I have taught arts management classes for eight years. A blink. But in these particular eight years, also a lifetime of change. Now you can look at these changes two ways. On the downside, funding has decreased, traditional arts coverage has almost disappeared, and there are reports of audiences declining. But on the upside, our sector is flourishing in depth and breadth.
I am a relentless optimist, so I prefer to look at the upside, and figure out how to reframe our challenges as opportunities. “Live from the Library” is the first part of a new StageSource initiative we are calling “New Media/New Models”. Long term, we want to tell the stories of the theater community. These stories will include panel discussions, interviews, discussions of process. As a theater community, telling stories is what we do. But “Live from the Library” will help leverage new media to tell our stories. And as a service organization, we can help tell the stories of all of our members by helping to eliminate barriers of entry. That’s where our Indiegogo campaign comes in.
To start this new initiative, we need to step up our game. A lot. Sure, some of it is for polish—nicer furniture for the library/community room, for example. But we also need computers that won’t crash. Lights to make our videos look better. Microphones so we can have panels, and record them. Cameras and voice recorders—for the office, and to take on the road. Software. And help in creating content, editing, and closed captioning.
“Live from the Library” is the first step in reframing our story, by telling our stories. All of them. It is going to take all of us working together. Want to know how you can help? We’ll let you know.