A delightful morning, on the cool side by the lake. 30-40 people in attendance...all walks. Administrators, donors, performers, board members, performing artists, visual artists, artists in training, you name it. The topic was respect and responsibility. Just what is the audience's responsibility, or the board's?
I'm more interested in the artists' responsibility. I reckon we think we are responsible to create, recreate, react, entertain and learn. But it looks like, unless you don't mind fasting and an audience of one, we also have to educate and proselytize. And raise money/awareness. And do our own advertising via word of mouth and social media. In other words, you, the artist, are every aspect of the art.
I hope that we "artists" can begin to take on all of this responsibility. If we step up to this challenge, then I believe the donors, the audience, the administrators and the board will step up as well. Perhaps then we can all call ourselves "creators", or at the very least "re-creators". Perhaps the difference between business and art is that in business you can afford to just be a cog...a part of a bigger structure. If the arts are to succeed and find support, perhaps we have to be cogs, but also the whole wheel.
Or, at the very least, we have to understand and support the whole wheel.
What does this mean? On the practical level, I think you start with inviting people you know who are not involved in the arts into your world. We have to treat "art" or "entertainment", if you prefer, as our religion. The theater, the museum, the recital hall, and the gallery are our temples. Go ye, and make disciples of all nations!