Blog Posts for Arts & Business

The Disintermediation of the Arts

Posted by Mr. Andrew M. Witt, Mar 08, 2010 1 comment

From Wikipedia
In economics, disintermediation is the removal of intermediaries in a supply chain: "cutting out the middleman". Instead of going through traditional distribution channels, which had some type of intermediate (such as a distributor, wholesaler, broker, or agent), companies may now deal with every customer directly, for example via the Internet. One important factor is a drop in the cost of servicing customers directly.

Disintermediation initiated by consumers is often the result of high market transparency, in that buyers are aware of supply prices direct from the manufacturer. Buyers bypass the middlemen (wholesalers and retailers) in order to buy directly from the manufacturer and thereby pay less. Buyers can alternatively elect to purchase from wholesalers.”

Yes, indeed disintermediation has come to the arts.  Just consider the changes in arts consumerism on the broader scale:

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A Call to Action, or, Let's Stop Whining About How Bad Things Are and Get to Work

Posted by Anne Katz, Mar 08, 2010 3 comments

Lately I've been saying, in conversations and speeches, that this is a time of great opportunity for the arts. People look at me like I'm crazy. How can there be any hope for the arts in the middle of the worst recession in 75 years? The difficult economic times have affected every aspect of our lives, personally and professionally. In general, there is a sense that we are losing ground while working even harder to catch up.  There doesn't seem to be an answer or a solution, or an end, to the myriad local and global problems we face.

So let me be clear - I agree that it's a terribly anxious and disquieting time for the arts, and for every person, every organization and business, and every community in this country. There are critical issues for the short term that we must all deal with. As director of a small nonprofit organization, I lie awake at night worrying just like everyone else. The rent demands to be paid, tomorrow (or actually, yesterday).  But, as important and as pressing as those short term issues are for us all, it's precisely because the times are extraordinary that it's a time of great opportunity for the arts.  We must turn focus and vision to the long-term opportunities ahead for the arts, and for all of us, locally and globally. The 21st century world demands new ways of thinking and doing. So what's going to get us out of the mess we're in?  Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship-all qualities inherent in and integral to arts participation and involvement.

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The Transforming Powers of Community Service

Posted by Alix Refshauge, Mar 05, 2010 0 comments

The Residency Green Paper states that: The first artists' residencies were developed in the late 1800's...(and were) not about retreat from the industry and fierceness of the city, but rather about advancing a different way of life.  Residencies have nurtured the creative development of artists like Marcel Duchamp, Alice Walker, and Leonard Bernstein... Surely no one would argue against the benefit of that time to those artists (and many more) and that their work has added tremendous value to our society as a whole.  It is a great community service that they provide.

Fast forward to 2010 when there are over 400 residencies in the US alone.  Like the towns, cities, and woods that they exist in and the people who run their programs and sit on their boards - they are all different. Many residencies do not offer retreat but instead require some type of a more public community outreach or work exchange. Looking out - community outreach can have a great impact on the locals who are involved and can also attract funding. Looking in - meaningful community service can have a tremendous impact on the direction of one's work, on the direction one takes in their art career, and in the actions one takes in the communities that they settle in. The goal then is to make sure that community service and work requirements enhance the residency experience and that the AiRs take ownership of the good work that they do outside of their studio space. In other words - the goal is to provide experiences that are specific and meaningful to that individual.  

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