The form and function of a “performing arts complex”

Posted on: April 25, 2019

“The arts are for everybody; the arts are elite,” writes Anne Midgette in Monday’s (4/22) Washington Post. The Shed, recently opened in Manhattan, “plans to offer pop music and classical music and theater and visual arts, all mingling on an equal footing, with free and low-priced tickets interleaved among the $150 ones. The idea is to bring the arts to everyone—or bring everyone to the arts…. The Shed embraces plenty of buzzwords of 21st-century art and design: flexibility, versatility, inclusivity…. Everything it presents is a new commission…. Across the country, arts organizations are talking about diversity and collaboration and … finding new ways to get audiences to come to the performances. The Shed offers a visible focal point, and testing ground, for all this rhetoric…. This fall, the Kennedy Center will open the Reach … a network of flexible spaces and studios … all with audience involvement…. Says Deborah Rutter, the Kennedy Center’s president … ‘We’re creating spaces with an idea of what might happen.’ Outlining the mandate of the Reach, … she says, ‘We’re trying to create a place where artists can come work, not just display the finished polished product.’ ”

Posted April 25, 2019