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直到另行通知:美国持续大流行中的表演艺术的下一章

for The Platform
July 2020
By Adrian Ellis and Eric Gershman

非盈利的表演艺术部门——歌剧、舞蹈、古典音乐、戏剧——被搅乱了. Joining the turbulence caused by the pandemic there are now demands from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, 有色人种(People of Color)的艺术家和员工一样,他们的管理层以前所未有的决心和紧迫感来解决系统性的种族主义问题.  许多非执行董事会——甚至是那些通常不插手的非执行董事会——也被这些紧急情况吸引到了治理与运营之间的灰色地带, their often conservative instincts not well-aligned with the pressures felt from below. Cumulatively, this is creating the most challenging environment in many arts leaders’ professional lives.

这些艺术领袖在很大程度上对他们所做的事情和如何做持开放态度,这是对新冠疫情前反思的持续来源, if not always action. 但对他们来说,当前事件的巨大压力似乎不允许他们有时间或空间这么做. However, they may, in the event, have quite a lot of time to work through these issues.

While other “non-essential” sectors are beginning to re-open, the performing arts look to be among the last.

博物馆正在寻找通过有机玻璃、Purell、支柱和丰富的标识来重新开放的方法.  The National Gallery of Art opened the ground floor of its main building earlier this week. But for performing arts audiences, 所有这些进出的瓶颈都更加难以驾驭——对于表演者来说,无论是在舞台上,还是在拥挤的共享化妆间和狭窄的后台走廊里,距离都存在明显的挑战. The adverse financial impact of reducing seat numbers is formidable. And it is unclear who would show up anyway: surveys of loyal patrons, often older, suggest they will be cautious. 不断变化的错综复杂的国际旅行,现在甚至是州际旅行的挑战就像最后一颗钉子. 

We took the temperature with a range of arts leaders across the performing arts, listed at the end of this article. Many are concluding, 坐着不动:通过你所能召集的最好的在线展示与观众保持bat365官网登录——在许多情况下,必要性是某些真正创造性的母亲 developments in digital creation; and through socially distanced  – usually open-air  – less costly events, often free.  It has taken a while for a generally can-do group to reconcile themselves to this approach. 不知道“下一个正常状态”什么时候会到来是一件伤脑筋的事,让自己适应这种想法:这是下一个正常状态,甚至更正常. 缺乏群体免疫,该部门的命运似乎越来越与有效疫苗的可得性bat365官网登录在一起. 目前业内的想法是2021年3月,也就是8个月后,但这背后并没有可靠的理由. 当美国的公共卫生政策在他们面前瓦解时,艺术经理们正在和其他人一起在黑暗中吹口哨.   

Good should come from arts organizations’ examination of the realities of racism, however uncomfortable the exercise. On the other hand, there will be lasting damage from COVID, and the longer the period of retrenchment, 即使是最谨慎的公司,失去深厚的专业知识储备和对机构的忠诚的可能性也越大. 

但许多表演艺术组织可以作为组织实体在大流行引发的阴间存活相当长一段时间.  Staff are, in increasing numbers, being laid off as PPP funds expire, reducing overhead; philanthropic support seems to be holding; and some imaginative large-scale bond-financed programs are being created, led by the Ford Foundation, of which the cultural sector may be a beneficiary. And we should. Not forget nonprofit finance 101: the less you do, the less money you lose. Most not-for-profit arts organizations are loss-making affairs, 他们享受的免税和捐赠是为了平衡收支——明确的目的是提供公共det365首页. 保持关闭状态,只要你能维持你的供款收入同时为你的 raison d’etre, is less expensive than being open.

So, effectively benched for the foreseeable future, and in a period of deep foment, fluidity, and self-reflection, how should performing arts leaders use their time?  Here are some suggestions from the field:

  1. 在刚才描述的现实中存在着不公平现象:最有弹性的组织通常也是最成熟和自然地最享有特权的组织. If they hunker down and the smaller, often more diverse, organizations meanwhile go to the wall, 这一行业将离其包容性和多样性的理想越来越远. 这是一个广泛的部门性(而非组织性)领导的时候,是财政实力较强的国家照顾较弱的国家的时候. This suggests deep collegiality, local partnerships, 共享后台功能等资源,消除所谓的“遗留”机构与小型机构之间日益扩大的区别, younger, often more community-oriented arts organizations.
  2. Do the work necessary to address current demands for greater social and racial equity. 在这个千载而逢的时刻,det365首页要迅速行动起来,不只是发表声明,而是要公开地推进与工作人员和艺术家的多样化和公平待遇及代表性有关的进程和议程. (In management speak, adopt the appropriate Key Performance Indicators and hold yourselves accountable to them.)董事会的发展同样至关重要,因为捐款收入在未来几年将继续是许多人的主要收入来源,扩大在治理中听到的声音是调和多样性和资金需求的唯一途径.
  3. 投资于附近的社区,拥抱扩大的公民角色,使您的组织成为其中不可或缺的一部分. Open your doors and become an information hub, a rest area, or a polling station. Don’t be known as “just” an arts organization in a city. Be that city’s arts organization. It may seem counterintuitive to think about an expanded mission at a time of crisis, 但大多数组织已经扩大了他们的雄心壮志,成为社区主播. This is a time for reality to catch up, and an opportunity to continue providing the public good as stated in your charter.
  4. If you were planning a closure for capital works, try to accommodate it now. 施工工作可以在性能不能的地方进行,而且通常会加快时间.
  5. 拥抱在线表演和虚拟观众的发展,而不是作为权宜之计,而是作为艺术议程和观众发展不可分割的持续的一部分. 明确地参与那些为这些技术构思和执行的艺术作品的想法,以及保证某种形式的可持续商业模式的质量. Secure the talent required to do this. Work through the required easements to union agreements. Finally, try to capture and bottle the agility, imagination and humanity that has been required over the past few months – teams de-siloed, shibboleths tested, sacred cows slaughtered – and allow necessity to continue mothering invention.   

This article draws on interviews with Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; David Devan, General Director and President of Opera Philadelphia; Perryn Leech, Managing Director of Houston Grand Opera; Michael Maso, Managing Director of Huntington Theatre Company; Stephanie Ybarra, Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage; and Harold Wolpert, Executive Director of Signature Theatre.

艾德里安·埃利斯,det365首页公司董事,全球文化区网络主席. Eric Gershman is a Consultant at AEA Consulting.

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