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National Performing Arts Convention http://performingartsconvention.org/ en-us Thu, 27 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:52:02 -0800 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss NPAC info@performingartsconvention.org info@performingartsconvention.org <![CDATA[Mar 21, 2014: This Performance Subsidized By Sweat Equity by Annie-B Parson]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=680   <header id="articleHeader" data-300="top:-25px;" data-200="top:0px;" data-0="top:0px;" class="small-12 columns skrollable skrollable-after stuck" style="top: -25px;">

This Performance Subsidized By Sweat Equity

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Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:31:19 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=680
<![CDATA[Mar 21, 2014: Diversity & Multiculturalism In A Global Context: Culturebot & Under the Radar]]> info@performingartsconvention.org http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=679
 

On SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2014 at the Under The Radar Festival, Culturebot hosted a discussion of the past, present and future of multiculturalism in a "global" world. How are different countries addressing issues of diversity while negotiating aesthetic and cultural differences? How do we, as artists and presenters, create meaningful contexts and conversations around the work itself?

INVITED GUESTS
Nora Chipaumire (Choreographer & Performer)
Jonas Hassen Khemiri (playwright)
Nike Jonah (Connecting Dots, UK)
Erwin Maas (Theater director)
Hassan Mahamdallie (Connecting Dots, UK)
Monique Martin (Director of Family Programming – City Parks Foundation/SummerStage)
Gabri Christa (Director/Choreographer)
Baraka Sele (Independent Consultant)
MK Wegmann (President, National Performance Network)

http://vimeo.com/89482090


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Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:04:41 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=679
<![CDATA[Dec 9, 2013: Arts & Culture Contribute More to U.S. Economy than Tourism]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 15|61|2 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=678 Art for art's sake or art for society's sake? Whichever argument you prefer, a new study - the first of it's kind - shows that art & culture are big contributors to the U.S. economy.


As the federal government reported

"The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released prototype estimates today from teh new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). This is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the United States. According to  these new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture."

That is considerably more than many other industries, including travel and tourism. and the performing arts were among the top contributors in the art and culture sector.

Further, "In 2011, the production of arts and cultural goods and services employed 2.0 million workers and generated $289.5 billion in employee compensation in the form of wages, salaries and supplements."
 

"Art and culture is a significant part of the U.S. economy. Not just its contributions of ideas and creativity to the innovation economy, but also as an important part of the labor force and our country's GDP," said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account is an unprecedented resource for detailed, reliable data on the economic value associated with arts and cultural activity." '

So for everyone who thinks that the arts are frivolous, for those Members of Congress who thought arts support didn't belong in the stimulus package during the economic crisis, know that art is valuable as art, but it is also an important American business. This study makes it clear that arts and culture grow our economy as well as our souls, and an investment in the arts pays off with substantial returns.

See all the ACPSA findings here.
http://arts.gov/news/2013/us-bureau-economic-analysis-and-national-endowment-arts-release-preliminary-report-impact


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Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:46:13 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=678
<![CDATA[Nov 20, 2013: Taylor Mac I Believe: A Manifesto]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 3|31 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=677 Some time ago we posted an interview with Taylor Mac, which was deservedly popular. So here is a manifesto Mac delivered at the 2013 Under the Radar Festival. Enjoy.

Read it: I Believe: A Manifesto by Taylor Mac

Watch it: Taylor Mac's Manifesto begins at 37:30

Watch live streaming video from newplay at livestream.com


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Wed, 20 Nov 2013 13:20:22 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=677
<![CDATA[Nov 20, 2013: Talking to David White: A Brooklyn Commune Project Cultural Democracy in the Performing Arts Interview]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29|33 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=676 David White (Photo by Peter Simon)

Donna Uchizono...was getting a Master’s and writing about the period of time in which she came of age as a choreographer in New York, which was in the 80’s. She was asking a lot of people what they thought about that period, to characterize what their formative experience was as a group, at that generational moment.  I simply responded: “death.”

David R. White, who ran New York's Dance Theater Workshop for 28 years and is now runs The Yard  artist residency, dance and performance center on Martha’s Vineyard, schools The Brooklyn Commune Project in a wide ranging interview.

White shares a
personal history of the American performing arts climate from the 1960's to today, discusses the National Performance Network he founded nearly 30 years ago, and touches on inclusion, community, generational change, artists and presenters and many other topics from the vantage point of one who's seen it all.  

