Last fall, Francesca McKenzie of ArtsFwd posted about a pair of improvisational comedy schools/clubs (The New Movement) in Austin, TX and New Orleans: "Yes, and." Ms. McKenzie begins with an acknowledgment of a fundamental truth about the competition faced by the arts today: In order to sustain meaningful audience engagement, many arts organizations aim to market themselves as uniquely different, providing a service or experience that movies, … [Read more...]

Irrigate Springboard for the Arts has been developing buzz in the creative placemaking world of late. I've heard presentations about their work at several conferences this year. At the Americans for the Arts conference in Pittsburgh in June I got to meet Laura Zabel, Springboard's extremely energetic ED. Springboard began life as a resource center for individual artists. It has expanded its work to find … [Read more...]

The Arts Benefit from Engagement


This blog is all about the arts and community engagement. Last time (More on Artists and Engagement) I began a discussion about the role of the artist in this mix. Here, I want to consider yet again the fact that community-focused or community-aware art does not in any way imply inferior art. Contrary to assumptions some make, community engagement does not even remotely mean churning out Lion King sequels. The assumption that it does suggests … [Read more...]

More on Artists and Engagement

The principal focus of this blog is arts organizations, but occasionally issues related to individual artists come up. The two primary categories where that’s true are the applicability of community engagement to expanded opportunities for artist-entrepreneurs and the role of artists in the arts and community engagement (as in my last post, I Blame Beethoven). This is more about the latter. I recently had a comment/reply conversation with an … [Read more...]