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Taking Action Together: An Update
Opera America Magazine
June 14 marked the one-year anniversary of the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention in Denver. Much has happened since then, including chaos in the global economy, the election of a new President and the proliferation of social networking. And of course, art continues to be made and enjoyed everywhere. A number of strategies for collective action were agreed upon, and even as the world and the arts environment have changed, a great deal of work has been done to forward those goals.
From the cross-disciplinary roundtable discussions and AmericaSpeaks Town Hall Meeting, three primary priority action areas were identified as crucial for the future of the performing arts: advocacy, arts education and diversity. NPAC organizers added two additional priorities: artists and technology.
Task forces were formed for each priority area, comprised of diverse groups of artists and arts practitioners from across the country. From February until June, the task forces worked to review NPAC findings, articulate a vision for each priority, and craft a series of short- and long-term actions to achieve the NPAC goals. It quickly became apparent that there is crossover among the priority areas.
Strategies are still being developed for each priority area. The first step is the establishment of a user-friendly, interactive Web-based resource center to include research, links, information, best practices, lessons learned and networking options for all the performing arts in each priority area. This action is in process, spearheaded by the technology task force. While discussions are ongoing, task forces have already made a number of recommendations.
- The platform should include Wiki-style community compositions on particular subjects, content “certified” by a panel of editorial advisers, and commissioned, authoritative knowledge on particular subjects. This platform should also serve as an index of arts and technology, linking to and re-syndicating content from around the Internet.
- It should function as a shared distance learning and professional development infrastructure, delivering specialized content across the performing arts community, and working to further unify the advocacy/arts services sector.
- This platform should offer information on technology itself, designed to make technologies understandable, accessible and usable for performing arts professionals.
- The platform should be available for all NPAC task force priority areas and for other NPAC purposes and constituents as a centralized tool for resource sharing and communications for the performing arts community.
Human connections and person-to-person information sharing are critical. To this end, the NPAC follow-up task force is developing strategies to promote multidisciplinary dialogue, whether face-to-face or electronically, nationally or regionally, or in conjunction with existing convenings or other association partners.
In the coming months, you will hear from organizers again about the online resource center, future meeting plans and other specific action steps. In the meantime, feedback and conversation are invited at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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