an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

The Great Disconnect Revisited

Years ago I wrote an article (I can't even remember for what publication) called The Great Disconnect. It focused on the tragic separation and total lack of communication between the professional presenting world and the K-12 arts education world.  At that time I attempted to make the case that unless these 2 sectors immediately found ways to collaborate to the benefit of all, each would separately suffer.  Sadly not only was I right, but the prediction is playing out. I teach a class called Seminar, the capstone class in the master's … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship — Two Curricular Tracks

So I'm in the final planning stages for my course in Arts Entrepreneurship (starts March 30), and I have come to the conclusion that I will teach and present materials and activities in 2 different tracks: those for the social entrepreneur, and those for the traditional one.  I'm particularly taken with Peter C. Brinckerhoff's definitions of these 2 categories.  "Social entrepreneurs are people who take risk on behalf of the people their organization serves.  Traditional entrepreneurs take risk on their own behalf, or on behalf … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship — Lack of Imagination, Lack of Chutzpah?

I will soon be teaching a new course called Arts Entrepreneurship here at Drexel.  I've been preparing for this on and off since last summer.  In addition to reviewing literature and current thinking on the topic I have been looking at offerings in various higher education locations, especially those with a music focus.  There appears to be some confusion regarding just what arts entrepreneurship means.  Some researchers have been able to identify 2 distinct tracks, or types of entrepreneurship.  One relates to … [Read more...]

Devastating Impact

I recently purchased an Internet radio, so am now about to access (without charge) my favorite public radio stations from throughout the US.  One theme that I hear on all of them is that proposed public (government) funding cuts will have a devastating impact -- on them, on whom, to what extent, etc.? I am sure these proposed funding cuts will have a profound impact on each of these stations, and that I will be worse off because of them, but these stations, and arts advocates throughout the US, must tell us what comprises a devastating … [Read more...]

Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #10

What a revelation it has been to experience the vast arts world, after my most recent 14 professional years totally immersed in the field of music (not all classical at Eastman).  During these years, because of the press of senior management and seductive insularity, my arts exposure was 90% music, 10% other (and rarely self-selected).  Escaping this situation has allowed me to experience a wide variety of art, in different genres and forms. And in doing this I have changed the way I think and approach matters. For 2011, let's … [Read more...]

Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #9

For years, and I mean years, I prided myself on my being able to stay on top of advances in technology.  I saw it as an amazing tool to advance communications, increase efficiency, and provide creative possibilities for education in the arts.  I thought I had a complete concept of the potential of contemporary technology.  But what I didn't "get" was how it would become so central, such a control point in daily lives.  Somehow its hardware and software have married and produced something entirely new, a medium unto itself. … [Read more...]

Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #8

I spoke to this task in 2 recent blog entries, to concern about the effects of government support.  Let's make it a priority to re-examine our positions vis a vis government involvement.  We've really got to, as we're on a slippery slope now.  We shape our artistic output to please legislators and we prattle endlessly about the constructive benefits of the arts (economic development, tourism, brain development, etc.).  We're hooked, guys, and we'll do anything for our next fix. The mostly-dysfunctional 501c3 comes from … [Read more...]

Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #7

Who makes iconography decisions in your arts organization?  If you are the leader, it better be you.  I have recently advised a number of student research papers that examine alignment between mission, program and iconography, and I'm appalled by the lack of synchronization.  It makes be wonder, no suspect, that the iconography has a (false) life of its own; or that it's the organizations' wishes being expressed, not their actual operation. What we have been finding is some of the usual embarrassments of tokenism and cultural … [Read more...]

Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #6

Let's break down, get rid of the artificial barriers between not-for-profit arts and commercial arts.  This artificial designation does us no good, as it causes internal sector strife, and confusion and misunderstanding among the public. There's plenty of really cheesy not-for-profit art, and plenty of high quality commercial art.  Examples surely pop into your head as you think about this.  That a dichotomy emerged out of the "501c3 movement" is still hard to understand: that not-for-profit = quality art (or even worse, "high … [Read more...]

Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #5

Number 5 is short and sweet, like Five Golden Rings!  Let's practice what we preach.  Let's approach our work with creativity, and with an appetite for risk.  Although my interpretation of his work may be over-simplified, Robert Persig, in his iconic work, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (and later in Lila), asserted that unless we are moving forward, unless we are dynamic in our approach to life, we are moving backward and declining, that there is no stasis, or even place.  His philosophy speaks clearly to … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog