Building Arts Audiences – Round 8,529,252

Art mirrors society to the extent that a small group of artists do very well and leave the rest to fight for scraps. But, the art wonkery industry is doing all right for itself. Foundations love funding meta discussions and conferences and now the Wallace Foundation is is having a go at it (via ArtsJournal.com). The sneaky sponsored post somehow made it past Adblock.

ThrivingArts.org
Building Audiences to Help Great Arts Organizations Thrive

There’s a panel distinguished panel talking about engagement, partnerships, and why building new audience matters.  I suppose it isn’t obvious that lack of audience, let alone a paying one, would make life for the 99.9% of painters, musicians, sculptors, and playwrights even that much worse. The Foundation, naturally, has a Knowledge Center with a death-grip on the obvious.

Delving deeper, we find:

Our searchable database contains the names and locations of grantees going back some 20 years, and the size and purpose of their grants. You may search by organization name, topic, state or a combination of all three. We suggest filling out at least one field to narrow down your search, because the database is large and can yield thousands of results.

The Foundation may want to drop a few cents into its own web development. Its grantee search engine needs work – Select a state, search, and then try to see pages beyond the first – the settings change and irrelevant results pop up. Judging from the Annual Reports, the real mission is to use disadvantaged children as test subjects and take the data forward to justify more grants managers. They also don’t seem to have gotten the message about Big Data. Their database, whatever its size, is small compared to storage and processing power available these days.

I can’t stand musicals but this tolerable clip from The Music Man is appropriate.

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