More than a year ago, a student in the Harvard Graduate School of Education named Edward P. Clapp floated an idea for an anthology of twenty essays by young(ish) arts administrators and educators, titled simply 20UNDER40. The original call for submissions got passed around every which way, garnering a total of more than 300 proposals. I decided to approach a friend and former classmate, Daniel Reid, about co-writing a piece on using guided crowdsourcing in arts philanthropy, and our chapter, “Audiences at the Gate,” ended up as #6 in the book.

We put a lot of effort into both the conceptual underpinnings and the actual writing of our chapter, and I’m as proud of the final result as anything I’ve ever written for Createquity. Although it wasn’t part of the original plan, in the course of outlining “Audiences at the Gate” I felt that I clarified for myself some of the most intransigent roots of the economic challenges facing artists in our age of overabundance. In short, I now believe that finding a more effective way to process and curate – not just support – the work of new and underappreciated artists is not just a welcome convenience for the public, but a moral imperative for the sake of artists everywhere. Our proposal represents one possible approach for achieving that goal, but my hope is that, regardless of the solution, the centrality of the problem and the need to do something about it will become clearer as a result of reading the article.

The book goes on sale to the public on Wednesday, December 1 for $29.95 (or $9.95 for the e-book edition). My author’s copy arrived in the mail a few days ago, and what I have read so far of the other chapters looks extremely promising. I highly recommend that anyone concerned with the future of the arts find out for themselves what these individuals are saying about it.

Also, if anyone is interested in helping with this work, Edward has put together a small fundraising campaign (sponsored through Fractured Atlas!) to defray costs associated with publicity for the book. The link to donate is here. If you’re in or near the Boston area, there will be an all-day mega-release party taking place on Friday, December 10 (I unfortunately cannot attend, but many of the book’s other authors will be there), and rumor has it that some kind of get-together is in the works for New York the following Monday as well.

  • Congrats, Ian! Can’t wait to read the full article. The teaser at the Chicago event was tantalizing!