We exist to support you.
Pentacle nextSteps is a unique resource – a network of supportive services dedicated solely to artists. Whether it’s fiscal sponsorship, fundraising strategies, marketing help, or assistance with COVID-19, nextSteps has answers. Pentacle nextSteps is an outreach of Pentacle, an organization with over 40 years of experience serving artists, and as such we are dedicated solely to helping you thrive.
Pentacle recently conducted research that showed artists thrive when given administrative support. The nextSteps site was developed to provide this support to all types of artistic entities.
Our vision for nextSteps is to provide one place where artists and administrators can go for reliable business resources. With over 44 years of experience, Pentacle is a trusted partner in our community, and now we want to give artists everywhere access to our knowledge and resources. We are committed to making nextSteps accessible in all ways – geographically, via internet from anywhere in the world; financially, for artists and entities of any budget size; and ADA compliant for people of all abilities. For the first time, an artist in a rural community in the Midwest can have access to touring advice from our Booking department; or a newly emerging artist who can’t afford our Fiscal Admin services can have an expert help them get started on Quickbooks.
Pentacle is also using nextSteps to create a space to be innovative administratively. We are continually developing new components of nextSteps like Live Chat, our new donor/ticket processing software, and a Community Forum, which don’t currently exist in the field. This digital platform will allow us to connect with artists in new ways, give them access to the knowledge we have gained over the years, and help them adapt to the new reality of the arts field during COVID and beyond.
nextSteps started from our ART (Administrative Resource Team) research project, collecting data from sixteen artists in the capacity-building and comparison cohorts to learn how we can best help artists strengthen their infrastructure and achieve their goals. nextSteps builds upon this research and furthers it with an accessible platform open to constituents of all sizes, artistic interests, locations, and points of development.
When nextSteps launches, all the components of the site will be completely FREE. We want to encourage users to test it out, and give us feedback. We will be tracking certain things behind the scenes, to see where visitors are spending most of their time, and what topics are trending on the site. We will also embed short forms throughout the site to ask for feedback. This will help us evolve the site and the resources to be most useful for the field. Eventually some of the components of the site will have a small price tag to use, but the artist resources on the site will always be FREE.
The impact of COVID has already changed our thinking about how nextSteps can function in the new arts and business landscape. With the cancellation of live arts events, we are creating a virtual programming resource section of nextSteps to help artists plan and create their own virtual performances and events. COVID has also caused many artists to move out of New York and other cities. Being able to stay connected with artists wherever they are, is more important now than ever. Prior to COVID, we were concerned with trying to replicate an in-person experience on nextSteps, but now we are thinking about how to empower artists to use these digital resources in a way that could complement the in-person experience in the future.
Going forward, we plan to take the good things we learn from nextSteps to find a happy medium delivering administrative services. We think some components of the platform will be permanently needed, while others will fall away. New needs will also crop up. Whatever happens, we plan to keep innovating on nextSteps to keep it accessible and useful for all.
Since 1976, Pentacle has been a model in the arts administration field, enabling performing artists to focus on what they do best—create art and engage with audiences. Our mission is to design and provide unique and robust programs for performing artists at critical stages in their careers. At the same time, Pentacle enriches the cultural landscape through cross-sector partnerships in multiple communities across the city of New York and the United States.
nextSteps grew out of Pentacle’s groundbreaking ART Research Project. From 2016-2019, a cohort of eight NYC artists received bundled administrative support and mentorship that helped them move to the next level of sustainability. The results of this study were published in a report entitled FootPath, written by Hollis Headrick of Arts and Cultural Strategies, now available here on the nextSteps platform.
nextSteps is the latest manifestation of Pentacle’s decades-long pursuit to find innovative and cost effective ways to build artists’ infrastructure. Starting with Help Desk in 1999, and evolving into ARC – Advancement, Reinvention, Creativity (2007), Help Desk LA (2009), Back Office (2012), ART – Administrative Resource Team (2016), and now our Administrative Support Program – ASP (2018-present), Pentacle has created a series of infrastructure support programs that give artists access mentorship and well-trained administrative support personnel that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to acquire or afford.
With the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the urgent call to rectify centuries-old social inequities, Pentacle has continued to adapt and change to meet the needs of artists through the creation of the nextSteps digital administrative platform. The technology of nextSteps allows us for the first time to serve vastly more constituents regardless of time, distance, or budget capacity. We look forward to serving artists in all the ways they need it most, so they can keep creating and performing far into the future.
Donate to nextSteps to Sustain Artistic Growth
nextSteps gives artists and administrators everything they need to successfully move into the next phase of their development, regardless of their geographic location, time availability, or economic means.
With your support, we can make a more resource-rich and equitable field for all artists and their administrators. Please donate to Pentacle’s nextSteps today!
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Pentacle’s nextSteps is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Pentacle receives private support for nextSteps from the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the New York Community Trust.