Follow? No – Informed (Let’s Go To The Data)

I'll admit I am surprised. When I started putting this conversation together, I thought it would be easier finding people to take the "follow" side. There is so much attention being paid right now to social media and starting conversations and finding ways to let the audience express itself, I thought the preponderance of arguments would focus on the value and utility of audience interaction. But of course artists lead. That's what they do. As I wrote at the beginning, the ¬†question was … [Read more...]

Leading From Behind – We Need a Better Definition

I'm wondering about what has brought about this frenzy of attention to engagement in the last few years. Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Artists making video of their work. Online chats. Endless behind-the-scenes interviews and making-of opportunities. Contests. Prizes. Parties. Games... Sure technology has made it easier to communicate with one another, and now people don't need to go through publications and institutions to communicate to a wider audience. But the promise of the web was … [Read more...]

Douglas McLennan

Douglas McLennan is the founder and editor of ArtsJournal. This year he is a Visiting Professor at Claremont Graduate University. … [Read more...]

Lead or Follow? A debate about leadership

Increasingly, audiences have more visibility for their opinions about the culture they see. 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?   … [Read more...]