Blog Posts for July 2011 Blog Salon

Conversations with a Curator: Douglas Laustsen (Part 2)

Posted by Mr. Ian David Moss, Aug 16, 2011 0 comments

Ian David Moss

In the spirit of the recent conversation on ArtsBlog, Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation, I thought it would be interesting to talk to a curator about how he makes room for the unfamiliar in his work.

Douglas Laustsen is a music educator and trombonist based in New Jersey who runs a radio program called “Endless Possibilities” on WRSU, Rutgers University’s college radio station. We decided to continue a discussion we began on Twitter a few months ago about curatorship and new music.

Our discussion was published in two parts here on ARTSblog:

You mentioned that the recordings people send you tend to be more polished than you expected. On the one hand, that perhaps makes for a better listening experience, but on the other, it perhaps gets away a little bit from the original vision for Explorations. How do you negotiate that tension in your curation process?

It is interesting, to me at least, that I've had to be more concerned with creating a ceiling for the segment than a floor. Luckily, I have space during the rest of my show to feature music I don't find appropriate for Explorations, and I have played submissions outside of Explorations as a way to promote a piece and maintain the spirit of the segment. Clearly there is a lot gray area in making this determination, but over time my familiarity with the new music world has made this judgement a lot easier.

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Conversations with a Curator: Douglas Laustsen (Part 1)

Posted by Mr. Ian David Moss, Aug 15, 2011 0 comments

Ian David Moss

In the spirit of the recent conversation on ArtsBlog, Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation, I thought it would be interesting to talk to a curator about how he makes room for the unfamiliar in his work.

Douglas Laustsen is a music educator and trombonist based in New Jersey who runs a radio program called "Endless Possibilities" on WRSU, Rutgers University’s college radio station. We decided to continue a discussion we began on Twitter a few months ago about curatorship and new music.

Our discussion will be published in two parts here on ARTSblog:

Tell us a little bit about your radio show - what is it? How did it come to be, and how did you get involved?

"Endless Possibilities" is a weekly radio program I have hosted since 2008 on WRSU, the college radio station of Rutgers University. I began hosting shows on WRSU in 2005 with a wildly free form show called 'Trivial Pursuits."

My initial motivation was to interact with music in a very non-academic way because I was beginning to feel some conservatory burn out. As fun as it was to segue Pierrot Lunaire into London Calling into Hauschka, I eventually limited the format of my show and renamed it "Endless Possibilities." While I don't restrict myself from playing any specific genres, the core of each show is decidedly contemporary art music.

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Blog Salon Wrap-Up: Leading Through Innovation

Posted by Stephanie Hanson, Jul 29, 2011 0 comments

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Innovation happens at the local level. Despite budget cuts and debt ceiling debates that currently seem to take over our news media, we have seen strong examples of impactful innovation in our field through the projects profiled this week on ARTSBlog. I use the term “impactful innovation” because if a great project or idea is created and doesn’t have impact, what was the point? Ryan Hurley gives a great example of an innovation that may not have resulted in lasting impact or change.

This week we have learned about innovative fundraising strategies that leveraged more dollars for youth in an underserved community, a theater experience that is engaging communities in a new way, and a dance company that serves not only the community at large, but builds the career capacity of the dancers and choreographers themselves.

We’ve also discussed some of the challenges in finding the resources to support innovative work, learned about a local arts agency that is partnering with the healthcare industry to serve a wider community, and we’ve got proof that innovation doesn’t just happen in big cities on the coasts. We also celebrated the curators of our field whose job it is to seek out innovative ideas and develop strategies for supporting them.

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Blog Salon Reflections: Art, Enterprise, & Equity

Posted by Ebony McKinney, Jul 29, 2011 1 comment

Ebony McKinney

“We are witnessing new practices and challenges to old assumptions.” ~ Ben Cameron during the closing keynote at this year’s Americans for the Arts Annual Convention.

A sector transformation is underway. Today’s arts administrators, activists, and cultural entrepreneurs are fashioning new routes to mission fulfillment, while contending with diminishing grant funds, demographic and technological shifts, and audience erosion. The relevance of institutions is being challenged as much of the sector experiments with new opportunities for practice and participation. The expanding definition of ‘the who, how, and where’ is evident.

The role of enterprise in this shift is of great interest to me. This fall I’ll begin a graduate program focused on how to create the infrastructure and environment needed for cultural and creative enterprise to flourish. I know for some arts and enterprise are conflicting ideas - enterprise represents the commercial, the shallow, the crude and calculated manipulation and manufacture of cultural, creative, or artistic product, but I think that enterprise can encourage resilience, flexibility, and empowerment inside and outside of institutions.

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Having a Girl Living in a Bubble Inside My Apartment for a Week Changed My Life

Posted by Philippa P.B. Hughes, Jul 29, 2011 0 comments

Art Really Can Change Your Life! from The Pink Line Project on Vimeo.

"For one week, artist Agnes Bolt moved into the home of the very sociable and curious Philippa Hughes to playfully explore the dynamics between an artist and an art collector. With a naive optimism and subtle social critique the project manifested itself with a large obtrusive structure situated within Philippa’s home in which the artist lived.

The presence of the artist was impossible to ignore. A series of rules, exercises, communication systems, and bonding experiences dictated the interactions between the two and video cameras were given to both parties. Both were required to follow the rules but mischief and expectations of an open spirited dynamic was highly encouraged.

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Leadership: Through the Eyes of Youth

Posted by Ms. Angela N. Harris, Jul 29, 2011 1 comment

Angela Harris

Prior to starting my company, I worked at a couple of places, which will remain nameless, where leadership meant ruling the company through one set of eyes.

On one occasion, I was told by the board president that I couldn’t come to meetings because of my youth and (assumed) inexperience. There was another time where I was reprimanded by a boss for suggesting alternative ways to market, because she thought I was putting her ways down.

I have always said that I am thankful for all of my work experiences, especially the dysfunctional ones, because I have learned exactly what NOT to do. Now, leading my own company, I often take the time to reflect on my past experiences, and this week, I had the chance to observe 20 incredibly talented youth demonstrate the power that creativity has on transforming and developing leadership capabilities.

As a leader, sometimes being part of the team is just as important as delegating. Building up other members of the team to feel confident in their leadership abilities should enhance the company, not serve as grounds for a power struggle. Working as a cohesive unit sometimes requires leaving your tenure at the door, and being open to hearing, learning, and communicating with everyone in your organization, without letting your status trump that of someone younger or less experienced.

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