At the beginning of the week I attended the Arts Management Institute at the Kennedy Center. While it was very informative and composed of arts professionals from all over the world the one hour that they appropriated for the conference was far from being enough time. The moderator informed us at the beginning of the hour that there would be 4 topics addressed at this roundtable. These are not the exact topics but they are rough translations of the 4 areas that were discussed
2) Community Participation and impact of the art
3) Arts Education
4) Political Climates
I don’t know about you but I feel as though each of these categories could take up an entire hour, but for the purposes of this roundtable each was afforded approx 15 minutes. In my opinion that is just enough time to mention the issue, not much time to talk through the different practices within the various countries represented. There were 23 individuals who sat on this roundtable. One hour just wasn’t enough time. I would have liked to hear more from each country’s representative.
The purpose of the roundtable, as I understood it, was to discuss how certain practices were used in the various countries and then compare them to our own practices. By the end of the discussion I felt like a lot of information had been thrown at me and I didn’t really know what to do with it all.
The insights I did glean from this discussion was that the arts function in very different ways outside of the US…well to be honest I think I already had a handle on that concept. I only wish that this conference would have been an all day event and that we could have heard more from each individual.
One issue that seemed to come up again and again was related to the world recession and it’s affects on the arts within each country. It seems that outside of the US the arts continue to be an integral part of society, so much so that when threatened the citizens fight to protect them. Here in the United States we lack this dedication to the arts in many areas of our life. We are a society that values hard work, getting your hands dirty hard work. and that comes out of our history, but what we need to do is value the arts as a form of this hard work. We still haven’t gotten there yet. This topic could be a whole other blog post. And I’m sure it will be, right after Arts Advocacy Day on Monday.
Overall I think that the intention behind the roundtable was wonderful. I think that we can do nothing but learn from the experiences other countries face in terms of their arts, but one hour was just not enough time.
(I will take information from each of the four areas and compose a single blog for each from the information take at the conference as well as my own thoughts and research on…so keep stopping here for updates)