Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

  1. Ben Cameron: The Arts Reformation

    What do monasteries of the 15-century and the modern orchestral world have in common? Ben Cameron—Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation—examines some surprising parallels.

    I was startled at the International Society for the Performing Arts conference in 2010 when an audience member rose and asked, “What if we looked at the present as the equivalent of the Religious Reformation of the 15th-century? Are we in an Arts Reformation?”

    Certainly there are striking parallels: both that past religious and our current arts reformations have been spurred by technological breakthrough. The invention of the printing press and the subsequent wide spread public access to scripture occasioned by the printing press certainly has parallel in the redistribution of knowledge with the invention of the internet. Both reformations challenge old business structures and every symphony manager must ask whether the orchestral model will suffer the same fate as the monastery, a model which was largely decimated in the wake of religious reform. But perhaps most profoundly, both reformations at their center challenge (more…)

  2. Mark Clague: Audience 3.0 — Engaging and Inspiring Amateur Music Makers

    In a world of professional music-making, where does the devoted amateur fit in? Mark Clague—associate professor of music, University of Michigan, and co-moderator or our live event on Sunday—argues that orchestras need to work more closely with audiences who might be players themselves.

    When the world’s great symphony orchestras were created 100 to 150 years ago, the strength of their audience was made up of amateur instrumentalists who knew from personal experience the transcendent joys as well as the endless struggles of making great music. This connection between performer and audience through musicianship rewarded both. Today, orchestras and orchestral musicians benefit not only by supporting K-12 music education but by reaching back to a lost tradition of amateur music making. Certainly I’d argue that amateurs have always made music, but our institutions routinely ignore their vital cultural heroics.

    Web 2.0 has reminded us that communication is a two-way street. We now expect books not only to “speak” to us but to engage us in conversation. Our concept of “reader,” “listener,” and “audience” is thus shifting from (more…)

  3. Speaker spotlight: Deborah Rutter, President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    In this Chicago Tribune profile of Deborah Rutter, President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, her job is summed up this way:

    …foremost, she must keep her audiences happy. This encompasses everyone from the students who sit in the gallery to the folks who pass their names on the donor walls as they approach their box seats. It also encompasses countless people in Chicago and beyond who may rarely, if ever, set foot in the Symphony Center.

    So when Rutter is huddling with artistic planning/audience development vice president Martha Gilmer to determine programs, jetting to Europe to hear [Riccardo] Muti conduct, speaking to civic groups or simply being a presence at hundreds of Symphony Center performances each year, she has the same purpose: to connect the orchestra to the outside world that gives it its reason and means to exist.

    “I grew up believing that an orchestra was mine,” she says. “It’s like going to the library. We’re here to really have this relationship with our community.” Read the full article by Mark Caro.

    At the helm of the orchestra since 2003, Deborah Rutter has navigated the choppy economic waters of the late 2000s and led a successful effort to woo Riccardo Muti into joining the CSO as Music Director. All this while also setting the stage for fruitful artistic collaborations with young composers like Mason Bates and Anna Clyne (two upcoming American Orchestra Forum panelists and Composers-in-Residence at the CSO) and launching the Citizen Musician initiative which invites community members to make music, even getting Yo-Yo Ma into the act.

    It will be interesting to hear her take on some of the issues around Audience, Creativity, and Community that we will be exploring in our behind-the-scenes conversation on Tuesday, February 14. We’ll be live blogging the proceedings here and tweeting at @AmOrchForum. Content from the discussion will be used in future American Orchestra Forum podcasts.

    Do you have a question for Deborah Rutter? Email us and we’ll include them in our discussion on Tuesday.

  4. Arts participation: how many carolers does it take to break a Guinness record?

    Answer: 9101.

    In another twist on the participatory arts theme, the Boston Pops is hoping to break the Guinness World Record for “the most carolers in one place.” Singers are invited to Christian Science Plaza in Boston on Saturday for some holiday cheer and hopefully some history-making. In order to break the record, more than 9100 carolers must sing continuously for 15 minutes.

    With arts participation on the rise—as the Getting in on the Act study reports—maybe this is the year they’ll do it?

    Learn more on Facebook and the Boston Pops website.

  5. Some Mozart to go with your dish towels?

    Random Acts of Culture is an intriguing program that takes classical music out of the concert hall and into… well, shopping malls, farmers markets, trains and basically any place there’s a captive audience. Here is a recent video from the Mall of America, featuring musicians from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. How would you like some Mozart to go with your dish towels? (They appear to be in the home section of Macy’s.)


  6. Getting in on the Act

    WolfBrown Getting in on the Act study

    One of the interesting topics that came up during the Q&A session at Sunday’s event was how arts organizations can engage communities through participatory experiences. Rather than sit and passively watch a concert, people seem to increasingly prefer doing the playing and singing themselves. Certainly the eye-popping success of the YouTube Symphony shows there’s an appetite for hands-on participation in the orchestral world. Does the role of the orchestra in its community need to change accordingly?