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Arts Management Colloquium Discusses Cultural Innovation

Spring Arts Management Colloquium

Photo courtesy of Jamie Bennett

“The arts have changed so rapidly with the advent of social media, the decline of print, the rise of online and web-streamed arts, the altering of the book, film, and music business models,” says Professor Michael Wilkerson, organizer and panelist for the Arts Management Spring Colloquium on February 17. “It leads you to imagine what the future will hold,” says Wilkerson.

That is precisely what the panel of leaders in arts management will do next Friday when they present their ideas about “The Future of the Arts” and enter into discussion with those attending the event.  The panel will be led by Jamie Bennett, the chief of staff and director of public affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts. Bennett has worked in various fields in many public and private sector arts organizations, The breadth and depth of his knowledge and his way of connecting people and ideas in ways that wouldn't come to mind as natural linkages give him a uniquely national and multidisciplinary perspective on the arts that makes him a natural choice to lead such a conversation.

Joining him will be two highly respected leaders in the arts. Anna Soellner is the vice president of corporate communications at the Motion Picture Association of America. She is heavily involved in message strategy and public programming. Vijay Mathew is the associate director of the Institute for New American Play Development at Arena Stage. He leads efforts in developing the institute's documentation and distribution platform. “These are innovators in the nonprofit and for-profit sides of the arts,” says Wilkerson. “I think they not only will have ideas about the future, but they are already players in determining that future.”

Wilkerson, who has researched, written, and taught on the future of the arts and cultural policy for years, will also join the panel. “All my ideas and research in the arts try in some way to make positive changes in existing systems,” he says. That's a mundane way of looking at the future, but the nuts and bolts are going to be as important as the big visions, and you need both.”

The Arts Management Spring Colloquium, “The Future of the Arts,” will be held in the Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center on February 17, at 4 p.m. There will be a reception immediately following in the lobby. The public is welcome to attend.  For information about the event, visit the AU Arts Website.