(image from Life is Good, Facebook Page)
Happy Fourth, Folks. I love the Life is Good brand - not just the merchandise but also their entire philosophy. Good vibes and positive reinforcement and encouragement all around. Don't we need more of that? It seemed fitting for the holiday.
On this independence weekend, I'm thinking of those who have given their time and for some, lives, to serve our country and keep us free. I also think of how we are still such a young nation. I have plenty of moments thinking we are repeating history or raising an eyebrow to the current administration's handling of something. We've come a ways though since 1776 and prior. We can only improve.
I also think of my industry and how nearly anything arts related needs freedom of expression...freedom to create, freedom to perform, freedom to explore collaborations and platforms. I think the artists are the ones constantly pushing this envelope. I feel as though the rest of us are caught up in bureaucracy. We aren't truly free from the confines of the board, of the butts in seats mentality, from evaluations, even from some of the ideas that are positive - like audience and community engagement - and wind up bogging us down. Most days I think those of us managers, admins, presenters, curators, funders, want to break free from a lot of old thought. For me, I'm constantly pulling back and asking myself if something must look like a certain way - do I always have to make roster decisions in the spring for example.
I read a post last week about organizations as platforms for content and artistic creation...how am I that organization? I feel like I rely on the artists to constantly be creating new work and also the right work for me, work that can sell and be fresh, have a residency component, and speak to all the new ways of being. If they cannot, then it's my job to go and find those artists pushing the envelope. Then I rely on the programming director at the presenting organization to be the new model of audience engagement, to be this platform. In the end it's still the same method of selling product. How am I liberated? What do I do in the meantime when to make a living, I do need to be driven by a bottom line?
This is what I'm thinking about this weekend. How to evolve, be relevant, be what the industry needs, and still make a living. HUGE questions.
And I'm also thinking about taking some down time. I need to...I need to write on this blog more and I need to head to the pool or the shore once in a while this summer to just decompress. In that not thinking or in the creative process that might be painting, situations and questions roll around in my unconscious. They work themselves out in time. I'm certainly thankful for the gift of creativity.