AmericaSpeaks

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AmericaSpeaks 21st Century Town Meeting

The centerpiece of NPAC focused on the three daily caucuses - implemented by AmericaSpeaks - that blended ideas from dance, music, opera and theatre and concluded on the last day with the 21st Century Town Meeting.  Through this process every convention participant was encouraged to make their voice heard to help create an agenda that would activate the performing arts community in America. 

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photo: Glenn Ross

1,235 conference attendees participated in the final Town Meeting and electronically voted on key recommendations, culling down the material from the previous caucuses.  "The quality, creativity and thoughtfulness of the participants’ contributions were remarkable in these caucus sessions - across the performing arts industry," said Ann Meier Baker, co-chair of NPAC and President/CEO of Chorus America.  "I think everyone who participated was truly inspired and NPAC has helped establish clear priorities for action toward a stronger future for the performing arts in the United States - thanks to all their hard work."

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photo: Glenn Ross


"The Town Hall Meeting identified several themes from the voting process," added Marc A. Scorca, co-chair of NPAC and President/CEO of OPERA America, "Namely, increasing our partnerships with non-arts related organizations; raising the public visibility of the performing arts community and, identifying and sharing best practices. The national NPAC co-conveners look forward to collaborating as we address the priorities of advocacy, arts education and diversity for our field and our communities." 

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photo: Glenn Ross

Polling questions:

1. OUR COMMUNITIES DO NOT SUFFICIENTLY PERCEIVE THE VALUE, BENEFITS, AND RELEVANCE OF THE ARTS, WHICH MAKES ADVOCACY AND BUILDING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS A CHALLENGE AT EVERY LEVEL

  • “If art is relevant, audiences will follow”
  • Need to link the value of the performing arts with the community’s values
  • Existing audiences can be active participants in advocating for the arts
  • “Art is part of everyone’s life whether they know it or not”

2. THE POTENTIAL OF ARTS EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING IN THE ARTS IS UNDER-REALIZED

  • Arts education can create new arts-lovers
  • Reduced public funding for arts education creates an opportunity for arts
    organizations to fill the gap

3. THE INCREASING DIVERSITY OF OUR COMMUNITIES CREATES AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE A VARIETY OF AGES, RACES, IDENTITIES, AND CULTURES IN OUR AUDIENCES AND ORGANIZATIONS

  • Diversity / Inclusion:

– Creates opportunities for new and unique collaborations between artists and arts organizations
– Expands our audiences
– Strengthens organizational leadership and boards

Relative links:

  (right click and "save as," if the above audio file take too long to download)

Summarized details of the Town Meeting outcomes can be found at the NPAC blog 'Program Notes': artsjournal.com/npac, where comment fields have continued the discussion.