Blog Posts for arts and diversity

Tapping back into lost audiences

Posted by Rachel Grossman, Oct 06, 2014 4 comments

Rachel Grossman Rachel Grossman

You know that question, “how do we build new audiences without losing current ones?” Here’s a thought exercise for you: what if you flipped it, reframed the question? What if you prioritized the audience you’ve already lost, rather than the audience you might lose?

That’s right: you’ve already lost audiences. Point of fact: there’s a giant pool of audience members that you’ve never had--never even knew you existed--that you’ve left out or even actively displaced because of choices you and your organization have made over time. And continue to make.

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I Wanna Live Forever

Posted by Gregory Burbidge, Apr 14, 2015 2 comments

"And we don't care about the young folks, talking 'bout the young style, And we don't care about the old folks, talking 'bout the old style too" -Peter Bjorn and John

I am always excited to read the Emerging Leaders blog salon -- to hear new stories of innovative practices and trends and to read about where our field is headed. Emerging leaders now have the capacity to combine access to big data, informational trends, and artistic vision in ways unheard of even a decade ago. Our standard arts presentation models struggle under the weight of our changing society and have yet to reckon with the new information at our disposal. Take data on aging, for example. What does it look like to re-imagine strategic planning in light of this?

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Diversity in Arts Administration is Not Inevitable

Posted by Dr. Brea M. Heidelberg, Mar 14, 2016 2 comments

This report treats diversity as an inevitability. This is true when it comes to demographics–we are all familiar with the statistics about how the country is becoming more racially diverse. However, true diversity (including age, gender, physical ability, and race) is not inevitable when it comes to working and advancing in our field. Numbers do not change power structures–marginalized people often outnumber those in power. It is the assumption that diversity will magically happen that permits some leaders within the field to sit idly by while the sector disenfranchises and loses quality talent. Change is not a passive process.

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The Greater DC Diversity Pilot Initiative, #1: Doubling Down on Small Steps as Meaningful Progress

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Nov 14, 2014 1 comment

Clay Lord Clay Lord

The pursuit of forward progress in issues of diversity, access, and equity in the arts in America is a difficult and frustrating business. A conversation that starts with, say, a lack of racial diversity on an organization's staff can quickly move from hiring practices to a perceived lack of qualified candidates of color in the pool, to a discussion of the systemic devaluation of the arts as a career option in certain populations, which may or may not stem from systemic inequalities in the American education system surrounding arts education, which in turn is representative of a society built from bottom to top on the creation of privileged class predominantly defined by the unequal distribution of wealth and access to opportunity across hundreds of years and dozens of generations. And suddenly you aren't talking about a problem you can do anything about, and you feel either overwhelmed or off the hook. What can I do about that, anyway?

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The Potential in Accountability: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra introduces a new audience to classical music

Posted by Patrice Worthy, Apr 19, 2015 0 comments

Looking around during performances at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, it is clear the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) struggles with a lack of diversity on stage and in their audience. The problems facing the 70-year old symphony are not unique. In fact, symphonies nationwide are tackling the issue of diversity with Blacks and Latinos making up less than 4% of national symphony musicians. The New York Philharmonic hired its first African-American principal musician in 2013 and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has only one Black member who was hired more than a decade ago.

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Preparing the Arts Field for a Future Rushing Towards Us

Posted by Roberta Uno, Mar 15, 2016 8 comments

In the new Hewlett Foundation report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward: A Changing Landscape, John McGuirk, Hewlett’s Program Director for Performing Arts, urges the arts field to reimagine leadership. The report summarizes Hewlett-supported research and previews their new goal to broaden the Foundation’s arts support to embrace cross-generational leadership and advance shared values of diversity and innovation. The findings and recommendations are strategically intended to prepare the field “for a future that is rushing toward us.”

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