News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

Boards Risk the Future of the Arts When They Ignore Young Professionals

Posted by Terrie Temkin
0 Comments

I’m an arts buff. I love the theater, live music, dance, and the visual arts. You will often find me attending two or three plays in a weekend, or going to a museum and then on to a performance of jazz or modern dance. The more I dive into the arts, the happier I am personally, but the more fearful I am for the future of the arts. Why? I’m in my 60s, and I’m usually one of the youngest people in attendance, regardless of the genre. (Okay, so I’m not going to the rap concerts, but still….) I constantly worry about the future. Who will occupy the seats in another 20 years, especially in our classical venues?


Yes, there will always be a few young people who love Mozart or Swan Lake. In my own family I have a nephew and niece that are classical musicians. However, while young people will continue to make art, as people have done since the beginning of time, I worry whether there will be anyone who will support their art, who will buy tickets and attend the performances, allowing them to work at what they love.


This is an issue that too few boards seriously grapple with. Yes, you see organizations that create young professionals groups, open up their space after work for networking and wine and cheese, and experiment with “hip” programming, but is that going to convert generations of younger people into dedicated audiences for the future? I think not. After all, it hasn’t yet. And if I’m right, what will?


Clearly, there are no easy answers. If there were, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. But I think our boards can take a more proactive role in trying to find solutions. Here are two specific approaches they can take to mitigate the loss of the arts as we know them.


Spend Time Wrestling with Generative Questions


Generative questions deal not with the “how,” but the “why.” Instead of asking, “How do we attract Millennials?” arts boards need to first understand the underlying nature of the problem. They need to ask, “Why aren’t they coming?” Is it, for instance, a lack of money to buy tickets? A lack of exposure to what is currently being offered – after all, very few people of any age are willing to spend money on an unknown? A dislike of what is being offered? A “coolness” (or lack of “coolness”) factor? An issue of not having the right clothes? A discomfort with being surrounded by people their grandparents’ age?


The board also needs to pay attention to the cues it is relying on to come to its conclusion. Is it assuming, perhaps, that young people don’t have the right clothes to wear because, on the rare occasions they do come to the theater, they always come in jeans? Or, did the board focus on the fact that less time is spent teaching the classics in school, and therefore the issue must be lack of previous exposure? To get it right, directors have to challenge their colleagues and ask questions like, “Are we focusing on the on the most logical explanations? Why do we think that? What else aren’t we considering?” They might even reframe the issue by asking questions such as, “What has our experience as parents/teachers/bosses taught us?”


The more information you have as a board, the more likely your decisions will be on target. Spend a significant part of each board meeting asking questions, delving into the “why” behind the “what” before attempting to answer “how.”


Include Young Professionals on Arts Boards


If we want to attract the younger generations to the arts, we have to hear their voices. The best way to do that is put young professionals on our boards. Of course, “young” is a relative term. In Florida, for instance, “young” is often defined as under 60! But I’m advocating for the 20’s – 30’s crowd. These people are our future. They are the ones you want to attract as audience members. And, nobody knows better than they what is important to them.


Be sure to bring enough young people on the board to ensure a cohort. Nobody wants to be the only one “under 30” on a board. Typically recruiting three of anything – 20-somethings, Latinos or people with a dance background – ensures a comfort level for the directors, leading to better input and, ultimately, the best decisions for the organization.


These two approaches take work and neither is a magic bullet. However, invest the effort in experimenting with both and you will see a definite change for the better. Doesn’t your arts organization deserve the chance to enrich and extend its life?


(This post, originally published on www.ArtsBizMiami.org, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage.)

 

*This article was posted on ARTSblog.
 

