Well the jetlag is basically gone (the redeye solution worked for me again), but I’m still completely exhausted. The National Performing Arts Convention in Denver last week was overwhelming in every way—endless interactions with tons of people, morning to night events (often several at the same time which I only caught parts of), fascinating ancillary activities I unfortunately never had the time to partake in at all, etc. Now I’m back at my desk in New York City, and NPAC serves as a catalyst for a lot of great memories and discussion. But if this multifaceted immersion is not to have been in vain for the more than 3500 folks who were there, it must and should be much more than that.
At the final town meeting on Saturday, the assembled multitude voted on strategies to effect three missions determined by the group earlier in the week, which Colin Holter has succinctly described as:
- Impressing communities with our relevance
- Improving arts education
- Increasing diversity
We were all charged to stay focused on these goals when we each returned to the cubbyholes we regularly exist in throughout the nation. So in what will, for the time being, serve as the final installment in our coverage of the Mile High Whereall Endall, I’d like to open the discussion here one more time to gather thoughts on those three missions and get a sense from people what constructive—and let’s try to keep this constructive—things we could do to realize these goals. So the question is: What can we do to better impress upon communities across the entire country that the arts are relevant to their lives, to improve the state of arts education not only for K-12 but for everyone, and to increase the diversity of people involved with the performing arts on creative, adminstrative, and audience levels?