Chronicling the Bottom Up
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The Bottom Up Arts Revolution-- an interview with Doug Borwick, author, Building Communities, Not Audiences

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Broadcast 7/26/2012 at 02:20:39
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Building Communities, Not AudiencesEngaging Matters  blog on ArtsJournal.com.  and  www.artsengaged.com .



Rough Interview Notes-- Mostly the questions

What do you mean as the arts as "campfires?"

Art and porous membranes-- 

What kind of artist are you?

PhD in music from Eastman School of Music.

Can you talk about democratization and the arts?

What's the difference between having an audience or a community?

audience sets up a separation of them and us" 

Connection to the European history of the arts?

Where is it moving towards?

Strong relationship with a greater percentage of the community. 

Value of arts, lack of politicians caring about them?

Can you talk about the National  Endowment for the arts,  (NEA) how it decentralized the arts from a few key big cities to art being spread all across America, and then the effect of the Mapplethorpe controversy?

stopped funding individual artists and reduced funding"

What about foundation and individual donors as sources of funding for the arts?

With the money down precipitously from NEA, foundations and private donors, where is money for local arts orgs coming from?

Advances in social media, online giving-- present substantial hope for arts organizations. 

Are there new models for arts

Fractured Atlas

http://www.fracturedatlas.org/

A national non-profit artist service organization providing a range of support services for the independent arts community such as health insurance, publicity,

Can you talk about connection and engagement as core factors?

developing relationships, not sales" 

Community engagement-- understanding that what we're trying to do is to establish a relationship and out of the relationship comes the sustainability. 

How about how occupy wall street, how horizontalism and the we not I approach that the Occupy movement embraced?

Crowd-sourced curating--

Pop-up museums

So, art could, in the future, be community created and even shifting, over time, as more individuals participate it in. 

So, communities MUST be engaged for current arts organizations to be sustainable and viable in the future?

What are the motivating factors that will engage those communities?

What are some of the values of the arts for communities?

Economic: public education-- how to teach basic concepts, how students remember-- "no-one every understood fractions without looking at pictures of pies"  Keeping people in school

Capacity of the arts to build communities-- social capital, better relationships, providing opportunities for celebration, for cultural awareness.

How about museums, where so much space is devoted to huge collections created by highly wealthy people?

What about new forms of arts? Movies, video games, flash crowds?

random acts of culture-- where opera chorus will perform Hallelujah chorus in Macy's.

Libraries that recognize that they are more about information than books are thriving.

Arts companies need to also rethink what they are about" more about the genre

rather than saying that we exist to perform the works of Beetoven, as a symphony orchestra, say we are an ensemble of instrumental musicians that will continue to perform Beethoven but also will"

Rob: What about the future of music?

musicians from around the world play a segment and then they are mixed together" on youtube and elsewhere"

Orchestras and opera companies"

Commissioning that may not be out of western cultural traditions" allowing a far broader segment of the community to know"

Houston Opera company commissioned a Mariachi opera. 

Rob: Excellence, quality, and  participation in the creation and presentation of art is also important.

Another element is equity-- 

Rob: What about the  indigenous world and indigenous cultures? Do you see a change in their role in the future of art?

As we work towards this democratization of culture, we would learn that it's important to value all kinds of cultural expression as valuable to us

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Rob Kall is the host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360, where he discusses how the bottom up mind and bottom up revolution are reaching different areas of the world, of life, of politics, business, society and anywhere else.

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