I’m thrilled to be starting this blog about the arts audience experience, Row X. I want to thank Lynne Conner who first gave me space to write about arts audiences during the pandemic as a guest editor on her ArtsJournal blog We the Audience in 2020. It was incredibly generous of her. And thank you to Doug McLennan for blessing the guest editorship of Lynne’s blog and later inviting me to have my own space on ArtsJournal.
My professional bio and my scope for the blog are on the right of this page. As a preview of my style and approach in writing about arts audiences, you can read my posts from August 2020-November 2020 on We the Audience. I also wrote a post called “It’s Time to Level Up” for AudienceView in February 2021, following my appearance on their Unobstructed podcast in November 2020.
I’ve been reading ArtsJournal for nearly all of its 22 years. ArtsJournal and especially Andrew Taylor’s blog The Artful Manager was where it “clicked” for me that arts management is an infinitely interesting field for curious people like myself – and that it had direct impact on our society. I read the site everyday. What I’ve learned from the stories and blogs featured here has been a strong influence on my approach to arts management. To have my own space here means a lot to me.
Since it IS a blog about audiences, I want to model what I’m advocating for: finding a sweet spot between artists, arts organizations, and audiences. Here it’s a writer, ArtsJournal, and you. The goal is that all three of those players find value in the exchanges. My greatest hope for this blog is that when you read it you will have that energized feeling you have after a great conversation with a colleague, where you learned something new, or something clicked, or you just felt buoyed by knowing there was somebody out there thinking about the same issues you are. I warmly invite you to respond in the comments of my posts and engage with the ideas I’m presenting.
Have a seat with me in Row X, and let’s begin.