I’m an arts buff. I love the theater, live music, dance, and the visual arts. You will often find me attending two or three plays in a weekend, or going to a museum and then on to a performance of jazz or modern dance. The more I dive into the arts, the happier I am personally, but the more fearful I am for the future of the arts. Why? I’m in my 60s, and I’m usually one of the youngest people in attendance, regardless of the genre. (Okay, so I’m not going to the rap concerts, but still….) I constantly worry about the future. Who will occupy the seats in another 20 years, especially in our classical venues?
Yes, there will always be a few young people who love Mozart or Swan Lake. In my own family I have a nephew and niece that are classical musicians. However, while young people will continue to make art, as people have done since the beginning of time, I worry whether there will be anyone who will support their art, who will buy tickets and attend the performances, allowing them to work at what they love.
This is an issue that too few boards seriously grapple with. Yes, you see organizations that create young professionals groups, open up their space after work for networking and wine and cheese, and experiment with “hip” programming, but is that going to convert generations of younger people into dedicated audiences for the future? I think not. After all, it hasn’t yet. And if I’m right, what will?
Clearly, there are no easy answers. If there were, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. But I think our boards can take a more proactive role in trying to find solutions. Here are two specific approaches they can take to mitigate the loss of the arts as we know them.
Spend Time Wrestling with Generative Questions
Generative questions deal not with the “how,” but the “why.” Instead of asking, “How do we attract Millennials?” arts boards need to first understand the underlying nature of the problem. They need to ask, “Why aren’t they coming?” Is it, for instance, a lack of money to buy tickets? A lack of exposure to what is currently being offered – after all, very few people of any age are willing to spend money on an unknown? A dislike of what is being offered? A “coolness” (or lack of “coolness”) factor? An issue of not having the right clothes? A discomfort with being surrounded by people their grandparents’ age?
The board also needs to pay attention to the cues it is relying on to come to its conclusion. Is it assuming, perhaps, that young people don’t have the right clothes to wear because, on the rare occasions they do come to the theater, they always come in jeans? Or, did the board focus on the fact that less time is spent teaching the classics in school, and therefore the issue must be lack of previous exposure? To get it right, directors have to challenge their colleagues and ask questions like, “Are we focusing on the on the most logical explanations? Why do we think that? What else aren’t we considering?” They might even reframe the issue by asking questions such as, “What has our experience as parents/teachers/bosses taught us?”
The more information you have as a board, the more likely your decisions will be on target. Spend a significant part of each board meeting asking questions, delving into the “why” behind the “what” before attempting to answer “how.”
Include Young Professionals on Arts Boards
If we want to attract the younger generations to the arts, we have to hear their voices. The best way to do that is put young professionals on our boards. Of course, “young” is a relative term. In Florida, for instance, “young” is often defined as under 60! But I’m advocating for the 20’s – 30’s crowd. These people are our future. They are the ones you want to attract as audience members. And, nobody knows better than they what is important to them.
Be sure to bring enough young people on the board to ensure a cohort. Nobody wants to be the only one “under 30” on a board. Typically recruiting three of anything – 20-somethings, Latinos or people with a dance background – ensures a comfort level for the directors, leading to better input and, ultimately, the best decisions for the organization.
These two approaches take work and neither is a magic bullet. However, invest the effort in experimenting with both and you will see a definite change for the better. Doesn’t your arts organization deserve the chance to enrich and extend its life?
(This post, originally published on www.ArtsBizMiami.org, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)
- See more at: http://blog.artsusa.org/2013/07/25/boards-risk-the-future-of-the-arts-when-they-ignore-young-professionals-from-the-partnership-movement/#sthash.YHPZw7ZP.dpuf
I’m an arts buff. I love the theater, live music, dance, and the visual arts. You will often find me attending two or three plays in a weekend, or going to a museum and then on to a performance of jazz or modern dance. The more I dive into the arts, the happier I am personally, but the more fearful I am for the future of the arts. Why? I’m in my 60s, and I’m usually one of the youngest people in attendance, regardless of the genre. (Okay, so I’m not going to the rap concerts, but still….) I constantly worry about the future. Who will occupy the seats in another 20 years, especially in our classical venues?

Yes, there will always be a few young people who love Mozart or Swan Lake. In my own family I have a nephew and niece that are classical musicians. However, while young people will continue to make art, as people have done since the beginning of time, I worry whether there will be anyone who will support their art, who will buy tickets and attend the performances, allowing them to work at what they love.

This is an issue that too few boards seriously grapple with. Yes, you see organizations that create young professionals groups, open up their space after work for networking and wine and cheese, and experiment with “hip” programming, but is that going to convert generations of younger people into dedicated audiences for the future? I think not. After all, it hasn’t yet. And if I’m right, what will?

Clearly, there are no easy answers. If there were, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. But I think our boards can take a more proactive role in trying to find solutions. Here are two specific approaches they can take to mitigate the loss of the arts as we know them.

