Getting started on a blog is not an easy undertaking. The time commitment alone is enough to make me ask myself, “should I be getting paid for this?” Well, maybe someday.
This blog will be about many things artistic, but it will also be a commentary on the arts culture in general. Frankly, let’s face it, the artistic culture in America is facing some serious problems. Not only is it in trouble financially, as are most non-profit organizations these days, but it is in my opinion also going through an identity crisis of sorts.
The way we as a society communicate and share information today is significantly different than even just ten years ago. Here is a perfect example of how simply watching television has changed. Newspapers are failing, the major networks are re-structuring, and statistics show that more and more people are turning to blogs and other various online media sites to get information. The days of old-fashioned marketing and print media are coming to an end. How will arts organizations transition successfully and seamlessly as possible into the 21st century way of communicating? This is where we come back to the notion of an identity crisis.
The identity crisis comes in the form of artistic organizations determining how to navigate through a new, seemingly ubiquitous cultural shift that pervades the American and world cultures. That new culture is social networking and online media sites. How will opera companies, symphonies, choral societies, ballet companies, museums, and any other medium of classical art, connect to a new generation of potential art lovers? I believe the answer lies in the realms of cyberspace.
Sites like Facebook , Twitter and especially Youtube hold immense potential if only used properly. The key words are “if only used properly.” Most arts websites I visit are still using the internet like it was used ten years ago. They are simply creating a website, throwing a bunch of information on there, and hoping that the viewer will be interested enough to come check out their artistic product. Websites can no longer act as bulletin boards of information. They must now be interactive as well as engaging and informative. A leading voice in the classical arts community who’s opinion I immensely respect, Greg Sandow, thankfully understands the importance of this cultural shift.
Here are a few examples, in my opinion, of arts organizations who understand the cultural shift taking place and who have adapted accordingly: London Symphony, Seattle Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera . As I discover more I will be sure to add them.
So, this is the situation we face. It may appear to be a daunting task, and to some, a useless waste of time. However, it is happening and it WILL happen, whether we choose to recognize its importance or not. Luckily, I am at an advantage as I have pretty much lived my entire life with computers and thus have easily adapted with the changes in technology. Some are not so fortunate, but they can’t be blamed for not understanding the importance of it.
This is of course merely my opinion, but it seems to be the general consensus of the arts community. In any of posts from here on, if you think I am off-base, wrong, or just plain wacky, tell me. I love dissenting viewpoints. It helps me to refine my own.
Now, let’s get to work…