Read the full interview here.

An excerpt: 
What do you wish artists were more aware of, so they didn’t consider themselves as outsiders to the organization and the systems that are already in place?

You’re asking, how can artists stop feeling so much as outsiders to structures that already exist?

Yes.

Well, first of all, you need to understand what they are. So you know, read the material and understand that again, your lot in life, depending on what your artform is—I’m talking from a dance and performing arts point of view—your lot in life is tied up with producers/curators/organizers who believe in your work, some of whom may well be peer artists. Sometimes, you yourself are ultimately a self-producing artist, and ultimately, most artists are self-producers in most home seasons. Organizing, contextualizing, framing, curating, producing, presenting – these are in fact core functions for the creating artist.

In any case, to the extent that you get other people involved in those communities, interested in your work, that kind of information becomes circulated. So if I’m collaborating with Ronald K Brown, or Camille A Brown—two African-American artists I’m currently working with—I’m on email talking to other presenters about those artists and who will represent them at the Idea Swap at the New England Foundation for the Arts or at NPN or at Arts Presenters (APAP) over the course of a year.

Annually, New England presenters get together to talk specifically about projects they’re thinking about, but this requires artists—so I’m on the phone, deciding, who are the artists we’re going to champion? And I’m talking to several people, seeing where commonalities of interest exist, and who should lead on an application. It has to be led by presenters, even though it goes to support the fees of artists. And so, to some extent, your lot in life is in fact set—unless you’re going to self-produce all the time—and you’re going to be tied in to strangers.

The most important thing is that none of these strangers are necessarily alike, so you know, people often make the mistake of taking the first gig that comes along because they say I’m interested in you, but you don’t know that their space is a 10×10 foot box, and your stuff won’t fit in there, but you’re afraid to ask the questions that will prohibit those opportunities, and then the opportunity falls apart. That creates extraordinarily bad feelings.

The fact is that the information is out there, every member of the NPN is described on the website. Most presenters or organizations have specs on their websites on what kind of spaces they have and you can tell, looking through their past seasons what they’ve produced, whether or not your work is consistent or fits their agenda, generally speaking, and this is separate from the issue of quality and who perceives/judges/confers quality in the work. That’s the wrinkle in time that nobody can explain, and I can’t either.

I personally ask two questions: WHY? I want to know viscerally, I don’t need to know it articulately, but I want to know why you shut yourself down from the world or immerse yourself in a particular world to do this work, over whatever period of time.

And then, SO WHAT? Now that I know a piece works, and you do this, I want to know what it means. Does it have any meaning outside of you and your shared universe of assumptions?

From:
http://brooklyncommune.org/2013/11/15/talking-to-david-white-a-cultural-democracy-in-the-performing-arts-interview/?utm_content=buffera9790&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer


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Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:53:30 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=676
<![CDATA[Nov 13, 2013: Critic vs. Artist: What “Latino art” means]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29|40|32 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=675

Can a critic take criticism? 

Washington Post critic Philip Kennicott took the rare step of offering a platform to artist Alex Rivera to who took issue when Kennicott disparaged the idea of "Latino art" as a category.

Read their important discussion: what are the implications for Latino artists of pronouncements on Latino art? 

"Critic vs. Artist: What “Latino Art” Means

By   -   Washington Post, published Nov 3

My Oct. 25 review of a new exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art,” ignited strong reactions from some Latino artists. Several participants in a conversation on Facebook took particular exception to my claim that the show’s lack of focus was “a telling symptom of an insoluble problem: Latino art, today, is a meaningless category.” I asked the author of the original post, digital artist and filmmaker Alex Rivera, best known for his Sundance award-winning feature film “Sleep Dealer,” if he would like to have the conversation more publicly. He agreed, and what follows is a shorter, edited version of an e-mail exchange over a two-day period.

ALEX RIVERA: Can you explain why you used your review of this show to make a pronouncement about the entire concept of “Latino art”? It seems to happen over and over again: When a group show like this one is mounted, critics attack the fundamental notion of looking at the work as a group. Why? ...."   Read the full article
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/critic-vs-artist-what-latino-art-means/2013/11/03/efd53cfe-44bc-11e3-bf0c-cebf37c6f484_story.html


photo: Alex Rivera, Getty Images


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Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:48:58 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=675
<![CDATA[Sep 25, 2013: SphinxCon: Empowering Ideas for Diversity in the Arts - February 21-23, 2014]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 33|18|32 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=674 Diversity was identified at NPAC in 2008 as a priority for the performing arts to tackle together. All these years later, it continues to be a crucial but thorny area for the field: progress is both imperative & elusive. Check out SphinxCon as a place for conversation, exploration & solutions.

