Monthly Archives: September 2013

More creative just less passive

Humans have a short history in sitting passively consuming the arts.  Historically the arts have been a highly social engagement, part of the community in ceremony or celebration or performance with openly social interactions ongoing in the audience (I have visions of Asian theatre here). It seems that the audience may be done with their passive connection to the arts. The NEA’s most recent survey, covered in the linked NYTimes article  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/arts/a-new-survey-finds-a-drop-in-arts-attendance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1&&pagewanted=all, reveals a continued downward trend in traditional arts attendance.  However, consumption of the arts broadly defined seems to remain healthy.  What can arts organizations take from this data? How does their local community compare? If Pittsburgh is an indicator, social, interactive events are avidly followed (come see the Festival of Firsts kick of event with the Rubber Duck party tomorrow). The traditional arts are still holding strong especially those with content relevant to their audience, but the expansion is in the realm of pop-ups, festivals, crawls, interdisciplinary performances or experiences, etc.  Take your local temperature and share what you see. The arts are all around us — within and without the walls of our organizations.