Friday, May 05, 2006

Seattle Out Front

There is now no doubt in my mind that Seattle's independent media is providing the most interesting and thought provoking weekly reportage on the Non-Profit Arts World.

Playgoer tips off to The Stranger article about a possible new model for Non-profits.

This Stranger article should be read with the brilliant companion piece Play Money by Brendan Kiley, which I posted about in March. Kiley followed the money trail of a city funded piece of theatre that was one of the worst shows he had ever seen, in talking to the city employees he found out something interesting:

"Part of the reason the Conciliation Project got funding was because it planned to take the show to local schools. You haven't made a socially useful piece of theater until you've tormented some school children with it and proved what they already suspect: Theater, like, totally blows. I couldn't find anyone at the city who admitted to having seen Global SeXXX-ism. If you're going to write a five-figure check to an obscure—and lousy—theater group, the least you could do is follow up, if only to make an informed decision about whether they deserve a
five-figure check next year. Right?"

And of course, the Seattle Weekly published an article titled Tough Love for the Arts by Roger Downey last year that had a grim reality weaved through its capitalistic theme.

"If the unthinkable should happen—if against all odds one or more of our big arts organizations should actually fold—it would be a grievous blow to our civic pride. The embarrassment caused by the opening and speedy closing of that aimless exercise in arts wanna-be, the Bellevue Art Museum, gives only a faint notion of the impact on our civic pretensions. But beyond red faces, how much would it matter? A great deal to a few, most of all the artists newly unemployed; to many more, a regrettable reduction in the agreeable routine of middle-class life; and to a great many, very nearly nothing at all."

If you care about these issues, you should read all three articles and let them simmer in you.

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