Arts skills are for everyone, not just the future actors and directors and stage carpenters of America. For many children, the only opportunity for this experience is in school.
Impact Creativity is an initiative of the National Corporate Theatre Fund that started in 2012, with the goal of raising $5mil within 3 years to support arts education in 19 cities. The article brings up an interesting point that many nonprofits struggle with when it comes to their programs. Simply stating your cause may not compel everyone you meet; organizations need to better communicate the tangible impact to their communities and donors.-Kimmy
While the Cleveland Orchestra played repeatedly to enthusiastic, sold-out crowds in Europe, administrators and others established new connections and explored ways for the group to increase its profile overseas.
Katie: The Cleveland Orchestra discusses its strategy to increase and strengthen partnerships abroad, including a possible residency in Paris. But with so many resources devoted internationally, what is happening back in Cleveland?
Armed with a $20,000 grant, 11 artists from around the country have been chosen to create public art that will change the face of Sacramento’s Broadway – virtually.
The NEA has given the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission a $20k grant to launch a new art project, "Broadway Augmented." This is not your typical art project. "Broadway Augmented" will use a new cutting edge technology that is quickly spreading in the arts world, Augmented Realty. 11 selected artists will create the public artwork. Augmented realty will take their work to a whole new level, transforming their creations into "computer-generated sound, video, graphics, or data." SMAC's project just proves that the arts will always evolve, and this project is a great way to not only reach new audiences, but truly make their experiences worthwhile. Arts organizations need to engage the new wave of audiences differently than they have in the past. SMAC's participatory street art is a new and creative form of engagement that is one way to answer the problem.
What should you do when your child has expressed interest in dance or theatre? Before you overspend consider these tips for encouraging your child’s exploration of the arts.
Institutions can work to foster an appreciation for the arts through giving communities the framework they need to learn and practice. For example, The PBS website offers guidelines for encouraging children's exploration of the arts. They focus on setting guidelines for exploration and creativity, reminding the parents that a journey into the arts does not necessarily end with a career path- or rather, the arts are an adventure rather than a destination. This is an example of the kind of framework that could be provided by arts organizations to foster an artistic longing within the community. These guidelines and tips, which come as second nature to anyone that has an art background, can make the difference between whether or not a potential newcomer to the arts decides to participate and get involved. Providing a framework to fostering expression and creativity to the arts focuses overwhelmed novices on attainable goals. -Erin
The American Reader magazine is betting readers want "deeper engagement" — online and in print.
Katie: Who pays for online content? Is it degrading to the creative minds producing that content if it's distributed for free? Is it, as John MacArthur, publisher of Harpers, claims, potentially catastrophic? Does a comparable "compact" exist between musician and listener as between writer and reader? And if so, does distributing music for free online, as symphony orchestras are beginning to do, "violate" that compact? This broadcast from NPR explores the use (and nonuse) of paywalls in online publishing and poses important questions for symphony orchestras and other providers of classical music to consider as they begin to distribute musical content online, in the form of live broadcasts, concert recordings, and interviews with musicians. In what ways does the classical music industry mirror publishing and in what ways does it diverge? Is orchestral music sufficiently unique to successfully utilize a paywall or is it ubiqutous, like the news, suggesting that listeners will go to where they can consume it for free? Do individual symphony orchestras have the reputation and panache of organizations like The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal (which do use paywalls) where listeners would be willing to pay for the high level of musical quality they know they will receive?
Or perhaps is it more appropriate to think of online content as distinct from in-person experiences, as Uzoamaka Maduka argues is true for publishing? Note her claim that the Millennial generation is ambidextrous, wanting choices between digital and physical experiences and seeing those as extensions of one another, not "different versions of the same thing." Do you think that's true, and if so, does it offer a glimmer of hope for classical music organizations as they enter the sphere of online distribution? Be sure to listen to the broadcast itself (link is at the top of the page), as the written summary focuses heavily on The American Reader while the broadcast draws from multiple viewpoints.
In a bare rehearsal space downtown at the Music Center, a dozen or so people work through a scene in the dark.
