This webpage will be updated as the initiative progresses. Last update: February 2023

Arts Service Organizations

Positioning a Future Forward

It is time to bring the ASO community together to investigate the challenges our sector faces, and to advance our ideas for addressing such challenges.

In spring 2021, Mass Culture hosted a crowdsourcing campaign, receiving 40 challenges from the arts sector. We clustered these challenges into themes, hosted an upvote, and a final decision-making panel to determine the five topics for the Solution Pathways. As part of this initiative, 140 people gathered during ASO Convergence Conference in January 2023. We’ve now reached a point for action.

Current Phase: From infographic to action

Online session exploring a sector-wide agenda

March 22nd 12 to 2pm EST


We invite you to join a future-oriented exploration – one we believe will lead to better lives for artists and arts workers, and greater access to arts experiences for all, and greater equity for under-represented and marginalized voices. 

We understand that success in this exploration depends on centering under-represented voices, while also recognizing how power, money and status has driven, and continues to drive decision-making and allocations of resources.

Through this work, we commit to prioritizing equity not only as our own challenge we must find solutions for, but for prioritizing the actions we will focus on through an equity-based decision-making process.

As the first step, we invite you to take part in conversations that…

ASOs can work on together to think through solutions;

the arts sector is challenged by; OR

that arts either intersect with or is working through internally; AND

Lead to more equitable outcomes.

A paper that documents the initiative’s process will be shared soon.

Mass Culture worked in consultation to develop the initial stages of Positioning a Future Forward. This process is an experiment. We encourage you to reach out to us at at any time to discuss this process.

Robin Sokoloski, Mass Culture

Jamie Gamble, Developmental Evaluator, Imprint Consulting

Nadine Medawar, Regroupement québécois de la danse

Karla Etienne, Canadian Dance Assembly

Christina Loewen, Association for Opera in Canada

Jacoba Knaapen, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts – TAPA

Sandy Crawley, Book and Periodical Council 

Katherine Carleton, C.M., Orchestras Canada/Orchestres Canada

Frédéric Julien, CAPACOA

Diane Davy, WorkInCulture 

Em Ironstar, Saskatchewan Arts Alliance

Members of the Decision-Making panel for Solution Pathway Topics

Tau Bui, Diversité artistique Montréal (Decision-Making Panel)

Kristin Cheung, Community Arts Council of Vancouver (Decision-Making Panel)

Swati Khanna, ELAN – English Language Arts Network, (Decision-Making Panel)

ASO Convergence Conference Team

Robin Sokoloski, Co-Producer

Jacoba Knaapen, Co-Producer

Shawn Newman, Creative Director

Kathryn Geertsema, Communications

Gillian Cade, Logistics

Charissa Wilcox, Stage Manager

Bridget MacIntosh, Hybrid Stage Manager

Made possible through the support of