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Posted January 4, 2010

Diane Ragsdale compares the issues facing the arts with those that faced the restaurant industry, sparking the Slow Food movement. She suggests that an answer to the mounting challenges for arts organizations might be to start a Slow Arts movement.

What elements of the slow food movement are relevant to arts organizations?, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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  • Frank Sonntag

    Very insightful, for sure. Diane is a smart lady.

    I think the most challanging thing for all of us arts adminstrators is so find a way to make the arts (and our organizations) more relevant in the communities in which we operate. Gone are the days when we could afford to be isolated and not connected to the bigger picture. This challange is made infinitely greater because we are no longer part of an integrated system that share core values like we were 25 years ago when shcools had arts programs and there was a general concensus about what was important. I DO believe that great art still have the capability to transcend these barriers.

    I worry the most about social and cultural influences that are dominating young folks today, and I worry that thanks to the small screens that we are all attached to, the day may not be far off when the joy of live performance is erased from the collective consiousness, and the notion of sitting in a room filled with total strangers waiting for a curtain to rise will seem like an antiquated notion. THEN we will have a much bigger problem on our hands.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Diane!

    Frank Sonntag
    Managing Director
    Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College (BCBC)

  • David Roche

    Very good analogy, Diane. Yoshiko Wada in Berkeley has “slow textiles” that makes one think of handcraft and the time it takes to produce textile greatness by hand. I’m afraid that “slow music” might imply an evening of adagios, but certainly La Monte Young’s long droning sessions might easily qualify as well. I think the operative term is “slow” and whatever it takes to stop and smell the roses. And once operating at 33 1/3 rather than 78 rpm, good things begin to happen (I realize the reference to vinyl speed dates me, but like slow food returns us to more thoughtful food production and consumption, analog vinyl is spinning again reminding us of a fuller spectrum of sound production).