be after the elections so we want to talk about how you have to be political, how you have to be active in what you are doing,” says Estrada.
“We will talk about how we find new opportunities, how we find new audiences, how to raise donations if there is a social engagement – that is much stronger than before. We want to bring up solutions and we will have a lot of people in the digital experience showing how to make money on digital so we have invited the Artistic Director of the Red Lion Theatre, Andrew Henry, for example. We also have invited people from outside the industry, outside the arts sector, like The Social Outfit because they were going to go bankrupt in June and suddenly the Head of Development said this is really the moment to do a fundraising campaign and they raised a lot of money so there are many opportunities. We want to show that we don’t [want to just] survive but drive and try to find new ideas, and together we feel we are much stronger than alone. It’s an opportunity to come and share and meet with other people and maybe find a job!” says Estrada.
Roadshow Australia’s Communicating the Arts conference will take place at the Art Gallery of NSW on 16 & 17 November