Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #9

For years, and I mean years, I prided myself on my being able to stay on top of advances in technology.  I saw it as an amazing tool to advance communications, increase efficiency, and provide creative possibilities for education in the arts.  I thought I had a complete concept of the potential of contemporary technology.  But what I didn’t “get” was how it would become so central, such a control point in daily lives.  Somehow its hardware and software have married and produced something entirely new, a medium unto itself.

By and large arts leaders, administrators and artists themselves are way behind in their understanding of technology and all of its workings and potential.  There even seems to be a correlation between primitive technology use and application with those arts organizations that produce historical European-rooted art, and vice versa.  And what these former organizations need more than anything else right now is to wake up and get with the technological revolution.

Just as I was about to join Facebook (long overdue) one of my students told me that it was already passe.  Probably not true in actuality, but for him, a future that bolts into a zone beyond Facebook is already imaginable and as such, possible.  I tell this anecdote to emphasize how rapidly, how dynamic contemporary technological developments are; and because I want to make a strong point.

We older-than-35 art leaders must pay increased amounts of attention and hands-on time to learning, using and playing with all the many techo-toys and apps in 2011 OR lose the game!  The potential and possibilities for the arts, all the arts, is enormous, for increasing our reach and impact, and for creating honest and genuine revenue streams. 

About the author

James Undercofler

Jim has been a Professor at Drexel University since May, 2009. His previous appointment - since August, 2007 - was as the President and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jim was Dean of the Eastman School of Music from 1997 to 2007. He has played a prominent role in musical arts and music education throughout his career. Before joining Eastman in 1995 as associate director for academic affairs and professor of music education, he was an active, performing chamber musician as well as first horn in the New Haven Symphony. Jim serves as board president, American Music Center; advisory board member, Arts Education Policy Review; board member, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, New York State Association of College Music Programs and American Symphony Orchestra League, and is a founding member, NETWORK of Performing and Visual Arts Schools and Mercury Opera of Rochester.

Read James Undercofler's blog [l=http://web.esm.rochester.edu/poly/blog/author/junder/]here[/l].

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