PictureFebruary 21-23, 2014, Detroit, MI,  www.SphinxCon.org


In February, the SphinxCon convening will bring together an impressive array of leaders in the performing arts and beyond to discuss solutions to the challenges surrounding diversity in the performing arts.


Why should you a
ttend SphinxCon?

Diversify your community...
As a leader, how do you ensure that our field reflects the rich diversity inherent in our communities?  Music, theater, dance, academia all struggle with understanding & promoting diversity. Join SphinxCon & hear inspirational  leaders from the world of business, academia & the arts share their strategies & visions!

Transform the arts...
Less than 1% of repertoire presented by American orchestras today is that by composers of color.  Blacks & Latinos comprise less than 5% in our orchestras.  Our live audiences are dwindling & our art form is at a risk of becoming extinct.  Come hear leaders from the orchestral world share their best practices&d challenges. Get inspired, build connections: make a difference!

Challenge yourself...
It is easy to become consumed with our immediate goals, budgets & deadlines.  Does the everyday routine leave you devoid of opportunities to innovate?  At SphinxCon, your experience will force you to question, ponder & importantly, to challenge & interrogate your reality!

Network with leaders...
The Sphinx Organization created SphinxCon to convene a critical mass of performing arts leaders & practitioners on the topic of diversity & create a space for discussion and sharing. Our leaders will present a broad view of how diversity of happening in all disciplines. Come share, inspire, & promote your ideas!

Initiate a change...
After you leave SphinxCon, don’t look for outside sources to make change happen. Be a pioneer in your field, your community. Take action & transform the lives of people around you!

Speakers include National Performing Arts Convention founders, participants & partners including: Teresa Eyring, Theatre Communications Group; Amy Fitterer, Dance/USA; Gabriela Frank, Latin Grammy Award Winning Composer; James C. Horton, National Guild for Community Arts Education; Abel López, GALA Hispanic Theatre; Maria López de León, National Association of Latino Arts & Culture; Clayton Lord, Americans for the Arts; Stanlyn Brevé, National Performance Network & many other leaders.

BE A PART OF THIS IMPORTANT CONVERSATION. Help move the needle on diversity in the performing arts.

Register:

Early Bird Registration - $69.99
Ends November 1st, 2013 11:59PM

Regular Conference Pricing - $99.99
Registration Ends on February 14th, 2014

Questions?
Please contact Xavier Verna at
Xavier@SphinxMusic.org




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Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:34:48 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=674
<![CDATA[Aug 5, 2013: Mark Ravenhill's Challenge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 15|61|28|29 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=673 Mark Ravenhill challenged performing artists in a provocative speech at the opening of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. While he references current British economics & politics, the details are not all that different from realities for artists in the United States or elsewhere. Read the full text & see what you think.

Here's are a few excerpts from the full text, published in The Guardian:

"...I think the message in the last couple of decades has been very mixed, in many ways downright confusing: we are a place that offers luxury, go-on-spoil-yourself evenings where in new buildings paid for by a national lottery (a voluntary regressive tax) you can mingle with our wealthy donors and sponsors from the corporate sector and treat yourself to that extra glass of champagne but we are also a place that cares deeply about social justice and exclusion as the wonderful work of our outreach and education teams show. So we're the best friends of the super-rich and the most disadvantaged at the same time? That's a confusing message and the public has been smelling a rat. If the arts are for something, who are they for? And what are they doing for them? .... Might an artist have to choose what side she is on? In a society which has reached such a wipe gap between the rich and the poor as ours – as wide a gap as almost a century ago – then the artist can't I suggest be for everyone and if we don't do something pretty brave then we will be by default for the super-rich."


And because Ravenhill is a playwright, here's a pointed bit of a dialogue:
"What were you doing, Mummy, in the decade before the world hit the biggest economic crisis in almost a century?

Well, darling, I was learning not to talk and think like a grungy, angry artist but think and act more like...cultural commissars and their friends in the banking sector.