Melody: I thought that this article related to parts of the class discussions we had about technology. Essentially, the LA Opera incorporated animation and live performance elements into its “The Magic Flute” show. It seems like the scenes and backgrounds are all projected onto a screen with animations and multimedia while there are live singers interacting with the animations. Part of the opera’s decision to do this is because they felt that the audience wanted to see something new. The opera wanted to create something that would be more relatable to the audience and that people would enjoy. I remember that this week’s guest speaker said that operas have super high fixed costs and I’m wondering if this model could decrease those high fixed costs. However, using a projected screen with animations does take a lot away from the traditional form of opera.
From the start of the prolonged offstage drama that has been convulsing Berlin's opera world since the late 1990's, two inescapable and contradictory realities seemed likely to determine the
Bianca: This article was published some time ago. However, I think it is an interesting example from Germany talking about mergers in the music sector: In 2004, the three opera houses in Berlin (Deutsche Oper, Komische Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden) were merged into the "Berlin Opera Foundation".
The struggling institution's board is seeking ways to keep the doors open such as finding a major cash infusion or a merger partner.
This case demonstrates many of the issues that we discussed in class. The organization is facing the dual problem of decrease in charitable giving and attendance. They are having difficulty engaging new audiences with the context of the additional orchestra. In addition, their current audience base is moving to the suburbs as they age. The efforts made to engage new audiences through remixes and djs were initially successful but not followed up with similar efforts. Artistically the orchestra needs to work to change its conception of audience from passive listeners to an active community ready to engage. This, in conjunction with a complete financial overhaul, may save the Brooklyn Philharmonic. -Erin
A music teacher at Edgeworth Elementary School in the Quaker Valley School District is starting a new kind of recycling program using iPod Touches and iPhones.
Melody: Here is an article about a music teacher at an elementary school who is using music learning apps on ipod touches, ipads, and iphones to teach his music classes. Currently, the teacher has a few ipads and one ipod for the class, but he is also asking for donations of gently used ipods and iphones. With the devices, he resets them and adds many fun music learning apps so students can work in groups to learn. The apps his music class is using include Flashnote derby, Note Squish, Rhythm Cat, Blob Chorus, NoteWorks and Screen Chomp, which help students with note-reading skills, rhythmn, and ear training. Overall, I think it is a great idea to incorporate these apps because it is more interactive and fun for children; however, the only thing I worry about is that the children would use the devices to browse the Internet or play other games instead of just using the music apps.
“I WANT to blow you all. Blow you all. A kiss,” trilled Sarah Joy Miller (pictured, in a pink confection), who played the title role in “Anna Nicole”, a New...
Melody: This article focuses on the management issues and problems of the New York City Opera. On October 1st, the 70 year old company decided that it is going to shut down due to significant financial problems. Interestingly, the company decided to do an “Anna Nicole” opera in order to reach a larger and broader audience. However, with financial mismanagement and decreasing support from donors, the company is now filing for bankruptcy.
Katie: As we learn more about the neurological consequences of music-making, how might music organizations (orchestral or otherwise) adjust the programming and services they provide? Or should they? Is there a danger, as the article suggests in its closing sentences, in advocating music participation because of its neurological impact rather than its intrinsic values? Or is this an opportunity by which music organizations can better create public value for the communities they serve? Is there a balance?
Were you just beginning to forget the summer's most ubiquitous song, Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"? Well, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs' choir is here to make the song relevant once again.
It is interesting to study the relationship between the arts and government among different countries. Music can be a powerful tool for government to disemminate ideas and opinions. Opressive regimes throughout history know this and have used it to their advantage, most often by constricting the voices of creative minds and promoting a "national channel" of arts making that is the property of the regime. Often, this only makes resistance through the arts stronger- consider the role of national songs and poems in resistance movements.
The United States was founded to escape this opression, and the resistance to a central cultural ministry is founded on fear that national involvement in the creative capital would restrict American liberty, restricting the free and independent voice of the American people. On the other hand, Russia has a history of highly centralized government, which informs its contemporary relationship between music and government. Government control of the arts, whether good or bad, is more accepted in Russia because the country's history and culture supports this structure. This comparison illustrates how a country, province, or state's unique culture and history profoundly affect the voice of the arts. -Erin
New York Philharmonic's Very Young People's Concerts use childlike humor to cater to toddler set. An interview with Dorian Rence and Rebecca Young.
