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Culture of Collaborative Leadership Workshop Series

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality"
— Warren Bennis, professor and pioneer in the field of leadership

The Center for Art & Social Engagement welcomes Lillian Warren, president of Warren Insight, to campus to host the Culture of Collaborative Leadership Workshops Series. The six-week series of workshops is designed to provide attendees with the tools to strengthen networks and build potential in creative communities.

The workshops will be held at the Moores School of Music on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. from

  • Collaborations and Negotiations:  Feb 8, 15, 22
  • Productive Teams:  March 21, 28, April 4

About the Series

Translating your vision into reality requires developing direct and indirect leadership skills. This can mean many different things, but certain leadership skills are fundamental to succeeding in the arts whether you are an independently practicing artist in the visual arts, music or performance, or a leader/emerging leader in an arts organization.

The series features two distinct workshops. Each workshop focuses on a foundational skills, including:

  • Collaborations and Negotiations: to reach mutually beneficial agreements with others who may have different aims, needs, and viewpoints. Obtain what you need to achieve your vision while strengthening important relationships.
  • Building productive teams within an organization, with artistic collaborators or within loose networks throughout the community.

Who should attend?
Participants should be professionals in the arts with at least two- to three-years’ experience. This includes independently practicing artists in the visual arts, music and performance, as well as arts administrators. The workshop is designed with graduate students and/or experienced professionals in mind and relies on a body of experiences. Those with less experience would, therefore, find the workshops less useful. 

Why were these topics selected?
These topics were selected because the skills they focus on are fundamental to success for the majority of arts professionals who must work with others in order to achieve their vision. These topics complement the academic coursework offered by universities and by professional development programs for individual artists. 

How are the workshops structured?
These sessions are highly interactive and hands on. They will not only provide some theory and structure but provide time for you to put it into practice and obtain feedback. Expect each workshop to be highly participative. There are many group and individual exercises, case studies and samples to critique. There will be some out-of-class work assigned which can normally be completed in about half an hour. 

Can I take just one workshop, or do I need to sign up for both?
The skill sets developed in the workshop build on each other, and many arts professionals will find both to be valuable. For that reason, CASE is providing a discounted fee structure for those who sign up for both. That said, you are welcome to sign up for any combination of workshops that most suits your need and situation.

How many people will be in the workshop?
Workshop size is between 8 and 16 people. This small size is to facilitate the highly participatory nature of the sessions.

Can more than one of us from my organization sign up for the same workshop?
Yes! Having a small group from your organization attend the same workshop can provide an opportunity for team building while strengthening valuable skills. In addition, you can benefit from a multiplier effect on the value of the workshop by supporting each other via mutual coaching as you incorporate workshop skills into your daily jobs. 

What should I bring to the workshop?
Paper and pen or pencil for taking notes, plus a willingness to share, work and learn. 

Are there required textbooks? Do I need to read any material before I attend?
No, there are no required textbooks or advance reading materials. There may be suggested reading on specific topics for those who are interested in deepening their knowledge after the workshop.

I’m not a student at UH. Where can I park?
Weekend parking is available in Lot 16B. Metered parking is $4 for two hours or less, or you can pay $5 for the day. More details are available at: 

What’s the refund policy after I register for the workshop?
Your registration is non-refundable, so there are no refunds or exchanges. If you sign up, please show up. 

Who is the workshop leader? 
Lillian Warren is president of Warren Insight which she founded to help nonprofits and creative professionals build their strategy and build their skills. Having served on several nonprofit arts boards, and as a nationally shown artist, she knows first-hand how difficult the challenges can be, and how such endeavors are mission-driven.

She is an experienced consultant for the non-profit community. She has helped the founder of a nationally recognized small nonprofit successfully tackle succession planning, advised an executive director on negotiations with key partners to resolve an apparent stalemate and facilitated the reassessment of key constituencies for an award-winning university-affiliated nonprofit. She has led board retreats for a wide variety of organizations to refresh the strategic plan or better define board roles, and led workshops on personal strategic planning, win-win negotiations and effective verbal communications for Creative Capital, a New York City-based nonprofit organization. She has served on a variety of non-profit boards including terms as president and as facilitator for the strategic planning process.

She developed her expertise over 30 years working in strategic planning, organizational change management and process improvement for teams of knowledge workers. Her clients ranged from startup ventures to Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. Her background includes an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, graduate studies in art history with a fellowship at the University of Toulouse, France and a B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her professional experience includes positions as account manager and project manager with IBM, serving as a principal consultant and member of the regional leadership team with CSC Consulting Group, and acting as principal change management consultant and COO for Portfolio Decisions LLC.



General admission

$100 per workshop (3 sessions)
or $150 for the 2-workshop series (6 sessions)

UH students

$30 per workshop (3 sessions)
or $50 for the 2-workshop series (6 sessions)

A limited number of financial scholarships are available. Contact Sixto Wagan, CASE director, at 713-743-4281 or for more information.


About the Workshops

Collaborations and Negotiations -  Feb 8, 15, 22

Negotiating is a part of everyday life whether you are discussing terms with a venue, working on a collaborative project, engaging with community organizations, or jointly renting studio/rehearsal space with friends.  It means engaging in a give-and-take process with others who have their own aims, needs, and viewpoints; discovering common ground and reaching an agreement in a matter of mutual interest. Learn techniques and practical skills, ways to obtain what you need to achieve your vision while at the same taking care of important relationships. 


Building Productive Teams: Collaboration, Empowerment and Accountability 
March 21, 28, April 4

Teamwork is inherent in artistic collaborations, and is critical when working with the community, within an arts organization, or with your board. Learn concrete approaches for building productive teams, diagnosing problems, and helping teams excel whether you are the team leader or not. Topics include: Improving communications, setting expectations in a way that empowers team members to act and holds them accountable for results, techniques for dealing with difficult people, making tough conversations easier, improving your ability to give feedback so it can be heard and acted on.