An Engagement Continuum


I'm on a roll talking about types of engagement (New Thought on Audience and Community Engagement). So I thought I'd take a crack at one I've not addressed before: Civic Engagement. Early last month I spoke with a friend and colleague–Barbara Schaffer Bacon–who, along with Pam Korza (another buddy), is co-director of Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy program. One purpose of the conversation was to see how we might best coordinate the … [Read more...]

New Thought on Audience and Community Engagement


Let me make it clear up front that I am talking about a concept in progress here. That caveat out of the way . . . . As I have said before here, there is (or should be) a differentiation between audience engagement and community engagement. I have written about this on numerous occasions, but as I speak about it more and more I find that my understanding of the differences is emerging. Here are the current "top of my mind" thoughts. The … [Read more...]

Civic Practice

Michael Rohd, the Founding Director of Portland (OR)'s Sojourn Theatre has recently posted an extremely thoughtful reflection on community engagement and theatre: The New Work of Building Civic Practice. As I've said before, I am aware of the danger of echo-chambering in the blog world, especially in this case since the things he says sound so much like my rants. But, as in the past, I simply can't help myself. Mr. Rohd identifies the central … [Read more...]

The Words We Use


Visitor, audience Customer, consumer These are some of the words that we in the museum and performing arts world use to describe those who take advantage of the work we offer the public. Over the last two months of conference immersion I have been hearing and thinking about all of them a good deal. One thing they have in common, from my point of view, is that they separate us from them. With the first two it is understood that they come to us, … [Read more...]