The article relates to music education programs for toddlers. The New York Philharmonic’s Very Young People’s concerts, developed by New York Philharmonic musicians with faculty of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, provide fun concert experiences for toddlers. Each concert is centered around the stories of Philippe, a cartoon penguin character. When the musicians are playing, there is a projector screen behind them, which displays Philippe’s journeys, and in different parts of the performance, there is a narrator who is sitting on a rocking chair while telling Philippe’s stories. Some of the music they have used for their performances include Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, Bernstein’s on The Town, and John Cage’s Second Construction (http://nyphil.org/education/for-kids-and-teens/very-young-peoples-concerts).
This program also reminded me of when I was little, my mom would bring me to see the Akron Symphony’s Peter and the Wolf and as a kid, I loved the combination of storytelling and the music. It was also fun to be there with other kids my age and to participate in the interactive storytelling. Overall, I think these concerts are a wonderful way to introduce young children to different instruments and classical music.
A reviewer attends nine performances of Bellini’s “Norma,” to compare different seating spots at the Met.
Melody: This article reminded me about some of the discussions we had in class about how watching a performance of an opera on your TV or on your computer could be better than watching it live in some situations. For live performances, only people who have seats closer to the stage are usually the ones who are able to clearly see the performer’s face and expressions.
Anyways, this article is about the writer of the article who saw 9 performances of the Metropolitan Opera’s “Norma.” For each performance, the writer sat in a different seat. Some of the seats include the Grand Tier ($220), standing room at top of theater ($17), Dress Circle ($190), front row of the orchestra ($220), prime orchestra seat on the aisle ($310), floor seat ($100), Score Desk seat at the very top and sides of the theater ($12). He concluded that the floor seats are not always the best because he sat in one near two of the technical booths. Also, from the Score Desk seats, you can’t see the stage.
It was interesting to learn about the writer’s experiences from sitting in different seats at the Met and it made me ponder more about the benefits of technology and recorded performances shown on TV or the Internet.
The 58-year-old organization is without an artistic or executive director.
Melody: Currently, the Dallas Chamber Music Society is run by the commitee/board because the executive director and artistic director left. The organization had approached someone to be the artistic director, but some complained that the person didn't know how to handle administrative duties. Also, the current president, who was vice president, became president because the board had a disagreement with the former president. So the current president says he is busy now, but isn't worried about the Dallas Chamber Music Society and knows that in the long run, the organization will need to find an executive director who is good at fundraising. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future and how not having an executive and artisitic director will impact the overall organization. It will also be interesing to see organizational structure changes and changes in duties.
Leading Arts Administrator Michael M. Kaiser to Join UMD as Professor of the Practice COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov.
Michael Kaiser's DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center is moving to the University of Maryland. This new partnership will be a significant change for both the institute and the Kennedy Center. The institute runs under the umbrella of the Kennedy Center and essentially doesn't have to worry about the overhead costs of a legal department, printing services, press, and so forth. (Having the Kennedy Center name doesn't hurt either.) However, Michael Kaiser's reasoning for the move is to expand their scope and grow as an arts services organization. Moving to a university setting will give them access to a number of resources unavailable at the Kennedy Center, such as faculty. It is unclear whether Michael Kaiser plans to start up a master's program or just offer a certificate to the graduates in their 3-year fellowship program. Offering a master's program seems to conflict with another arts management program in the region (AU), and will surely affect the collaboration AU has with arts organizations in the district. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity for the University of Maryland to grow and broaden their reach in the arts.
For any organization to make such a large change, turnover seems inevitable. Our guest speaker, Michael Mael, mentioned having almost zero turnover during their transition to the Kennedy Center, which is rare. It will be interesting to see further news on how staff at the DeVos Institute will transition to Maryland. -KN
British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki created the Ark Nova structure which, when fully inflated, has room for about 500 guests.
