A recurring chrysalis


My colleague Paul Beard was telling me about the Smith Center for the Performing Arts now in development in Las Vegas, and remarked that it was actually two entirely different creatures living in the same space. The day before it opens, it will be a construction site with one set of demands and challenges. The day after it opens, it will be a complex expressive enterprise with a whole different set of operating requirements. He likened it to an insect that enters a cocoon or chrysalis as one kind of animal, and departs as another … [Read more...]

SOPA and PIPA untangled


If you use the Internet, you likely have heard or read rumblings about legislation currently in Congress about Internet piracy. SOPA and PIPA were the inspiration for a blackout of several major web sites this week over concerns that the legislation would 'break' the Internet through their requirements, and change the nature of what and how we share online. If you're interested in the larger dynamics at work, particularly related to creative content in an online world, take a look at Clay Shirky's recent talk at the TED offices. Useful. … [Read more...]

The rise of the ‘edge-pert’

A recurring theme at this year's Arts Presenters conference in New York was boundary crossing. Artists and arts organizations were celebrated for dancing with unexpected partners -- city planners, farmers, inner-city kids, health professionals. Other speakers encouraged such new connections and new commitments to becoming relevant to communities in non-traditional ways. There was also much talk about silos, about the insular structures of deep experts in arts organizations, in higher education, in scientific knowledge. Here, again, the call … [Read more...]

Power, Influence, and Performing Arts

I'm attending the Association of Performing Arts Presenters annual conferencein New York this weekend, along with six of my MBA students from the Wisconsin School of Business. For the seventh year running, the student team has been commissioned by Arts Presenters to prepare and present a conference session on an emerging issue in the presenting field, funded by the association's William Dawson Research Internship fund. The topic this year is 'Power, Influence, and Performing Arts' (you can find past topics online here). And, as in the past, … [Read more...]

Sustaining, breakout, and disruptive innovation

'Innovation' is the buzz word at many arts conferences these days, and among many funders. With so many things changing in our environment -- all of the STEEP variables at once (Sociological, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political) -- innovation in programming, practice, business process, strategy, and such seems a best way through. But as we're busy innovating, this Co.Design article reminds us that not all innovations are alike.  It suggests three broad types of innovation: Sustaining innovations in products or services … [Read more...]