Ten Work Items for 2011, Task #10

What a revelation it has been to experience the vast arts world, after my most recent 14 professional years totally immersed in the field of music (not all classical at Eastman).  During these years, because of the press of senior management and seductive insularity, my arts exposure was 90% music, 10% other (and rarely self-selected).  Escaping this situation has allowed me to experience a wide variety of art, in different genres and forms. And in doing this I have changed the way I think and approach matters.

For 2011, let’s make sure we experience others’ art performances, exhibitions and presentations.  Let’s get out of the self-imposed rut.  And let’s make our choices by ourselves, relying on our own instincts, and doing our own research, and buying our own tickets (yes, paying for them).  Furthermore, buy a piece of visual art created by a living artist.  One can do this, as prices can be very affordable.

Could it be that many of the traits of the arts leader and arts not-for-profit organizational model that I rail about are the result of insularity: of only experiencing one’s own art done by those whom we know in venues we are familiar with?  One has to believe that this is a significant contributing factor, and one so pleasantly and easily addressed!

Signing off for 2010.  JU

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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