Monthly Archives: April 2016

Mega-Cities and the Arts

A recent article from QUARTZ notes that the creative, economic, and social power of the globe is centered on 20 urban connected hubs. http://qz.com/666153/megacities-not-nations-are-the-worlds-most-dominant-enduring-social-structures-adapted-from-connectography/.  As someone who spent 25 years in the Easter Corridor, I recognize the dynamics the author notes.  What isn’t noted is the quality of life disparity between the 1% and those that keep the motor running. Nor does it note that these corridors are increasingly un-affordable to those who serve as the bedrock for the creative sector — the artists.  Even silicon valley mega-giants are investing across the USA in smaller urban centers where cost of doing business is lower and life has greater bandwidth for experimentation.

Yet, there is a direct connection between the mega-cities and the mega-art institutions.  This is essentially the driving force behind what Michael Kaiser notes as the split in the sector.  As global and local economic forces at play for the arts follow the money and the people, where will the arts be in 20 years? Being a “Creative” does not make you and artist but artistry and innovation are indelibly linked.  If emerging artists can’t live in the global connective hubs, will the economic power begin to fueled from the outside? Will there be a new model of connectivity with new modes of transportation or technological connectivity? We are witnessing the beginning of a shift that will have intense impact on the arts.  It will likely feel like a g-force roller coaster at times.

 

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