The Fall 2012 issue of Grantmakers in the Arts Reader provides exemplary service to us all by revisiting five essential reports on the arts and culture field. While bloggers and professional associations tend to favor the ”new” research that might inform our work, there’s a wealth of insight and information in the stacks of effort and energy gathering dust on our (virtual) shelves.
As an added bonus, editor Alexis Frasz of the Helicon Collaborative adds some fresh perspectives on the historical documents, both through short essays by younger grant-makers reacting to the research and through reflective essays by seasoned professionals who can put the work in context.
Among the revisited reports is the classic ”Autopsy of an Orchestra,” which has never been available in electronic form (I’ve been using an old, dog-eared printed copy for a long, long while). And while many won’t believe that the issues facing orchestras in the 1980s have any relation to the issues in today’s digital age, a quick reading will confirm that the issues (essentially) are the same.
George Santayana famously wrote that ”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Take a moment to remember the past (which you’ll find resembles the present to an eery degree).