Technology is the way forward for arts orgs in the Millennial age

Technology is the way forward for arts orgs in the Millennial age
playwright Gwydion Suilebhan on his blog, 10/1/12

We are living in a time of immense and painful transformation in the arts. All across the country, many of our biggest arts institutions are facing extinction. Meanwhile, artists have been totally marginalized. And at the same time, audiences are diminishing. Only the digital art forms are doing somewhat well...because almost all of our leisure time in America is spent at home watching television, surfing the internet, and playing video games. I believe all of these issues are related -- because the arts are an ecosystem... and an ecosystem is only healthy when the relationships between the elements that make it up are healthy. Right now, in America, that just isn't the case.

So what would make for a healthy arts ecosystem? It's not magic: it's the same thing that makes for healthy relationships everywhere: open, honest, two-way communication. Engagement between equally-respected partners. And part of what's been getting us there in the past few years -- and what's going to keep getting us there faster than anything else -- is technology. Technology has always up-ended the arts throughout history. With every evolution, technology changes not only how we express ourselves, but also (and more importantly) how we connect with each other. What we really need now is a major transformation of the entire ecosystem: one that helps arts institutions complement their role as cultural curators and stewards of our shared artistic history ... with a role as platforms that are focused on empowering direct creative engagement between artists and audiences.

We need institutions to become, at least in part, service organizations less focused on the personal creative visions of their leaders and more on the needs and experiences of their constituents. Ultimately, this transformation is really just a big generational shift: from the Greatest Generation, who had enough faith in centralized institutional power to build arts organizations in the first place; to the Baby Boomers, who started to question that centralized authority and erode the foundation of institutions; to Generation X, which totally lost faith in the ability of institutions to provide real value; to the present day, the Millennials, who are actually ready to believe in institutions again... but only the ones that help them express themselves. They're looking for platforms they can stand on, not mountains to stand in the shadow of. Millennials are the future, and the arts institutions that start orienting themselves to the Millennial age will stand the greatest chance of surviving long-term. Because while artists and audiences will always survive, because making and interacting with art are fundamental parts of being human, institutions are vulnerable. We don't watch plays in the same places we watched them in fifty years ago, and we might not watch them in the current institutions fifty years from now. In the ecosystem of the arts, institutions have to adapt and evolve or die.

Views: 99

Tags: Millennial, Technology, age, arts, crafthaus, for, forward, in, is, orgs, More…the, way

Comment

You need to be a member of crafthaus to add comments!

Join crafthaus

Latest Activity

Melanie Sweet posted a photo

Unisphere - 1964 New York World's Fair

Acid etched copper plate, patinated. Based on a photograph by Mark Lutin (with permission).
1 hour ago
Liana Tomchesson liked Brigitte Martin's blog post Packaging Design
2 hours ago
Magdalene T Story for POLA OSLO joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

crafthaus online Exhibitions

Online Exhibition project on crafthaus. Exhibitions are member-curated and change monthly. Calls for Artists below!See More
3 hours ago
Magdalene T Story for POLA OSLO liked Brigitte Martin's group crafthaus online Exhibitions
3 hours ago
Brigitte Martin posted events
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted a blog post

Anita Larkin - Improbable Objects

Bivouac, 2012 Aluminum, paper, and collected objects 75x36x172cmPilgrimage, 2012 53x69x40cm Collected objects, wood, aluminum, electrical parts, plants, earthAnita Larkin: I am an artist who makes sculpture from found objects and felted fibers, as well as sometimes casting in bronze. I have experience in working on public art…See More
yesterday
Leisa Rich replied to Leisa Rich's discussion Introducing Leah Owenby in the group Invisible:VisAble Exhibition
"Harriete- thanks so much for following the profiles! I am working on getting info from the artists to post with the photos. Stay tuned! We appreciate your support."
yesterday
M. Veronica Silva joined Leisa Rich's group
Thumbnail

Invisible:VisAble Exhibition

Art can be a way to heal. Many artists privately face invisible medical and mental illness challenges that others are unaware of because they look, and act, absolutely normal. Some artists creatively tap into these challenges and give voice to them through a variety of mediums and styles. Invisible:VisAble, curated by artist Leisa Rich, is an art exhibition that features several artists whose art works are informed by their challenges. It is to be held in Atlanta in April, 2015 at Mason Fine…See More
yesterday
Melissa Cameron posted a blog post

Enamel time!

Yes folks, it's getting close to enamel time. If you're in New York State in the middle of next month, you can come take a two-day class with me at the Enamel Guild North East annual workshops, and see me give a presentation about my work at the conference on Sunday the 22nd of March. And if you're not anywhere the…See More
yesterday
Jera Rose Petal Lodge and Erin Cora Turner are now friends
yesterday
Brigitte Martin liked Sarah EK Muse's blog post CONNECTING THE DOTS - Virginia Statewide Artisan Conference- Highlight
Friday
Magdalene T Story for POLA OSLO posted photos
Thursday

© 2015   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service