Now that’s an interesting question for arts audiences…why are you here? Research by the Urban Institute and others documents that “someone I know told me about it and asked me to join them.” Audiences are people first, arts consumers second, and People who need People are the Luckiest People in the World! (As Barbra Streisand sang awhile ago.)
But our upcoming NAMP conference is focused on “New Tech. Tools. Times.” – so where are the people in our picture? Of course, they’re everywhere and anywhere, any time and all the time. Let me relate an anecdote from colleague Clay Shirky’s new book: Cognitive Surplus that illustrates the connective power of groups.
When South Korea unexpectedly lifted the ban on American beef a couple of years ago and news surfaced that US beef world return to the Korean market, Korean citizens staged public protests, turning out in Seoul’s “central park” in unheard of numbers. The protesters were unusual – over half the participants were teenagers, most notably teenage girls. Their presence helped make the vigils Korea’s first family-friendly protest, with whole families turning out in the park. What would cause girls too young to vote to turn out in the park, day after day and night after night, for weeks? Read the rest of this entry »