RedLine is an art center and public charity located in Denver, Colorado with a mission to foster education and engagement between artists and communities to promote social change.
RedLine focuses on supporting artists through a two-year artist residency that provides studio space, community engagement, and professional development, as well as providing innovative programming for communities in the surrounding neighborhoods. Viewing art and arts education through the lens of social issues, the organization ensures equitable access to the arts for under-resourced populations by working to fulfill the bold vision of empowering everyone to create social change through art.
In Fall 2015, RedLine contracted with Mission Spark through funding support by the Denver Foundation. RedLine’s executive leadership team sought both leadership coaching and an organization-wide cultural assessment and plan. The leadership team wanted to develop better ways of communicating with each other, create better systems and processes for handling decisions, and establish better work culture all around for the whole staff to drive RedLine forward in its mission and goals. RedLine sought to define its existing organizational culture and then determine the culture they wanted to build toward, in support of staff, the organization’s mission, and in the context of RedLine’s unique and ever-changing space.
Mission Spark conducted facilitated sessions with RedLine’s executive team and staff to identify critical needs and skills, hone in on outcomes, develop a shared sense of the Redline vision, and identify a desired organizational culture that resonated. Mission Spark also provided leadership and operations coaching for RedLine’s executive team, with skills training as needed. With staff, Mission Spark facilitated a structured and creative, interactive cultural assessment process.
Mission Spark then conducted a board assessment in relation to cultural fit, and supported the board’s executive team as it focused on sharing and reinforcing the culture of Redline. Mission Spark supported the design, documentation, implementation, and evaluation of structures and protocols that emerged as priorities to reinforce RedLine’s culture and mission. Guidance and support was also provided to staff in the development of an action plan to align organizational strategy, operations, and culture.
Mission Spark produced a summary report and set of documents detailing Redline’s desired culture and an action plan to move toward that culture. Mission Spark worked through the findings with the leadership team, and provided individual and team coaching to support around the changes and shared vision Redline had identified, as well as provided a series of tools tailored to address specific needs of the team.
Mission Spark worked with staff to identify and pilot new work approaches over a six month timeline, including things like posting status notes in open work space, using a rolling white board to share what threads of work were taking place in a particular week. In doing so, Mission Spark helped shift the approach to and use of staff meetings.
In the time spent working with RedLine, Mission Spark developed a cultural implementation strategy and coached leadership in how to champion and preserve culture. As a diverse urban laboratory where art, community, and education converge, RedLine’s organizational culture has been bolstered by partnering with Mission Spark.