I briefly caught a performance of Henry Brant’s Orbits for organ, soprano, and 80 trombones at the Guggenheim on the way back from Seattle yesterday. Totally wild stuff. I only really dug isolated moments of it, but those moments were killer. Saw blogmaster Alex Ross in the audience as well, scribbling notes as he is wont to do. We just barely got in to the first set after waiting in a line crammed full of young adventurers in the rain for about 35 minutes. The people who got there a few minutes after us had to wait another hour for the second performance, due to capacity limitations. Who knew that late ’70s avant-garde noodling would prove so popular three decades later?
- Andrew Taylor published a commentary on amateurs vs. professionals a few days after I explored the same subject with On the Arts and Sustainability. The money quote is this:
To my mind, this is one of the core and vexing questions of the on-line world for the arts (and for other industries…but that’s not my table): what is the role of the expert and the excellent in a distributed world? How do we preserve space and return value to those who are extraordinary (by whatever measure you pick)?
I don’t think that’s a professional/amateur question — although that’s the frame we tend to use. In fact, I think the professional/amateur debate in the arts is clouding the deeper conversation.
I can get on board with that, although the issue as it relates to the arts goes beyond the question of returning value to people or not. After all, there are certainly excellent, high-profile artists who capture quite a lot of value. The question is about the excellent but low-profile artists who capture a mere fraction of that value, and how to match the value returned in exchange for excellence with the costs (including opportunity costs) of producing it.
- Looks like there’s now an emerging arts leaders’ journal: 20Under40 is soliciting essays on the future of arts administration and arts education. (h/t Connie Chin)
- Speaking of submission solicitations, the Geospatial Revolution Project wants your ideas on how geospatial data (mapping projects, GPS, and the like) will change our lives forever. Here’s the blog and the facebook page.
- The Annals of Radical Transparency continue with what must be the first-ever Twittered foundation board meeting. (h/t Sean Stannard-Stockton)
- More good stuff from Guy Yedwab (are you reading his blog yet?): this time, a unique idea for sourcing designers, writers, and directors for theater shows from the audience. You’d have to figure out some mechanism for gracefully turning unhelpful people away, but this is basically the model on which Obama campaign operated, and that was only one of the most successful enterprises in history.
- BusinessWeek reports on the L3C phenomenon, going over a number of different hybrid models for organizations straddling the line between nonprofit and private enterprise. Apparently there are now 53 L3Cs registered in Vermont and several in other states.
- NYFA has shared office space available for $200/mo for affiliated arts organizations.
- Nice: the Irvine Foundation has a new initiative for providing risk capital to arts organizations.
- Via the Clyde Fitch Report, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs budget has been cut, though not as badly as originally feared.
- Greg Sandow laments the decline in arts participation as shown by the recent national NEA study, but Laura Zabel of SpringboardArts wants to know why comedy shows (among other things) weren’t included.