When arts planning becomes the point rather than the process. Why your creativity may be dependent on being bored. Are MFA degrees a waste of time if you want to be an artist? Broadway breaks more records. And three new ways to see traditional art.
- Boston Arts Plan – All Process, No Beef? The new mayor of Boston aspired to to his city being an arts town, a place where culture flourishes. So the city announced its ambitions and hired consultants to put together an ambitious plan. The city’s citizens and artists eagerly participated, but the consultants hired to run the process spent their time getting the community to imagine rather than coming up with ways to accomplish the arts city goal. Like so many arts planning processes these days, the exercise seems to be more about letting everyone talk rather than figuring out what people want and coming up with effective ways to make it happen. This story reads like a poster child for what’s wrong with the current state of arts planning.
- Why Boredom Might Be Key To Creativity: In our connected all-on-all-the-time world, our tolerance for boredom is lower than ever. Our attention flits from thing to thing and our primary challenge seems to be focussing on one thing so we can be productive. But though productivity is important, so is creativity. And it may be difficult to be creative if we’re purposeful all the time. What’s the solution? Perhaps it’s being bored. “Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.” Even if that isn’t always the case for you, chances are you need to be a little bored in order to generate your most inventive ideas and produce your highest-quality work.”
- Education Versus The Arts: Enrollment in college fine arts degree programs has exploded in recent decades. But the majority of artists don’t have college degrees. And increasingly, fewer graduates of MFA degrees are finding work in the arts. “We may not know definitively whether arts degrees provide added value to aspiring artists, but we do know that they pose quite a bit of risk, particularly for artists coming from low socioeconomic status (SES). Although artists with bachelor’s degrees in any major earn more than artists who went pro after high school, new BFA holders quickly face the reality that artists experience lower returns to formal education than they would in other professions.” So are college fine arts programs a waste of time? The answer is rather more complicated than that.
- Another Record Broadway Season (And What It Means): The Great White Way broke records this season not just at the box office – $1.373 billion, up 0.6 percent over the previous season, but also in number of people seeing a show – 13,317,980, up 1.6 percent over the previous season. Okay, so another record. But consider Broadway in the context of other traditional arts fighting to stay alive in the digital age, and the success is notable. Okay, there’s also Hamilton. But long-running shows also continue to pull in customers. “An ancient art form in the digital age, it is strengthening thanks to an ever-increasing influx of tourists and a resurgent enthusiasm for musical theater.”
- Culture Shift – Three New Ways Of Experiencing Old Things:
– Michael Feingold is dazzled by a new generation of playwrights: “Yes, our old three-dimensional art form has stepped into an internet world where everything is accessible in one quick click. Today’s playwrights can shift focus, tone, or even subject matter in an eye-blink. Amazingly, they can do it without losing hold of their core meaning.”
– Tate Modern’s new director says the museum rethinks contemporary art’s story: “The collection was originally built according to a dominant art history which we are very familiar with, but the real story is a much bigger one, because that dominant story left out a lot of places and a lot of practices and a lot of women artists. We haven’t rewritten the history but we are asking questions about the history and plotting co-ordinates. It’s a bigger story.”
– Virtual reality will change our perceptions of reality: “Along with transforming everyday life, a VR revolution could fundamentally change how we understand and define what is real.” How are artists going to use it?