Spend Time Wrestling with Generative Questions

Generative questions deal not with the “how,” but the “why.” Instead of asking, “How do we attract Millennials?” arts boards need to first understand the underlying nature of the problem. They need to ask, “Why aren’t they coming?” Is it, for instance, a lack of money to buy tickets? A lack of exposure to what is currently being offered – after all, very few people of any age are willing to spend money on an unknown? A dislike of what is being offered? A “coolness” (or lack of “coolness”) factor? An issue of not having the right clothes? A discomfort with being surrounded by people their grandparents’ age?

The board also needs to pay attention to the cues it is relying on to come to its conclusion. Is it assuming, perhaps, that young people don’t have the right clothes to wear because, on the rare occasions they do come to the theater, they always come in jeans? Or, did the board focus on the fact that less time is spent teaching the classics in school, and therefore the issue must be lack of previous exposure? To get it right, directors have to challenge their colleagues and ask questions like, “Are we focusing on the on the most logical explanations? Why do we think that? What else aren’t we considering?” They might even reframe the issue by asking questions such as, “What has our experience as parents/teachers/bosses taught us?”

The more information you have as a board, the more likely your decisions will be on target. Spend a significant part of each board meeting asking questions, delving into the “why” behind the “what” before attempting to answer “how.”

Include Young Professionals on Arts Boards

If we want to attract the younger generations to the arts, we have to hear their voices. The best way to do that is put young professionals on our boards. Of course, “young” is a relative term. In Florida, for instance, “young” is often defined as under 60! But I’m advocating for the 20’s – 30’s crowd. These people are our future. They are the ones you want to attract as audience members. And, nobody knows better than they what is important to them.

Be sure to bring enough young people on the board to ensure a cohort. Nobody wants to be the only one “under 30” on a board. Typically recruiting three of anything – 20-somethings, Latinos or people with a dance background – ensures a comfort level for the directors, leading to better input and, ultimately, the best decisions for the organization.

These two approaches take work and neither is a magic bullet. However, invest the effort in experimenting with both and you will see a definite change for the better. Doesn’t your arts organization deserve the chance to enrich and extend its life?

(This post, originally published on www.ArtsBizMiami.org, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)

- See more at: http://blog.artsusa.org/2013/07/25/boards-risk-the-future-of-the-arts-when-they-ignore-young-professionals-from-the-partnership-movement/#sthash.YHPZw7ZP.dpuf

I’m an arts buff. I love the theater, live music, dance, and the visual arts. You will often find me attending two or three plays in a weekend, or going to a museum and then on to a performance of jazz or modern dance. The more I dive into the arts, the happier I am personally, but the more fearful I am for the future of the arts. Why? I’m in my 60s, and I’m usually one of the youngest people in attendance, regardless of the genre. (Okay, so I’m not going to the rap concerts, but still….) I constantly worry about the future. Who will occupy the seats in another 20 years, especially in our classical venues?

Yes, there will always be a few young people who love Mozart or Swan Lake. In my own family I have a nephew and niece that are classical musicians. However, while young people will continue to make art, as people have done since the beginning of time, I worry whether there will be anyone who will support their art, who will buy tickets and attend the performances, allowing them to work at what they love.

This is an issue that too few boards seriously grapple with. Yes, you see organizations that create young professionals groups, open up their space after work for networking and wine and cheese, and experiment with “hip” programming, but is that going to convert generations of younger people into dedicated audiences for the future? I think not. After all, it hasn’t yet. And if I’m right, what will?

Clearly, there are no easy answers. If there were, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. But I think our boards can take a more proactive role in trying to find solutions. Here are two specific approaches they can take to mitigate the loss of the arts as we know them.

Spend Time Wrestling with Generative Questions

Generative questions deal not with the “how,” but the “why.” Instead of asking, “How do we attract Millennials?” arts boards need to first understand the underlying nature of the problem. They need to ask, “Why aren’t they coming?” Is it, for instance, a lack of money to buy tickets? A lack of exposure to what is currently being offered – after all, very few people of any age are willing to spend money on an unknown? A dislike of what is being offered? A “coolness” (or lack of “coolness”) factor? An issue of not having the right clothes? A discomfort with being surrounded by people their grandparents’ age?

The board also needs to pay attention to the cues it is relying on to come to its conclusion. Is it assuming, perhaps, that young people don’t have the right clothes to wear because, on the rare occasions they do come to the theater, they always come in jeans? Or, did the board focus on the fact that less time is spent teaching the classics in school, and therefore the issue must be lack of previous exposure? To get it right, directors have to challenge their colleagues and ask questions like, “Are we focusing on the on the most logical explanations? Why do we think that? What else aren’t we considering?” They might even reframe the issue by asking questions such as, “What has our experience as parents/teachers/bosses taught us?”

