In lieu of a Jumper post this week I have written a post (If this is leading, what is following?) for the Arts Journal Discussion, Lead or Follow. Here’s the question that launched the debate, posed by AJ’s Doug McLennan:
Increasingly, audiences have more visibility for their opinions about the culture they consume. Cultural institutions know more and more about their audiences and their wants. Some suggest this new transparency argues for a different relationship between artists and audience. So the question: In this age of self expression and information overload, do our artists and arts organizations need to lead more or learn to follow their communities more?
Doug McClennan has put together a diverse group of debaters: the Kennedy Center’s MichaelKaiser; John Holden of Demos; Chad Bauman, marketing director at ArenaStage; Michael Phillips, movie critic of the Chicago Tribune; culturalhistorian Lynne Conner; Josephine Ramirez, program officer at theIrvine Foundation; Jenny Byrd, a graduate student in arts management at Claremont Graduate University; Bob Harlow, an arts consultant; Stephanie Barron, curator at the LA County Museum of Art; Roberto Bedoya,director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council; Kelly Tweeddale, executive director of Seattle Opera; Trisha Mead, Director of Marketing and Communications for Oregon Ballet Theatre; and Stanford Thompson,Executive Director for the El Sistema-inspired program, Play On, Philly!
I hope you’ll check it out and jump into the discussion.
And if you want to know what the onion is about, read the post.