Mummy, would they be the ones who got us in to the whole mess that I'm going to be dealing with for my whole life time?

Well, now you put it like that darling, yes I suppose they rather were.

And you spent a decade trying to be more like them, Mummy?

Well yes I rather did.

And wasn't that a rather stupid thing to do?

Well, not at the time, darling, no; because you see I thought it would get me some funding and then I could build a career path for myself in the creative industries.

And did that work out for you Mummy?

Shut up and go a nick a can of beans for your tea."

Read the full text in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/aug/03/mark-ravenhill-edinburgh-festival-speech-full-text?CMP=twt_gu

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Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:11:27 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=673
<![CDATA[Jul 25, 2013: ScoreStreet: New Publishing Model for New Music]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 28|27|21 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=672 Attention Composers, Orchestras, Theaters, Dance Companies, Opera Houses, Presenters,
& anyone interested in new music:

Check out
ScoreStreet, an online subscription-based publishing service that allows composers to retain full ownership and offers users easy access.

NewMusicBox shared details from the press release announcing
ScoreStreet:
"
a new website offering automated dissemination, promotion, and payment for self-published classical, jazz, and theatrical composers.... While full file-protected scores and audio clips are available on the site for visitors to look at and listen to freely, performance materials are available for purchase (downloadable PDF or print-on-demand scores and parts, rental of parts for large ensemble works). In addition, permission to use any material on the site for synchronization (e.g. film, TV, advertising), mechanical (e.g. commercial CD recordings), derivative works (e.g. arrangements, samples), or grand rights purposes (e.g. operas, musicals, or ballets) can also be negotiated directly online through automated licenses. Composers who offer their music through ScoreStreet pay a monthly subscription fee but retain full ownership of all of their materials and have the ability to opt out at any time.

"Unlike traditional publishing arrangements—in which composers assign part or all of their copyright to a publisher in exchange for the printing and promotion of their music and income from the composer’s music is then divided between the composer and the publisher—ScoreStreet will pay 100% of all net royalty income directly to composers on a quarterly basis and composers do not relinquish any copyrights. The sole expense for composers who choose to be included on the site is a monthly charge of $29.95.

"Composers based anywhere in the world are eligible. A few brief online forms are provided for composers to fill out from which personalized landing pages, biographies, works lists, discographies, performance calendars, and news and reviews pages are generated. For each work included on the site, composers can enter descriptions and upload performance materials as well as audio clips, if available.ScoreStreet sets the prices for materials featured on the site and also automates the registration of works with performing rights organizations. For additional fees, composers may also obtain editorial and promotional services, as well as assistance with negotiating commissioning and collaboration agreements on an as-needed basis.

"According to ScoreStreet’s CEO Marc D. Ostrow (himself a composer as well as an intellectual property rights attorney who was formerly a senior attorney with BMI and the general manager of the New York office of the publisher Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.), the goal behind creating such a platform for new music is to eliminate the gate-keepers and put composers and consumers directly in control. “ScoreStreet levels the playing field by providing more composers worldwide with professional music publishing services and by giving customers instant access to a varied and growing catalog of cutting-edge new music.”

"If and when composers decide they no longer want to be affiliated with the site, they are able to take all of their works with them. If composers cease paying the subscription fee, all of their materials are automatically taken down from the site after a grace period. Currently composers can sign up for a free 30-day trial subscription. Members of ASCAP and the American Composers Forum will receive a 10% discount off their monthly fee and these discounts are combined for members of both organizations.

"ScoreStreet was developed and is owned and run by Ostrow; Stephen Culbertson, president of Subito Music Publishing and chairman of ASCAP’s Special Classification Committee; and Stephen Rauch, a former senior executive at the Hal Leonard Corporation. Their developer partner is Greg Williams, CEO of Engage Connective Technologies. (Ed Note: NMBx’s FJO was a beta-tester for the site.)

(—from the press release)"

More Information: ScoreStreethttps://www.scorestreet.net/Home.aspx?Type=1


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Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:30:03 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=672
<![CDATA[Apr 2, 2013: Talvin Wilks: Who gets to define black theater?]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 39|33|46 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=671  Read Talvin Wilks' thoughtful reflection about the history of black theater in America: 

The Tradition of Defining a Tradition


which kicked off a week of blog posts about theater & communities of color on n HowlRound,
a journal of the Theater Commons.

