Considering the evolution of the performing arts center

Posted on: February 17, 2017

Thursday’s (2/16) ArtsJournal includes an in-depth series of essays entitled “Culture on a Hill” about the role of American performing arts centers and artistic leadership. Douglas McLennan’s introduction notes, “Fifty years ago Lincoln Center opened in New York City. Unquestionably, the project was a success for the neighborhood…. It was also an influential idea—creating a campus for the performing arts and drawing attention to the arts as a critical mass of excellence—and it set off a generation of new performing arts centers around America…. But we’d like to consider Lincoln Center the idea, in the bigger American cultural context.” A keynote essay by Joseph Horowitz “suggests that Lincoln Center, which re-situated the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet with the aim of becoming a launching pad for a new era of America’s performing arts, instead represents a kind of cul de sac…. We publish his essay here along with five responses” by conductor Delta David Gier, classical-music executive Thomas W. Morris, Diane Ragsdale, Deborah Jowitt, and McLennan. ArtsJournal will also live-stream a discussion entitled “Artistic Leadership in a Border City: A Live Discussion from El Paso, Texas,” this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (Mountain Time).

Posted February 17, 2017

Pictured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1966 (from left): Leonard Bernstein, music director of the New York Philharmonic; George Balanchine, artistic director of New York City Ballet; and Rudolf Bing, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera.