What can the world teach California about arts engagement?

Reporting from another excellent event sponsored by Zocolo. Some notes and thoughts from the conference.

What is a community of shared experiences. A memorable experience is created by surprise. Visitors come to an institution or arts event with an idea in mind, or with specific expectations, but are completely surprised by something else, something unexpected. This is a shared experience that will remain in their mind and soul.

One speaker said that good art that impacts visitors is about debate, conflict, pain and dialogue. My question is: What about delight?

Randi Korn said an important component done by  arts administrators and educators is to help visitors  articulate what they feel.

Many administrators and arts educators feel that a lot of current art is about “share-ability”, and that the current generation chooses activities that they can share in instigram or Facebook.

Art should be about creating a deep experience instead of broad experience.

Steven Tepper, the Dean of ASU Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts said that the millennials are more about living lives of purpose than that of the “me” economy and that we need to create open-source institutions. Regarding art, we need to look at  art as process not as a product. We need to show people how its made. In the past, people made their own music in their homes, or art or even read Shakespeare on their own, in their own living rooms. More pianos were sold in the early 1900s than ever before or since. Everyone had their own piano or guitar.

Artists are trained to to ask questions, in critical thinking and in design methodologies. Even if an art student does not continue as an artist, their training can be used in other disciplines  to great benefit. Artists are imagination partners for every sector in the world.

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