Wilks offers an overview of the people, organizations and ideas behind a vital American tradition that is worth celebrating even as it is debated and analyzed. A conversation well worth having.

Excerpt: 
"...who gets to define black theater?
The definition lies in the recognition and understanding of a broad and illustrious history and not in one single answer. It is a history that should be studied and known because it reflects and coincides with the challenges of race and identity in America, a microcosm of the larger scale social debate and contemplation. ... If nothing else, what is remarkable is that these contemplations and queries document a wonderful tradition of discourse that stands as a vibrant reflection of the resilience of the African American artist in the American theater.



http://classic.howlround.com/the-tradition-of-defining-a-tradition/


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Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:35:45 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=671
<![CDATA[Mar 31, 2013: Marian Godfrey's Manifesto: "Only Connect the Prose & the Passion"]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 15|29 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=670 Thoughtful reflections on art & how it gets supported in the U.S. these days:

Marian Godfrey, longtime director of Cultural Initiatives for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia, and now cultural advisor to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, has written a fascinating manifesto, taking on the too frequent gap between the thrill of art and the existing mechanisms of support for that work. She assesses the current realities and proposes a hopeful vision. Well worth consideration!


“Only Connect the Prose and the Passion” A Manifesto
by Marian Godfrey
Originally a keynote at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts’ Cultural Summit 2012
Adapted into an article published in the Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, , Vol. 24, No. 1 Winter 2013
Read it here:  http://www.giarts.org/sites/default/files/24-1_Godfrey.pdf

Excerpts:
 "Over the years I have struggled with the contradiction between my work as an arts administrator, which is mostly deeply prosaic, and my experiences of passionate encounters with art — of being literally exalted — in the theater, in music, in museums, even in the presence of great buildings."

"So why do we need a manifesto? A manifesto is a claim that something in the world needs changing,and that particular beliefs and actions are required to make the world better. The institutional structures that underpin the arts community have deep problems today. But the arts themselves are thriving, or at the very least as well off as they ever have been."

"I sometimes think funders are like the proverbial drunk looking for his keys under the lamppost on a dark night
because that is where he can see: by and large, we look to fund “excellence” and “innovation” only in particular kinds of arts organizations with which we are already familiar. These are organizations that our charters permit us to fund — usually restricted to 501(c)(3) nonprofits — and that our governing boards know and sometimes love. Major institutions such as symphonies and museums fit the bill, as do some smaller museums and performing arts,visual arts, and/or heritage organizations. But these kinds of organizations are not necessarily — certainly not always — where the action really is, whether you are talking about truly adventurous new work that excites audiences, or artists and organizations that work closely and in a sustained way with their communities and address the deep-seated cultural and social inequities that are too often ignored by the“mainstream” institutions."

"a reason for hope is that artists and arts organizations have been coming into focus, recently, as having something desirable to offer to others who are trying to figure out how to navigate the twenty-first century."

© Grantmakers in the Arts Reader
http://www.giarts.org/sites/default/files/24-1_Godfrey.pdf

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Sun, 31 Mar 2013 22:56:27 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=670
<![CDATA[Mar 31, 2013: Arts Ed Interest? Check out EricBooth.net]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29|24 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=669 Eric Booth has long been a powerhouse in arts education, a catalyst, a visionary, and a welcome leader at conferences and training sessions for all of the performing arts.

And now he has a website! Visit EricBooth.net for easy access to Eric's writings, videos, speeches & more.

If you don't already know Eric, here's a bit of his bio from the website:

"In arts learning, he has taught at Juilliard (13 years), Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 25 years), and The Kennedy Center (12 years). He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America), and held one of six chairs on The College Board’s Arts Advisory Committee for seven years. He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities, states and businesses around the country, including six of the ten largest orchestras in America, and five national service organizations. He consults with arts organizations, businesses, boards of directors, state arts and education agencies, national arts organizations and occasionally to high tech and medical firms on their innovation work. He is widely referred to as one of the nation’s most creative teachers and as the father of the teaching artist profession, and this is one of many topics he consults on. Formerly the Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center, he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds. He delivered the closing keynote speech to UNESCO’s first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006), and gave the keynote speech to the first world conference on orchestras' connections to communities (Glasgow 2007). He completed a six-week speaking tour of Scotland and Australia, speaking to over 40 organizations, government agencies, and universities about creativity and teaching artistry. He was the Senior Advisor to the Music National Service initiative (lead trainer and training designer for the launch of MusicianCorps). He is a senior advisor to the movement developing of El Sistema-inspired sites around the U.S. He is the co-founder and co-leader of the Orchestra Engagement Lab (including its Teaching Artist Academy), a national co-commissioning project which weaves the development of new orchestral works with bold community engagement design and practice, comprised of a summer intensive in a Vermont retreat, and a year of coaching to use the project as a catalyst for organizational change."

http://ericbooth.net  - a great resource for ideas and inspiration in arts education.



