This Week’s Insights: Do we need to rethink what is “traditional?”… MoCA goes free, but it’s not so easy… Cultural globalism has diversified… How Disney has repeatedly fumbled the internet… Small theatres make amazing economic impact.
- When The Audience Says “Traditional,” What Does That Mean? An observation about fans of opera in Ireland: “Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to question people gently about their personal identification and tastes in operas and opera productions. And it turns out that traditionalists don’t like only traditional productions. Whatever it is they like, they just call it traditional, and vice versa.” So does “traditional” really mean things we’re familiar with as opposed to established canon in an art form? Worth considering when thinking about how far you can lead an audience.
- LA MoCA Is Making Admission Free, But It’s Difficult: MoCA revealed plans to go free at its annual benefit in May, a switch made possible with a $10-million gift from board President Carolyn Powers. So why did the change take eight months to make? Free, it turns out, is complicated. Why? Dealing with many more visitors, for one thing. That takes bulking up the infrastructure to deal with it. then, of course, making admission free changes the expectations people have when they come in the door. Admission, it turns out, is also a culture, a mindset.
- Globalism – USA No More: It wasn’t long ago that globalism meant the spread and dominance of American pop culture. While American music and movies still find international audiences, the rise of K-Pop, Bollywood and Turkish soap operas and Spanish-language telenovelas has diversified global fare. There are many reasons American pop culture on longer rules the world.
- How Disney Has Stumbled With Audiences Over 25 Years: Disney’s new streaming service has been billed as a new major player. But the company hasn’t had a great track record getting technology and the internet right. Kara Swisher has been writing about companies and the internet for even longer than Disney has been trying to figure out how to deal with the contemporary world. Swisher: “Forget the dashing Mandalorian. Do you remember Starwave? Infoseek? Go? Daily Blast? Spoonful.com? Club Penguin? Tapulous? Maker Studios?
- Small Theatre Is Small Potatoes, Right? Look At The Economic Impact: “What of the storefronts, those famous Chicago institutions where a full house can mean 80 people and where artists frequently toil for little or even no compensation? Can they claim a significant economic impact?” Oh yes, writes Chris Jones. And a new study of impact of New York’s Off- And Off Off- theatres commissioned by the mayor’s office and released on Wednesday, finds that the city is home to 748 Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway theater organizations responsible for 3,000 jobs. But there is also quite a bit of churn: The study reveals that more than 280 theater organizations were established in the city since 2011, while more than 100 closed.