Building the Field of Arts Engagement: Prospects and Challenges

by Adrian Ellis

Mar 22, 2017

The cultural sector in America is grappling with how to remain relevant to the rapidly changing society from which it draws its audiences and support. This is a demanding task -- adapting to rapid demographic and technological change is no less challenging for the cultural sector than for journalism, the music industry, publishing, or the taxi cab business today. But if the cultural sector does not take on this task, it risks marginalization. Cultural leaders therefore need to examine the mechanics of engagement in the arts in a concerted way, distill lessons from their successes and failures, and share those lessons -- in short, to build the field of arts engagement. To explore this topic, in 2015 Irvine commissioned AEA Consulting to undertake panel discussions, surveys, and bilateral interviews across the arts sector. This report contains observations and reflections by Adrian Ellis, Elizabeth Ellis, and their colleagues.

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