Welcoming A New AJ Blogger: Art of the audience

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.

connerLynne 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 researcher who has been looking in to the history of performance practice and audience behavior, and how it’s changed in America over time. Audiences in the 19th Century had different expectations when they went to the theatre, not just in what they saw, but in how they interacted with one another.

She’s got a new book coming out shortly – Audience Engagement and the Role of Arts Talk in the Digital Era and what I find particularly interesting is the notion that the democratization of audience that digital tools have enabled may in fact be precipitating a return to more historical ideas of relationships between audiences and artists. What if the concert/theatre norms of the past 50 years were just a bubble? Here’s an excerpt from her first post:

In order to create a more perfect union of arts workers and arts audiences for the twenty-first century, we need to acknowledge that when it comes to making meaning and ascribing value, our audiences want to have a voice, and they want that voice to matter. All of us—arts workers and audience members alike—want the opportunity to formulate and exchange opinions about the arts events we see, hear, and feel.

Go here to read the whole thing

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