I couldn’t be more excited by the updates from Stephanie noting the record breaking success of this blog event—as well as the onslaught of Facebook friend requests I’ve been receiving from so many of you. However, another curious thing has been happening in my inbox this week. While the conversation rages on out here in the public blogosphere, I’ve received a couple of emails from emerging arts leaders saying they’d love to participate in this online discussion, but due to internal politics at their organizations—they have to remain in the proverbial closet.
Given the progress we’ve made through forums like this and all of the hullabaloo 20UNDER40 has caused, it saddens me to think that there are still young arts professionals out there who have opinions to express and stories to share—but must maintain their silence literally for fear of losing their jobs. Even worse is the idea that there are people in authority positions who may be trolling this blog right now, making sure their subordinates remain silent—remain subordinate.
The insecurity exercised in this field (though not entirely omnipresent) is oppressive. As tomorrow’s leaders (young and old) begin to reinvent the arts for the future, I’d like to offer a suggestion: that our industry’s inherent lack of confidence and fear-based business models be placed on top of the list of things that must change.