This is a very interesting method of making the arts more accesible to everyone. The structure, which in itself is a work of art, can be deflated and transported with relative ease. This hall allows people in remote areas to have an arts experience that is normally reserved for more metropolitan areas. As discussed in class, in recent years more companies have been touring with the hope of expanding outreach and gaining new audiences. As the structures of arts organizations and performing arts groups shift in the current unpredictable climate, I wonder if there will be a return to an arts model that primarily emphasizes touring? -Erin
The swift plunge of the Minnesota Orchestra, which recently cancelled a pair of concerts at Carnegie Hall because of a labor dispute, looks to be one of the most flagrant cases of mismanagement in the recent history of American classical music.
The writer definitely has an opinion as to who is at fault in the Minnesota case, but admits that the system is broken. Though I don't think that anyone could actually deny that at this point, Ross offers a different solution- contemporary music.
Even champions of contemporary classical music will acknowledge that they are some of the most poorly attended pieces of repertoire in the classical setting. I find it counter-intuitive on the surface, but with a little thought, could be a viable option.
In the process of moving to a new artistic model, the orchestras and operas of the world take the risk of alienating their current audiences, but this is the same audience that is ageing out anyway. The hope is that they would begin to build younger, more open audiences for the future of the organization.
So, do orchestras cut their losses and place a larger focus on contemporary music? We shall see. -LMSanBoeuf
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra faced near-bankruptcy in 1995 and 2001, a major labor dispute in 1999, half-full halls, crippling debt, and a CEO and conductor who jumped ship, yet it has come out the other side in great shape.
High-culture attendance numbers have been shrinking for more than a decade. Even the New York City Opera wasn't too big to fail. But here's a thought: Could it be that some of these institutions should disappear?
Part of this article raises the question of whether we have too many orchestras and opera companies, further emphasizing the Salzburg Seminar's study that we're in a golden age of cultural participation. The article also points out that orchestras, theaters, and operas are competing with digital downloading, cable television, and closed-circuit simulcasts. As we discussed in class, new technologies are becoming the alternate form of entertainment for our audiences. But I don't think arts organizations should dismiss new technology so quickly, and some organizations are actually embracing new technology in a very creative way. The Seattle Opera and San Francisco Ballet come to mind., and they are utilizing technology around their community and constituents. I think this idea could also be transferred to their organizational structure. The Oakland Museum of California, for instance, completely restructured their staffing, also centering on the needs of the community.
SMU launched its National Center for Arts Research earlier this year. Now NCAR is previewing its first major study on the condition of American cultural groups - and what they can do to improve their outlook.
Katie: As we think about strategy and analysis for performing arts, a powerful resource from SMU's relatively new resource from the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR). The nonprofit sector, particularly the arts, requires a unique set of success indicators to determine performance and progress. Here NCAR considers both the constraints and the purpose of nonprofits arts organizations to come up with relevant metrics for our field, including easily measurable items like attendance and sponsorship dollars, to less quantifiable factors like strength of relationship with neighborhoods served. Among the (perhaps) less expected findings is that younger audiences for performing arts is actually growing. Make sure to check out the list of other "surprises" at the bottom--food for thought!
Are we witnessing a major transition in the arts from regional organizations to fewer mega-organizations with the sophistication to mount large scale productions, to market them well and to raise large sums of money?
Katie: Originally posted by Marissa (MAM Presenting) and rescooped by Kathleen (MAM Dance), Michael Kaiser poses a series of provocative questions on the impact that delivering artistic performance via multiple platforms will have on live performance, and particularly on mid-sized (regional) arts organizations. The tone of the piece is rather dire, and it seems, overly so. The fact that multiple arts organizations are utilizing non-standard modes of distribution (simulcasts, etc.) presents just as much opportunity as risk. Yes, a fear exists that people will stop attending live performances, leaving only a handful of "mega-organizations" to deliver content and by consequence allowing a relative few to attend live performances while the majority stream them in. But it also means that artistic performances now have the potential to reach more people than ever before, exposing (in theory) greater portions of the populace to artistic creations that may or may not be familiar via modes that are relevant to them. Taking the long view, this change may just as well increase interest in artistic performance, motivating people to donate and/or attend regional organizations. The future, of course, remains to be seen but can be anticipated with fear or curiousity, as an opportunity that might hurt the arts or that just might help them.
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