Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Off Stage Conversations

Hello Everyone, it's Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League with Off Stage Conversations, where I take a look at articles and ideas of interest in the national and international theatre community.

Last week, I was at the APASO conference, which was focused on innovation. It started a lot of conversations that I hope to continue having with folks in our community and has shaped what links I'm sharing today.

Arts Reformation

Ben Cameron of the Doris Duke Foundation and formerly of TCG, who is often called to speak arts events was one of the APASO speakers. Eventually, his speech at APASO will be available for me to share directly, but he did share one idea that he's spoken of in the past -- the idea that we are in the middle of an arts reformation. In the Protestant Reformation where people realized that they didn't need a priest to have a spiritual experience; with the arts reformation people are realizing that they don't need a traditional arts organization to have a creative experience.
But in a world of arts participation—a time in which participation is growing while traditional attendance is declining, and in which technology has democratized the means of both artistic production and artistic distribution for the first time in human history—how do we recognize the impulses and expectations that the internet promotes-expectation of transparency and participation, of personalization and customization? How do we think, not only about presentation, but about engagement—about interacting with this growing tsunami of creative energy that typically exists beyond the purview of our classrooms, our buildings and our performing arts centers? How do we engage audiences in the creative process, not merely in the finished work?
The Way We Look at Charity is Dead Wrong

Dan Pallotta's TED Talk discusses that what we value in charities are the wrong values -- we focus so much on low overhead, low salaries for non-profit employees, and limited marketing -- instead of focusing on how charities serve their mission. Pallotta specifically talks about how those in charities and non-profits are demonized for using for-profit marketing tactics and budgets, and how that undermines the industry.

Austin, TX

HowlRound is currently doing a series on Austin, TX. I've informally said to my board and to some others that I think Austin is a model we should look at -- like us, Austin is a community of primarily small and mid-sized organizations, and lacks a major regional theatre. Therefore, it makes sense to take a look at what we can learn from Austin.
My two favorite pieces so far is Travis Bedard's piece on how Austin isn't a theatre town, it's a maker town and the Rude Mech's piece on why they're lucky to be in Austin and how inspirational their audiences are.

Nifty Thing if You're Free Tomorrow

The Dramatists Guild and Howl Round are hosting a live webcast seminar with John Weidman on bookwriting for musicals, on April 18th starting at 6PM EST.

Community Storage and Space

The LA Stage Alliance is opening their own collective storage space. If you've ever talked with me or Margaret Ledford or Ann Kelly -- this is a big dream for the South Florida Theatre League. And we're going to talk with the folks in LA on how they made it happen.

Why Aren't Women Equals in Music Leadership and Innovation

Ellen McSweeney's article discusses why women aren't in the forefront of the music world, but her observations equally apply to our industry as well.

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