The more information you have as a board, the more likely your decisions will be on target. Spend a significant part of each board meeting asking questions, delving into the “why” behind the “what” before attempting to answer “how.”

Include Young Professionals on Arts Boards

If we want to attract the younger generations to the arts, we have to hear their voices. The best way to do that is put young professionals on our boards. Of course, “young” is a relative term. In Florida, for instance, “young” is often defined as under 60! But I’m advocating for the 20’s – 30’s crowd. These people are our future. They are the ones you want to attract as audience members. And, nobody knows better than they what is important to them.

Be sure to bring enough young people on the board to ensure a cohort. Nobody wants to be the only one “under 30” on a board. Typically recruiting three of anything – 20-somethings, Latinos or people with a dance background – ensures a comfort level for the directors, leading to better input and, ultimately, the best decisions for the organization.

These two approaches take work and neither is a magic bullet. However, invest the effort in experimenting with both and you will see a definite change for the better. Doesn’t your arts organization deserve the chance to enrich and extend its life?

(This post, originally published on www.ArtsBizMiami.org, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)

- See more at: http://blog.artsusa.org/2013/07/25/boards-risk-the-future-of-the-arts-when-they-ignore-young-professionals-from-the-partnership-movement/#sthash.YHPZw7ZP.dpuf

 

I’m an arts buff. I love the theater, live music, dance, and the visual arts. You will often find me attending two or three plays in a weekend, or going to a museum and then on to a performance of jazz or modern dance. The more I dive into the arts, the happier I am personally, but the more fearful I am for the future of the arts. Why? I’m in my 60s, and I’m usually one of the youngest people in attendance, regardless of the genre. (Okay, so I’m not going to the rap concerts, but still….) I constantly worry about the future. Who will occupy the seats in another 20 years, especially in our classical venues?

Yes, there will always be a few young people who love Mozart or Swan Lake. In my own family I have a nephew and niece that are classical musicians. However, while young people will continue to make art, as people have done since the beginning of time, I worry whether there will be anyone who will support their art, who will buy tickets and attend the performances, allowing them to work at what they love.

This is an issue that too few boards seriously grapple with. Yes, you see organizations that create young professionals groups, open up their space after work for networking and wine and cheese, and experiment with “hip” programming, but is that going to convert generations of younger people into dedicated audiences for the future? I think not. After all, it hasn’t yet. And if I’m right, what will?

Clearly, there are no easy answers. If there were, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. But I think our boards can take a more proactive role in trying to find solutions. Here are two specific approaches they can take to mitigate the loss of the arts as we know them.

Spend Time Wrestling with Generative Questions

Generative questions deal not with the “how,” but the “why.” Instead of asking, “How do we attract Millennials?” arts boards need to first understand the underlying nature of the problem. They need to ask, “Why aren’t they coming?” Is it, for instance, a lack of money to buy tickets? A lack of exposure to what is currently being offered – after all, very few people of any age are willing to spend money on an unknown? A dislike of what is being offered? A “coolness” (or lack of “coolness”) factor? An issue of not having the right clothes? A discomfort with being surrounded by people their grandparents’ age?

The board also needs to pay attention to the cues it is relying on to come to its conclusion. Is it assuming, perhaps, that young people don’t have the right clothes to wear because, on the rare occasions they do come to the theater, they always come in jeans? Or, did the board focus on the fact that less time is spent teaching the classics in school, and therefore the issue must be lack of previous exposure? To get it right, directors have to challenge their colleagues and ask questions like, “Are we focusing on the on the most logical explanations? Why do we think that? What else aren’t we considering?” They might even reframe the issue by asking questions such as, “What has our experience as parents/teachers/bosses taught us?”

The more information you have as a board, the more likely your decisions will be on target. Spend a significant part of each board meeting asking questions, delving into the “why” behind the “what” before attempting to answer “how.”

Include Young Professionals on Arts Boards

If we want to attract the younger generations to the arts, we have to hear their voices. The best way to do that is put young professionals on our boards. Of course, “young” is a relative term. In Florida, for instance, “young” is often defined as under 60! But I’m advocating for the 20’s – 30’s crowd. These people are our future. They are the ones you want to attract as audience members. And, nobody knows better than they what is important to them.

