Around the horn: Around the horn edition

Sorry about the light posting lately – I was traveling last week for work and “Around the horn” is about all I have time to write on weeks like that. Which brings me to a question for you all. About a year ago, when this blog had many fewer readers, I asked about whether the “Around the horn” format was working for you. I didn’t get an overwhelming response, but the feedback was positive enough that I decided to keep at it. The reason I asked in the first place was because Around the horn posts almost never attract significant reader traffic, a trend that has continued into this year. The case for discontinuing the series rests on that, plus the 2-4+ hours of time that they invariably take to pull together (arguably preventing me from developing more interesting content), plus the fact that I’m certainly not the only blogger out there to offer regular link roundups. On the other hand, they do ensure that I post on a regular schedule, and it’s helpful for my own self-discipline to ensure that I actually read or at least skim the dozens of interesting articles that come my way each week.

Last year, when I was unemployed/consulting and considered this blog part of my “work,” it made sense for me to push as much content out there as possible, so Around the horn stayed. Now, though, I have a full-time job and I need to be strategic about the time I devote to Createquity. So, how about it, readers? Given everything I’ve said above, should Around the horn continue or not?

Actually, it doesn’t have to be quite that black and white. In addition to keeping up the status quo and discontinuing the series entirely, I could also explore the following alternatives:

  • Move it to Twitter. This was my original suggestion, and currently my Twitter feed is rather underutilized. It’d certainly be more efficient, but you’d lose the commentary, and I know not everyone’s on Twitter (though I could loop it into a sidebar on the blog easily enough).
  • Crowdsource it. This may be the ideal scenario, but I’m not sure whether it would work in practice. Part of the reason why I made the Createquity Tipster form and spreadsheet was so that something like this, a weekly feature co-authored by several contributors, could be an option. But it’s going to require interested and committed web-scourers or else it will just end up going back to the status quo. Anyway, if you think you might be up for something like this, would you let me know?
  • Slice and dice it. Maybe I just need to be more selective about and/or split up what gets included in Around the horn. For example, since Createquity specializes in research, I could do an occasional (i.e., not weekly) research round-up. Or I could focus exclusively on news that affects the arts sector. I kind of liked the topical structure I experimented with in this post, did you?

So here’s your chance to tell me what you want. In fact, I’ll make it easy for you: just take this quick survey, and tell me your thoughts not just on this issue, but on how things are going in general. I can’t wait for your response!

Oh, and since it’s that time of the week again:

  • Following the news from last week about the possible elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts, a protest from arts groups around the state led to a Georgia Senate committee restoring almost $900,000 to the council’s budget. While this is obviously an improvement and has been hailed as good news, let’s not lose sight of the fact that (a) this actually represents a likely upper bound on state arts funding, since the House version of the budget still doesn’t contain any money for the council, the Senate bill has yet to pass the full chamber, and the whole thing faces a Republican governor with a line-item veto at the end; (b) even if this passes, it’s still nearly a two-thirds cut from this year; and (c) Georgia is the ninth-most populous state in the union, meaning that the best possible outcome would take its level of state arts support to almost California-level patheticness.
  • Georgia wasn’t the only place where the jaws of life were employed recently: Bloomberg reports that the Harlem School of the Arts has received a $1 million infusion of foundation money that will allow it to stay open through the summer. The HSA also has a new board after all previous members stepped down this week. The donations and board changes were engineered by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin. We’ll see if this crew comes out with a better result than last time.
  • Holy moly: foundation grantmaking went down by 8.4% in 2009. Take out the Gates Foundation and the numbers look even worse.
  • I wish we saw more of this: a foundation CEO giving an insider’s account of its own Board-level strategy meetings. Meanwhile, the Kresge Foundation has announced a new strategy for its nationwide arts and culture program focusing on community revitalization through the arts, support services and institutional capitalization.
  • Get ready for another gigantic foundation on the horizon. Good news: this one will support the arts.
  • Sounds like the L3C supporters’ utopian vision of a red-tape-free legal form for social enterprise is about to be put to the test. Meanwhile, another hybrid organization type is on the loose in Maryland.
  • Some inside dish on the Grantsfire project and what it might mean for the future of grant reporting.
  • Your weekly Richard Florida (and Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick) publication is out. This one tackles music clusters in the United States.
  • A new report is being billed as “the most significant compilation of evidence-based dance research ever undertaken” in England. (h/t LabforCulture)
  • Tom Borrup on DIY Culture in Silicon Valley.
  • Nice personal recap of Arts Advocacy Day from TCG’s Alissa Moore.
  • RIP Alan Rich. And speaking of rich, the arts’ ultra-rich are now slightly less so.
  • I thought this video was pretty effective. People have chimed in to say that it’s not that big a deal, but still…lining up at 1am in the cold for an open-call audition? You gotta admit that’s a little nuts.
  • Congrats are in order to Createquity super-commenter Ann Sachs for being one of the honorees at the annual Ensemble Studio Theatre Gala, and to Isaac on the new look.
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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 26th, 2010 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I’ll take the survey immediately but please, PLEASE continue Around The Horn! (And thanks for the shout out for Theatrical Intelligence)

  2. Coy
    Posted April 26th, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Around the Horn is my favorite recap out there. I vote continue. And if you don’t, perhaps link to something comparable. (Although I’m not sure it exists!)

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