Monday, January 15, 2007

Performing Arts vs. Visual Arts

Performing Arts clearly is better and deserves more attention than the visual arts. Right? I mean we must take full advantage of our strength of drawing more people to our performances than visual arts attract to a gallery opening or museum exhibit. We have stronger economic impact and thus should stop this idea of working together and simply muscle our way into the position of attracting more money from both public and private sources. This is the rally call. Our time is over due! O.K., enough with the poor attempt for over-the-top humor. If you haven't read the Orlando Sentinel story "Groups differ on artistic vision" from January 7, where Betsey Maupin updates the status of the Downtown Arts District, you may not even understand why I am bringing up this subject. Betsey did a great job summarizing the Downtown Arts District and its major project, the CityArts Factory, but apparently to some it came across that I was drawing a line saying performing arts deserves more attention than visual arts. As a point of clarification, my point was not about which art is better or worse in the capacity of content or preference, but instead my comments focused on building an arts district. I have studied and been intimately involved in working on building an arts district in downtown Orlando for over five years and know that building arts districts are specific to each city. Some arts districts are focused entirely on the visual arts with blocks dedicated to galleries. Some have a mixture of both performing arts venues and galleries. My point is that from a pure audience development stand point, the performing arts by their very nature draw more people to their venue than a gallery. Museums are a different discussion. My other point is that the Downtown Arts District has spent money forming and building galleries disproportional to the performing arts in downtown Orlando when the audiences from SAK, the Studio Theatre and Mad Cow far outweigh the audiences from visual arts downtown to date. That doesn’t even include the Bob Carr performances. The Alliance works from the heartbeat of figuring out ways to work collaboratively on everything it pursues. We are in fact going to be expanding our vision to include all arts and culture which is evident from our focus on the Red Chair Project and Orlando Arts Getaway. The Alliance and OVAL had a joint Holiday party recently that was great at bringing together artists from all sectors. It clearly isn't about who is better or worse as art and culture speak stories into humanity on various levels. We will continue to work on ways to sustain and grow arts participation in arts and culture in our region. The focus should be on convincing both the public and private sectors of the value of growing participation in the arts and culture community. The resources are extremely limited right now, so it is easy to fight over the pieces of pie. Let's work on making the pie bigger. Did somebody say pie? It must be lunch time.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

In any community there's room for both arts(V & P ) to fluourish & survive side by side.It's most difficult to separate the two since visual plays a major role in set design/props/costume giving "the performance" substance it needs-without visual, performance would be dead.As you mentioned,performance may bring in more people/money in one night but VISUAL art will last an eternity hanging on someones wall, in a gallery or museum.
Sadly, the memory of "performance" will endure til ones mind gives out, ahhhh but tis the visual that will remain.Sarah