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Sun, 31 Mar 2013 21:23:28 -0700 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=669
<![CDATA[Mar 7, 2013: The Illumination Business: John Lahr starts a discussion on critics vs. reviewers]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29|31 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=668

In The Illumination Business: Why drama critics must look at and look after the theater in the Winter 2013 Nieman Reports, New Yorker drama critic John Lahr differentiates between reviewers (consumer advice = bad) and critics (thoughtful reflection = good).

He writes: The reviewer and the critic have opposite objectives. Criticism treats the play as a metaphor; it interprets it and puts it in a larger historical, psychological and theatrical context. The critic is in the illumination business; the reviewer, by contrast, provides a consumer service. The reviewer treats the play as an event and reports its contents to the paying customers.

"Reviewing assumes that the plot is the play; criticism, on the other hand, knows that the plot is only part of a conversation that the playwright is having about a complex series of historical and psychological issues. The job of the critic is to join that conversation, to explore the play and link it to the world. The job of the reviewer is to link the play to the box office.

"The media has hijacked the word “critic” to refer to almost anyone dispensing judgment. When people use the term “critic” in reference to theater, they usually mean “reviewer.” The critic sells thought; the reviewer sells opinion...."

And he continues. This article took on a viral life, which expanded when Charles McNulty, the reviewer (in Lahr's parlance, critic in his own) at the L.A. Times posted on his Facebook page, "
Re John Lahr’s broadside: I always thought he was part of the problem. " The Facebook post is included in George Hunka's blog "Superfluities."

Comments on the article on the Nieman site are interesting, including 512 likes (as of this writing) , praise from critic Robert Brustein and a call for conversation from playwright Deb Margolin. Comments on McNulty's Facebook page extend the conversation, mostly supporting his view. And comments on George Hunka's blog further the discussion and suggest that theater folks are eager to think about the current state of theater criticism.

Is this a theater issue only, or do other performing arts grapple with the sometimes conflicting goals of thoughtful criticism and enjoyable consumer advice? 

http://www.superfluitiesredux.com/2013/03/03/john-lahr-v-charles-mcnulty-round-1/
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Thu, 07 Mar 2013 14:49:15 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=668
<![CDATA[Mar 7, 2013: Must Have Extenstions For Google Chrome]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 21 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=667
Must Have Extensions For Google Chrome
 
First of all, if you’re not using Google Chrome, you should be. It’s top rated on every important browsing feature, including security, ease of use, and speed & compatibility. http://internet-browser-review.toptenreviews.com/
 
(A recent update to Chrome for Android also improves speed on JavaScript-heavy pages like Gmail or Facebook.)
 
 
 
These extensions listed below were all tested—alone and in tandem (on a MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3 Memory operating on OS X 10.8.2.) These will make your Google Chrome browsing experience even more secure, easy, and fun. You’ll find resources about even more high ranked stuff at the bottom of the page.
 
 
AdBlock
AdBlock for Chrome! Block all advertisements on all web pages, even Facebook, Youtube, and Hulu. You can pause Adblock on individual pages, if necessary, since Hulu in particular will prevent you from watching if Adblock is on.
 
 
AddThis
AddThis allows you to instantly share, bookmark, print, or even translate pages with one easy-to-use tool.
 
Collusion
Thousands of companies and organizations secretly collect your personal data when you use the web, creating a shadow web of connections between sites you go to and trackers you probably never heard of. Collusion for Chrome graphs the spread of your data from sites to trackers, in real time, to expose and, optionally, to break these hidden connections.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/collusion-for-chrome/ganlifbpkcplnldliibcbegplfmcfigp

 
Do Not Track Me
DoNotTrackMe protects your privacy by blocking online tracking.
Every time you use the web, companies are collecting and storing info about you and your web activity. DoNotTrackMe (DNTMe) is free privacy software that prevents online tracking and improves your security on the Internet.
 
