G U I D E

 

Interested in hosting or sponsoring a new Urban Consulate space or program in your city?

Here's an introduction to what we offer, who we serve, and what we need to get started—including a sample budget & timeline for new locations:

 

W H A T   W E   N E E D

1. A HOME

A historic house, storefront, parlor, salon, gallery, library, hotel lobby or other "old-school" city space in a walkable neighborhood with public accessibility and capacity for 50-100 guests.

2. A HOST

A smart, kind, socially-conscious & civic-minded human who loves people & ideas and has deep community knowledge. S/he will work directly with the Consulate founder to curate & host conversations.

3. A CHAMPION

A visionary leader of a foundation, institution or organization who understands the value of talent retention & attraction, leadership development, and an empowered & engaged citizenry.


W H A T   W E   B R I N G

1. A NETWORK

We keep good company. We've hosted thousands of guests for hundreds of conversations across a half-dozen cities—working with dozens of community partners to make it happen. Through the Knight Cities network, Urban Innovation Exchange & more, we know great people doing thoughtful city-building across the U.S. and love to matchmake.

2. A POINT OF VIEW

Our cross-city team brings decades of experience hosting civic conversations, activating city spaces, showcasing urban changemakers & elevating community leaders. We have strong views on how to make cities more inclusive & equitable—and we're not afraid to tackle hard questions. We believe in the power of relationships.

3. AN IDENTITY

From our Consulate branding to the interior design of our parlors, we care a lot about presentation & environment. We've developed a design toolkit to be creative & resourceful within a tight budget. We care about quality over quantity. We're more old-school than trendy. We like things to be warm & welcoming, not pretentious.


P R O G R A M S  +  S E R V I C E S

We've hosted all kinds of programs, from one-off events to longer-term series. 

What does your city need? Here are some ideas—

BRANDED CONTENT

Interested in reaching an urban-minded audience? Let's talk about a sponsor-branded event or series. Our programs include parlor talks, dinner & dialogues, tea & wine tastings, film screenings, book clubs, travel study & fellowships, urban exchanges, storefront pop-ups, neighborhood conversations, community storytelling, video & podcast recording sessions, focus groups, workshops & more.

urban intel

Our antenna is always up for interests & needs in the communities we serve. Just one example: Our guests often tell us they are hungry for more curated travel & exchange experiences for civic-minded, socially-conscious humans—are you into that, too? We’ved hosted three city fieldtrips and two fellowship programs, and we'd love to do more with good partners. We can help make it happen with you.


W H O   W E   S E R V E

GUESTS

The majority of our guests are passionate urbanists & localists eager to shape the future of their city. We also attract regional, national & global visitors looking to go deeper than tourism.

multiculturalism1.png

DEMOGRAPHICS

We strive to represent, in both our speakers & guests, the racial demographics of the city we're in. Sometimes we don't, often we do.

TOPICS

... and more.


B U D G E T

Sample first-year budget for a small-scale pilot location*

 

Program Management (Team of 2) ......................................  $ 75,000

Space Rental ..................................………………….....…  $ 25,000

Design/Build ……………………………………......……  $ 25,000

Communications ………………………………….....…… $ 10,000

Travel Stipends …………………….…….……......……… $ 10,000

Supplies & Materials …………………………............……. $ 2,500

 

Total:  $150,000

*Notes & details below


 

T I M E L I N E

Sample timeline for a pilot program*

 

Outreach & Engagement .............................................. 3 Months

  • Invitation from local champion

  • Identify local needs & priorities

  • Determine format, scope & budget

  • Secure pilot sponsor(s)

  • Convene local advisors

  • Identify & contract local host

  • Scout & secure location

Design & Development ................................................ 3 Months

  • Secure lease agreement

  • Interior design & build-out

  • Identify initial guests & topics

  • Branding & marketing

  • PR & social media

  • Launch event planning & promo

Public Programming ................................................... 12 Months

  • Weekly parlor talks

  • Monthly special events

  • Regular visiting/open hours

  • Partner content

Review & Refine .......................................................... 3 Months

  • Evaluate strengths & weaknesses

  • Review host & guest feedback

  • Identify missing audiences

  • Retire weak programs & introduce new ones

Evaluation & Sustainability .......................................... 3 Months

  • Review community interest & need

  • Scale up, scale back, sunset?

  • If more, then fundraising & development

 

N O T E S

*More detail on budget, time, space & team—

TIME

Our ideal engagement is a 1-2-year pilot hosted by a local nonprofit, foundation or institution.

We are also open to shorter-term "pop-up" activations and event series under the right conditions—with proper time for outreach & engagement.

What we won't do: pop-up in a city or neighborhood uninvited. We only work in partnership with local stakeholders. We move at the speed of trust.

SPACE

Space rental and design/build costs are widely variable, depending upon the space & location.

Ideally we create our own environments—but are also open to activating an existing space that is under-utilized and looking for more human activity.

Spaces may include: a historic house, storefront, gallery, cafe, hotel, library, museum or university. Not too big, intimate is good—1,500-3,000 sf will do!

TEAM

Currently, our founder & local hosts work closely together as a team.

The founder is the "back of the house"—managing all administration, program scheduling, design & branding, PR & marketing, social media, partnerships & cross-city exchange opportunities.

The local host is "front of the house"—welcoming guests, managing hospitality, scouting talent & topics, and collecting guest input & feedback.

STRUCTURE

The Consulate is currently operated through a fund held by our fiscal agent, the Miami Foundation, thanks to support from Knight Foundation, New Economy Initiative, Community Foundation of SE Michigan, Co.act Detroit, and other partners.


Q U E S T I O N S ?  

I N Q U I R I E S ?

A R E   Y O U   N I C E ?

 

(WE LIKE NICE)

 


LOST?

If you landed on this page and are totally confused about what the heck the Urban Consulate is, read our introduction here.