Year of the arts flash-mob

Posted on: December 23, 2010

In Tuesday’s (12/21) Christian Science Monitor, Gloria Goodale writes, “Flash mob, art mob, flash crowd, public intervention, or just random acts of culture. Whatever the name, these spontaneous gatherings—facilitated by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—are hot among the mobile, hyperconnected, and commitment-averse social-media generation…. Whether it’s a spontaneous rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus amid a busy shopping day at Macy’s, or thousands of dancers simultaneously executing the same choreography in multiple far-flung cities … artists are trying to break old habits and startle, surprise, and seduce new audiences…. Young people weaned on the new technological tools that let them create a feature film for a few thousand dollars or score a symphony with a few clicks of a mouse have little appetite for the sort of passive spectator behavior demanded in hushed recital halls or remote downtown opera houses…. The burden, it seems, is on the cultural group to redefine the relationship. If we can’t draw this cohort into the conventional four-wall theater space, then ‘we have to bring it to them,’ says Teresa Eyring of Theater Communications Group, a nonprofit theater-advocacy organization in New York…. In November, Knight Foundation launched a three-year, eight-city grant project dubbed ‘1,000 Random Acts of Culture’ designed to fund flash events in support of classical arts—beginning with the Opera company of Philadelphia’s Handel chorus at Macy’s.”

Posted December 23, 2010