There’s a little celebration going on today amongst the contributors and staffers of KnightArts.org. This is our 1,000th post!
KnightArts.org was started by Knight Foundation as a way to inform and engage the community about the Knight Arts Challenge in Miami. It has grown into an internationally read commentary on culture in America. We are now covering all eight Knight resident cities with dedicated pages and regular updates for each. We receive contributions from our program directors, the arts staff, our writers and our grantees.
KnightArts.org now allows us to announce our Knight Arts Challenge information, profile our Challenge winners, showcase in-depth coverage of programs like Random Acts of Culture™ and O, Miami, hear progress updates from our grantees, provide critical reviews of shows and performances and speak to issues of national importance in the arts. And you, the readers, have responded with hundreds of thoughtful comments, reactions and suggestions.
We look forward to enhancing our coverage moving forward, with more direct grantee reporting and a deeper dive into our communities. We have a couple other milestones coming up that I’ll soon be letting you know about. But for now, we at Knight Foundation just wanted to say thank you for your support and input. Please keep reading!
As the Random Acts of Culture™ posts are what brought so many of you to this site, I thought I’d share a recent blog post by Peter Linett, a partner at Slover Linett, an audience research firm focusing on culture and education. It is one of the most thoughtful pieces I’ve seen about Knight Foundation’s Random Act of Culture® program. I had the good fortune to sit next to Peter at a convening called CultureLab, which brought together arts funders and arts consultants for two days of discussion about the question raised by Rocco Landesman of supply and demand in the arts. I found Peter’s presentation of how to create a framework to analyze demand for the arts to be thought provoking and insightful
Peter calls Random Acts of Culture™ a “kick and a revelation,” noting that the program “pulls the arts of their pedestal and sets them, literally, in the marketplace” and that “the arts, in themselves, aren’t really the point: they’re a tool for something larger.” Click here to read Peter’s full post and read below for an excerpt.
“What struck me most forcefully, watching videos of Random Acts of dance, poetry, classical music, and opera from around the country, was that the bystanders (well, they start as bystanders but soon become an audience) are obviously experiencing a range of real, pleasurable human emotions. That’s something you can’t usually see on the faces of arts audiences sitting in concert halls and auditoriums.
Why is that? Not just because they’re not expecting an arts attack and are thrown off balance, although clearly that’s part of the fun. I think it has to do with the fact that, in these Random Acts, the performers and the audience are in every sense on the same level. The performers are dressed like you and me. They’re in our midst, not on a stage. We’re together in this crazy business (opera, life)…continue reading