Be sure to bring enough young people on the board to ensure a cohort. Nobody wants to be the only one “under 30” on a board. Typically recruiting three of anything – 20-somethings, Latinos or people with a dance background – ensures a comfort level for the directors, leading to better input and, ultimately, the best decisions for the organization.

These two approaches take work and neither is a magic bullet. However, invest the effort in experimenting with both and you will see a definite change for the better. Doesn’t your arts organization deserve the chance to enrich and extend its life?

(This post, originally published on www.ArtsBizMiami.org, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)

- See more at: http://blog.artsusa.org/2013/07/25/boards-risk-the-future-of-the-arts-when-they-ignore-young-professionals-from-the-partnership-movement/#sthash.YHPZw7ZP.dpuf
Related
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

On the "Streets of Bakersfield," Buses are Works of Art
Aug 16, 2018 0 Comments
Golden Empire Transit (GET), based in Bakersfield, CA, has been serving city for over forty years. As the mass transit operator in town, they play an integral role in the city’s infrastructure and economy, and have used this...
Go to full post
Oath Foundation and Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund
Aug 08, 2018 0 Comments
Oath Foundation, funded by Oath, is partnering with Tribeca Film Institute to support documentaries focused on social issues. In collaboration with the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, they provide documentaries in post-production...
Go to full post
PNC Keeping Arts Alive in its Communities
Aug 03, 2018 0 Comments
BCA 10 Honoree PNC continues to use the arts to bring its communities together. Through PNC Arts Alive, the company’s foundation is supporting access to arts experiences through affordable pricing, mobile studios, sensory friendly...
Go to full post
Seattle Boasts Shepard Fairey Mural at 9th and Thomas
Jul 30, 2018 0 Comments
When Scott Redman, CEO of Sellen Construction, was in the process of developing his first building, of the many the company has built, he wanted the arts to play an integral role. In an interview with The Seattle Times, he said...
Go to full post
Serena Williams x Allstate Foundation Purple Purse
Jul 26, 2018 0 Comments
Tennis all-star Serena Williams teamed up with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse and artists, including Isabel Castillo Guijarro to raise awareness about domestic violence. Together, they unveiled a street art campaign that will...
Go to full post
The Art of Ending Stigma
Jul 19, 2018 0 Comments
2016 BCA Honoree Johnson & Johnson is continuing to use the arts for health with the new campaign Art of Ending Stigma. Their company Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. Is partnering with Mental Health America, OneMind, PeaceLove, and...
Go to full post
Seeing High Seas: Art + Tech in Times Square
Jul 13, 2018 0 Comments
For tech giant Microsoft, partnering with the arts is nothing new. Since their BCA 10 honor in 2013, they have continued to collaborate with artists, including Mel Chin. The Queens Museum and No Longer Empty are hosting his exhibit...
Go to full post
Cool Globes in a Pittsburgh Summer
Jul 12, 2018 0 Comments
Since 2006, Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, an offshoot of a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative, has placed globes around the world to combat climate change. Using public art, Cool Globes has brought messages...
Go to full post
Museum and Hospital Partner for Art and Medicine
Jul 06, 2018 0 Comments
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99;...
Go to full post
BOARDway Bound with ArtsWave
Jul 03, 2018 0 Comments
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99;...
Go to full post
United States Conference of Mayors Approves Arts-related Resolutions
Jun 21, 2018 0 Comments
From June 8-11, mayors from across the nation convened in Boston for the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). Among other resolutions related to Arts and Culture Funding and the recognition of Arts...
Go to full post
IKEA Partners with Artisan Refugees for New Line
Jun 20, 2018 0 Comments
IKEA announced that its Brooklyn store will have a new, exclusive line, created by Jordanian women and Syrian refugee artisans. In partnership with the Jordan River Foundation, it created the line TILLTALANDE, which features...
Go to full post
PurePoint Financial Offices Display Local Artists
Jun 19, 2018 0 Comments
PurePoint Financial is a hybrid digital bank that launched in February 2017. Although it has only been around for a year and a half, it is already into its second art exhibit at its flagship Park Avenue location. With the aim...
Go to full post
JetBlue Showing #NonstopPride
Jun 14, 2018 0 Comments
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline. With a strong New York representation amongst staff and with one of the leading resource groups for LGBT workplaces, JetPride, it was an easy connection for the airline to partner with...
Go to full post

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

View The pARTnership Movement ad campaign and find ways to use the ads.

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.