Evernote Web Clipper

Evernote is the premiere way to clip and store everything you see online that's worth keeping. This extension for the service makes it a breeze, even isolating what it sees as the main content of a page, and storing just that. Search through it all later using Evernote.com or the offline software and apps.
 
Feedly
Organize your favorite blogs, news sites and Youtube channels and access them all in one place (or sync with Google Reader, Twitter and Facebook).
 
Facebook Disconnect
Tired of Facebook? Need a break? Enable this extension and you’ll be Facebook free, in a way. Facebook Disconnect blocks all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers but still lets you access Facebook itself. Make sure to re-enable it when you’re ready to get back to seeing the world the way it really is.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/facebook-disconnect/ejpepffjfmamnambagiibghpglaidiec

 
G Disconnect
You think Facebook is bad? Google is notified whenever you visit one of the more than 25 percent of sites on the web that include Google widgets.


https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/g-disconnect/kglfocodeikakacbeoajjhnplhlaoook
 
Ghostery
Protect your privacy. See who's tracking your web browsing with Ghostery.
 
Hide Facebook SideBar Ticker
Turn off the annoying sidebar ads on the right column of Facebook and you’ll instantly like your everday experience a whole lot more.
 
MaskMe

When you register a new account on a website or service you have to provide an email address. Using your regular email address increases the likelihood that your inbox will be flooded with all kinds of new stuff. MaskMe is an extension for chrome that helps you create unique random email addresses linked to your email. Turn off spam with one click, generate strong, unique passwords linked to one single password, and encrypt and store your passwords and online accounts in one safe place, for your eyes only.
 
Privacy Fix
Privacyfix is where you can manage your privacy controls for Facebook, Google, the websites you visit and the companies that track you across the Web. Instantly see privacy risks and navigate instantly to where you can fix them. As you visit sites, get alerted to new privacy risks before you provide personal data, remove website cookies and request deletion of your personal data.
 
Rapportive
Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox.
 
Too Many Tabs
Manage your tabs, improve your browsing, and maintain your sanity when you have many tabs open.

 

Ever tried having 20 tabs or more open in Chrome? You can’t even see the favicon of the tabs, not to mention the tab titles! If that happens to you, TooManyTabs is a must-have extension that manages your tabs, reduces your tab overflow, and saves your sanity!
 
Twitter Disconnect
Block traffic from third-party sites to Twitter but still have access to Twitter services.
 
 
 
Here are a few other ‘best extenstions’ lists from around the web:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Facebook Open Graph Redirect
 
 
 
 
 

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Thu, 07 Mar 2013 06:17:47 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=667
<![CDATA[Feb 23, 2013: The Makeup of Taylor Mac]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 3 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=666 An interview with performer Taylor Mac posted here some time ago generated a lot of interest. Here's a follow-up visit, backstage before a performance of The Good Person of Szechuan, a Foundry Theater production at La Mama in NY. Watch Taylor Mac put on his makeup and share his thoughts:


"I see some of those musicals on Broadway, & I think, this is some serious avant garde performance, you know?...Mama Mia is stranger than anything that has happened at La Mama in forty years. That is some serious weird stuff. Or Death of a Salesman, that is avant garde. Or realism, kitchen sink drama, that is the new, because it's only been around for  a hundred years, while all this stuff that's going on at La Mama has been going on for centuries...."

Watch it all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BqU-83q7M8c



Photos by Pavel Antonov

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Sat, 23 Feb 2013 18:44:56 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=666
<![CDATA[Feb 11, 2013: The Trouble with February, reflections from Teresa Eyring]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 39|33|16|18 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=665 In the February 2013 issue of American Theatre Magazine, Teresa Eyring, executive director of Theatre Communications Group and longtime chair of the National Performing Arts Convention, reflects on Black History Month and its relationship to diversity in the arts. 

The annual February focus on African American accomplishments, she says, has an important history and track record, and the arts world has embraced in many wonderful ways. But she also notes the limitations inherent in this fundamentally segregationist approach.

From the article
"The idea of there being a Black History Month—why isn’t it Black History Month 12 months a year?
— Bill T. Jones at the TCG National Conference in Baltimore, 2009

"....This yearly focus has indeed become an important mechanism for illuminating black culture and the tremendous contributions of African Americans. It has also become a barrier and a source of frustration for many artists who yearn for their work to be valued equally, in all 12 months of the year...."

