Chapter 1

Inventing the Future of the Arts: Seven Digital Trends that Present Challenges and Opportunities for Success in the Cultural Sector

By Brian Newman

ABSTRACT: While predicting the future is difficult, it is worth analyzing current trends for possible clues as to what factors may help sculpt the decades to come, and how these factors may impact the cultural sector. This chapter will analyze seven trends that have the potential to profoundly influence the future of our arts organizations. While many are thought of as digital trends, they equally affect even the most unplugged of cultural institutions. Arts organizations should be directly involved in addressing these trends, as they will greatly shape the future of not just the arts, but of all culture.

Hi Brian, I just finished your chapter. I love your ideas about ticket selling systems leading patrons to other organizations to find the type of art they enjoy. I can only imagine what it would be like to be told to go to another organization for the music I want to hear. Also, the idea that social networking is more than just marketing the organization. Way to go! Sue

Sue 11.20.10 / 5pm

Thanks Sue. I think it will take some radical new thinking to get people to embrace that idea (go to another organization), but I’m convinced it would work for everyone involved. Glad to get some feedback, thanks for being the first, and I look forward to more conversation here.

Brian Newman 12.7.10 / 4pm

“Building a culture of entrepreneurship in the sector will require fresh thinking and innovative approaches to funding and support that aren’t readily apparent” (p. 7). Thank you for saying this — and I would add that building that culture needs to begin by shifting the perspective of arts training away from the nineteenth century conservatory model in which so many artists (even those under 40) are trained. Great article! – Linda

Linda 12.13.10 / 6pm

Here is the Clyde Fitch Report’s coverage of this chapter:

Enjoy! LJ

Leonard J. 1.16.11 / 5pm

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