I’ve been speaking at two in-person conferences recently (Contact East 2021 in Moncton and Pacific Contact 2022 in Coquitlam) on the hot button topic of Rebuilding Better. I have been proposing this Radical Intent (aka vision) for the Performing Arts as the sector tries to emerge from the worst of the COVID restrictions. The presentation has been called inspiring and has been generating much hallway conversation. So here it is.
1. Stop doing more with less. Breathe. Go for a walk in the woods, on the beach, in the mountains. Educate your funders to help them see how your effectiveness as an arts worker matters more than pushing out sheer volume.
2. Do less with more! Good pay, reasonable hours, improve mental health, improve working conditions. Take care of each other, be there: we are in this together.
3. Embrace digital connection. It is real and it is rapidly growing, if you like it or not is immaterial!
Go ahead and assess digital opportunities in your context, your community and your organization and build digital business lines if it makes sense.
Think about what it looks like to meaningfully disseminate or present live arts digitally. Learn about and adopt industry backbone application (The Pitch, I want to showcase, block booking, PPN, Side door)
4. Be the change you want to see. #MeToo, #blm, #truthandreconciliation
Act, don’t leave it at paying lip service; when its just words and intentions without action, folks see right through it – always.
5. Engage the public through the arts, not merely in the arts.
Climate change, housing availability, precarious employment, living wages/guaranteed income, fear-based politics / elections, dis- and mis-information, online bully pulpits – so many topics that could be made better for the majority of people as well as systemically marginalized people through creative and artistic interventions
6. Make a big difference in your community. What are the conversations that need to be had locally? Hot button issues? Get involved and convene people in conversations, curate shows to reflect on the issues, host solution summits.