Read Teresa's full piece, The Trouble with February.

http://www.tcg.org/publications/at/issue/exec.cfm

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Mon, 11 Feb 2013 07:47:12 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=665
<![CDATA[Feb 10, 2013: James DePriest, Barrier Breaking Conductor, Leaves a Legacy of Accomplishments]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 39|37 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=664 The Conductor James DePriest died on February 8 in Scottsdale, Arizona at age 76, leaving behind a long legacy of accomplishments in music. To do so, he had to defy a number of prejudices.

Mr. DePriest broke boundaries as a world class classical music conductor at leading orchestras around the country and internationally, including the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and orchestras in
Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Seoul, Sydney and Tel Aviv. He was also director of conducting and orchestral studies for the Juilliard School for many years.

In a physically demanding field, overwhelmingly dominated by able-bodied white men, Mr. DePriest, an African American man, who required a wheelchair after both legs were paralyzed by polio he contracted while on tour to Bangkok in 1962, was a rarity. He overcame many obstacles to achieve international renown in a long and influential career.

The New York Times reports:
"Though he was reluctant to be seen as a role model on the basis of his race, rather than purely for his musical accomplishments, he still understood, he said, that young black musicians regarded him as a role model, much as they had revered his aunt, the great contralto Marian Anderson, who was the first black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. It was a responsibility he took seriously, he said. In 1997, he appeared in “My Country,” an hourlong documentary on PBS in which he drew comparisons between racial barriers and the challenges faced by people with disabilities"

Read the New York Times obituary for more information about this remarkable man.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/arts/music/james-depreist-pioneering-conductor-dies-at-76.html?ref=obituaries&_r=0

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Sun, 10 Feb 2013 08:39:04 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=664
<![CDATA[Feb 6, 2013: The Pew Research Center Report on Arts Organizations & Digital Technology]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 21 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=663
"Cultural organizations like theater companies, orchestras, & art museums are using the internet, social media, & mobile apps to draw in & engage audiences, provide deeper context around art, & disseminate their work beyond the stage & the gallery"

The Pew Internet & American Life Project  has published the results of an extensive survey on arts organizations' use of a wide range of digital technologies.  Authors Kristin Thomson research consultant, Kristen Purcell Associate director for research, Pew Internet Project, & Lee Rainie director, Pew Internet Project share detailed data on engagement, perceived impact, benefits & challenges.

From the report overview:
"
A survey of a wide-ranging mix of U.S.-based arts organizations shows that the internet, social media, & mobile connectivity now permeate their operations & have changed the way they stage performances, mount & showcase their exhibits, engage their audiences, sell tickets, & raise funds.These organizations are even finding that technology has changed the very definition of art."

Read the summary overview
Read the full report.


image from
Technology in the Arts

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Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:49:48 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=663
<![CDATA[Feb 1, 2013: Race & Representation in Theater: Panel Discussion & Victory Gardens Theater]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29|34|16|35|32 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=662  Victory Gardens Theater, The League of Chicago Theatres, Silk Road Rising and Lifeline Theatre are collaborating on a conversation series, Race &Representation in Chicago Theater, to discuss the issues of race & representation in Chicago's theater community.
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Fri, 01 Feb 2013 20:12:09 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=662
<![CDATA[Jan 31, 2013: Arts in a Changing America: Join the Conversation]]> info@performingartsconvention.org 29|33|16|54|17 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=661 Check out the Arts in a Changing America blog! Read it, post to it, be a part of the conversation on art in world that is changing fast.

From the site: 

"We are a community of writers and cultural practitioners documenting the story of how the [ART] world as we know it has already ended…

"Our aim, niche, and focus is simply: the intersection of arts and changing demographics in the U.S. and the Americas.

"We welcome submissions from emerging as well as professional “cultural reporters” who have their ear to the ground of what is happening artistically  in communities, places, media, and among groups and publics not normally or regularly covered by mainstream art critics and publications.

"Submissions can be as short as 150 words and as long as 2,000+ words.

"Got any ideas? Pitch them to editor Maribel Alvarez at: artsinachangingamerica@gmail.com"

http://www.artsinachangingamerica.net

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Thu, 31 Jan 2013 14:45:21 -0800 http://www.performingartsconvention.org/home/id=661