Getting it together

By Eric Booth

I have just written three postings that I didn't post. I spared you--you should thank me. As I got to the end of each, they felt passionate and true, but so partial, so unsatisfyingly incomplete, even in the face of our four days of views from 16 amiable colleagues. Each of the issues we have raised is BIG. Sam, I want to talk with you about those lifelong professional instructors; Midori, I want to talk with you about the place of passion and nurturing it in artist training; and Jane, let's talk practical matters; and, and, and. This is a familiar feeling from conferences and meetings, of starting something that piddles away. The feeling is evergreen, but doesn't feel like its growing. Do we have to be bonsai evergreens?

What about this? There is an organization (can't remember its name) that convenes a modest number of representative individuals, like 20 or so. They have them for a week in a retreat setting. They lay out all the information they can about a serious issue, like abortion, or health insurance, and facilitate their coming to conclusions, They have a full week of time to do this, to think through the issues, as we rarely seem to be able to do in groups that come from different arenas (silos?) of our field. And given this wealth of time, they think through and then make recommendations to the field. Is this something we should strive to do? Imagine if we 16 (to suggestion a currently handy, somewhat random group) had a full week together to see what we truly agree on. There's a thought experiment for you. Is this something we should try to foster?

December 4, 2008 12:56 PM | | Comments (1) |


The American Assembly does such things, but not usually for a week; more like a weekend. I've pondered that question too...a type of American Assembly for Arts Ed.

When you look at the list of American Assembly convenings and publications in the arts, they have been impressive. I was at one that Alberta Arthurs did on intellectual property and arts. I am not sure what practical affect the reports had on the field...

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Richard Kessler commented on Getting it together: The American Assembly does such things, but not usually for a week; more li...