Creative Rights Why?

By Clay Lord, Director of Marketing and Audience Development, Theatre Bay Area
The latest NEA report to come out of the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation, notes that "people who engage with art through media technologies attend live performances or arts exhibits at two to three times the rate of non-media arts participants."  While the report can't make a causal link, it's still quite the correlation.  According to the report, about 20% of people surveyed have used the non-live media (internet, TV, etc) to consume an arts performance.  Of particular note to me (since I primarily do audience engagement work for theatre), non-white audiences for musicals and straight plays are substantially higher (scroll down to see the table with percentages) when viewing them through non-live media, including the internet, than when viewing them live.  When we're discussing creative rights, the rights of artists, the need to examine ownership and the nature of physical and place-based art, we also very much need to be discussing the audiences we're reaching and not reaching, and the roadblocks big and small that the virtualization of art helps tear down.  From decentralizing and democratizing the critical response to work to encouraging creation and consumption at a much lower cost, the web and related new technologies hold the promise of possibly making the fine arts, with which I'm particularly concerned and around which there's so much fear about increasing irrelevance, into something that everyone who wants to can participate in, albeit in a way that some may deem less-than, and others may find unsettling.
July 18, 2010 10:24 PM | | Comments (0) |

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