Last week I attended ELNYA and World Policy Institute‘s “Creative Conversation on The State of the Arts Ecosystem” which was a panel discussion with:
- Caron Atlas, Director, Arts & Democracy Project & Co-Director, NOCD-NY
- Jamie Bennett, Chief of Staff & Director of Public Affairs, NEA
- Paul Nagle, Executive Director, Cultural Strategies Initiative
- Edwin Torres, Associate Director of New York City Opportunities Fund & Innovation, Rockefeller Foundation
- Moderated by: Jacqueline Davis, Executive Director, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
It was very interesting with a lot of different opinions and some very strongly shared ones. Did you know that 50% of all philanthropic funding in the arts goes to 4% of possible grantees?
The system needs changing and it needs artists and people on the ground to engage in the creative process of imagining new models and ways of supporting a diverse, healthy arts ecology. Funders, artists and audiences all actually have many shared goals – to have the arts & creativity be a vital part of everybody’s lives, to support the creation of new, excellent art in all disciplines and from multiple backgrounds and to increase access and arts participation. The system that is built on Institutions and Big Funders is predicated – for good or ill – on corporate structures and frameworks that are by nature conservative and resistant to change, slow to adapt and valuing stability over innovation & disruption. How can we help each other???
After the first convening of the Brooklyn Commune certain issues rose to prominence as topics for further investigation and work so we decided to form some dedicated Research/Working Groups. They are listed below with their self-identified coordinators. GET INVOLVED with these groups, they will be doing the essential work that will go into our final platform to be shared in NYC in January 2014 during APAP. Please contact the coordinators directly. If you would like to start a separate Research Group, contact us and we will add it to this page.
FOUNDATIONS, FUNDING & PHILANTHROPY
A critical analysis of existing structures for capital allocation in the non-profit sector (government & foundations) to develop recommendations for changes in structures, systems, increasing transparency, renegotiating relationships between grantor and grantee. How do we move together towards shared goals rather than in opposition?
Coordinator: Kimberly Bartosik (daelak[at]cs[dot]com)
Bitcoins? derivatives? “the market” – how does an economic and financial system that creates wealth through abstraction rather than the exchange of goods and services resonate with the creation, production and distribution of time-based art and performance? how does the performing arts ecology resonate with the dominant economy? This research group will explore issues of sustainability and precarity, interrogating the assumptions of the market and investigating how artists can play in and with the existing financial system.
Coordinator: Max Dana (mcdana[at]gmail[dot]com)
LABOR, VALUE & NEW MODELS FOR SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
How do we value what we do? what does value mean? how much should we get paid? how do we ask for it? who gets paid how much and how do those decisions get made and how do we increase transparency? AT the same time – how do we aggregate ourselves in new ways that are not necessarily place-based? How do we work together outside of institutional structures to share knowledge and resources and build community in a “center out” rather than “top down” way?
Coordinator: Nick Benacerraf (nbenacerraf[at]gmail[dot]com)
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Both within Brooklyn Commune and sector-wide, how do we insure that people from all points on the age, race, gender, orientation, religion and cultural spectra have a place in the conversation? How do we negotiate difference, acknowledge the unassimilable and develop shared languages for communicating across diverse perspectives and experiences?
Coordinator: Kyoung Park (kyounghpark[at]gmail[dot]com)
AESTHETICS OF PERFORMANCE
How do economic conditions, class and production processes affect aesthetics and the appreciation and valuation of the performing arts? How can we envision aesthetic frameworks and vocabularies for the 21st Century? What might they look like and how can we share them?
WORKING OUTSIDE THE INSTITUTION
This a group of independent creative producers developing sustainable cultural production models for working outside the institution. How do we develop frameworks for independent producers to fill the gap between institutional and artist project management & planning capacity? How do we make a case for funding this role and build a system for accountability and trust among independent producers?
Coordinator: Dorit Avganim (doritavganim[at]gmail[dot]com)