And so it begins

Well, that was quick.

Via ArtsJournal and the LA Weekly

A Study Shows How Audiences Are Changing. But Should Data Guide Artistic Decisions?

No facet of society – not even the arts – is immune to the conversation about metrics, measurement and big data.

On Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles, museum administrators, marketers and cultural leaders gathered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the presentation of “Culture Track 14” hosted by the Music Center. Billed as revealing a “dramatically changed cultural landscape,” the 2014 study – and the conversations around it – drove home many particulars that audience members already assumed and other dynamics long at play.

Arthur Cohen, CEO of the culture consulting firm…

Should?  What nonsense.  It will.  And just as the A&E, Bravo, Discovery, and Ovation channels went from penthouse to outhouse, so will most cultural organizations that become handmaidens to MBAs.

Farther down,

Studies such as this one are useful for deciding how to package and promote cultural content – topics on which LaPlaca Cohen is available to advise [Well, isn’t that a surprise?]. But the most authentic thing organizations can do is follow one of Philbin’s assertions: artists are leading the way, and organizations should follow the visions of the artists they support. Quantitative value should follow qualitative, not the other way around. As Tom Finkelpearl, the new Cultural Affairs Commissioner of New York, recently stated in The Art Newspaper, “We don’t see the arts and culture sector solely through the prism of economics.”

Good luck with that.  A few artists with integrity will hold out much as the small theatremakers in Los Angeles have done despite ineptitude and overt hostility(*).  It will be up to interested people to make an effort to find them and fund them.

(*) It works equally well the other way

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