Live Versus The Machine (Let’s Not Take The Live Experience For Granted)

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The promise of virtual reality has intrigued science fiction writers for years. But the technology for VR has been rather disappointing. Until now, writes Wired. A headset called the Oculus Rift has gamers excited. But also movie makers and artists interested in new forms of story-telling: What is known is that the ways that perspectives can change thanks to virtual reality are remarkable. … [Read more...]

British Orchestras – Bigger Audiences For Less Money

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British orchestras report an increase in attendees - a 16 percent increase no less - over an earlier three-year period: A survey by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) has found attendances at concerts and performances between 2012 and 2013 were up 16 per cent on those  three years earlier. More than 4.5 million people a year now see orchestras play live in the UK. But earned income is … [Read more...]

Welcoming A New AJ Blogger: Art of the audience

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I'm very pleased to welcome a new blogger to ArtsJournal today. Lynne Conner will be writing the blog We the Audience, a blog about the relationships between artists and audiences. Lynne is a professor in the theatre and dance department at Colby College in Maine, where she directs plays and teaches playwriting, performance history, and art for social justice courses. She's also a terrific … [Read more...]

Morbid Curiosity – Culture Is Dead (Move Along…)

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What a week. First there was the Slate piece that declared classical music dead. Then spiked decided that pop music was over. Why is it that people keep wanting to kill off great swaths of our culture? These are only the latest in a long series of articles declaring the end of orchestras, of Netflix, TV, the demise of book stores, movie theatres, publishing, video games, the English language, … [Read more...]

A New ArtsJournal is coming.

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It's been a while since we redesigned ArtsJournal. AJ is now 14 years old, and this will be the fifth redesign. And a new content platform as well, as the site moves to WordPress. This week we're testing the new design while I chase down bugs (for example, the site is currently loading too slowly). I'll write more about the direction the site is taking once it launches, but for now you can see it … [Read more...]

Are Arts Leaders “Cultural” Leaders?

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The two terms sometimes get mixed up. They're not interchangeable. For the most part, the big cultural debates of our time take place without participation of our artists and arts leaders. If artists aren't participating - let alone leading - it's difficult to make the case that they're cultural leaders. Somehow, our public debates about values - and by extension, what our culture looks like - … [Read more...]

What if an Arts Organization was a MOOC?

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That's "Massive Open Online Course" and they're everywhere right now. Some of the most prestigious universities are creating courses online and attracting tens of thousands of students. Among them is Curtis, the music school in Philadelphia, which became the first big music conservatory to sign up with Coursera. We live in a time in which we're overwhelmed with information, with choices. People … [Read more...]

How Do You Promote Arts Blogs? (A Competition And A Rationale)

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How does somebody who wants to write about the arts get an audience? In the old days you found a small local publication to write for while you learned your craft, and graduated to bigger publications and larger readership. Readership, and often influence, depended on the reach of your venue. Now, theoretically, since anyone can start a blog or write on Facebook and Twitter, an unlimited … [Read more...]

The Party of Can't And Won't (So Let's Change The Conversation)

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Mitt Romney said last week he'll kick funding for the arts and public broadcasting to the curb if he gets to be president. "We're not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements," Romney said, while speaking at Homer's Deli in Clinton, Iowa. Like virtually every other conservative candidate, Romney has had it -- had it! -- with government expenditures like public … [Read more...]

The Excellence Problem

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If I built the best-ever VCR, would you rush out to buy it? Of course not. Even though my VCR might be the most excellent VCR, no one cares about VCRs anymore. Being excellent at something no one cares about doesn't get you very far. What was excellent yesterday doesn't necessarily matter today. If I'm all about apples and you bring me oranges, I don't care how good the oranges are. So when … [Read more...]