When the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the national service organization for arts presenters, wanted to explore and expand the contributions of its board members, the president and CEO Sandra Gibson called Alicia Anstead to facilitate the process. Using storytelling techniques she developed during a 20-year career as a journalist, Alicia first led the executive team and then the entire board and members of the staff on a journey that culminated in a new awareness of the creativity, commitment and team work of an effective board.
As a host and moderator, Alicia has led panel discussions and conducted live onstage interviews and audience discussions with many distinguished guests including composer Marvin Hamlisch, singer Dawn Upshaw, director Peter Sellars, pianist Emanuel Ax, writers Azar Nafisi and Marjane Satrapi, director Diane Paulus and Harvard ethics professor Michael Sandel.
Additionally, Alicia has built innovative programming for conferences including the Nieman Conference for Narrative Writing, Sister Cities International and Dance/USA. She has led town hall-style meetings with large groups, and brainstorming/problem solving sessions with small groups.
She has also been a consultant in the arts for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Stonington Opera House and the Summer Festival of the Arts.