We are inspired by the performing arts, and opera in particular, as a model for achieving breakthroughs, experiencing and processing emotion, uniting community, and refactoring humanity. 

Opera means “a collection of works,” and we treat it as a serious object of focus and also as an important metaphor for The Great Work and work in general.

Opera is existentially challenged by the collapse of 2020, but opera can also lead us through it. It’s a laboratory where we can see ourselves, rehearse how to be, make meaning together, and understand what we don’t yet have language for.

We use the performing arts as a prism for imagining the future of human collaboration, and we use the real-time business of the arts as a practical example of how visionary organizations are taking risks in today’s fragmented, chaotic environments, against incredible odds. 

The arts during COVID-19

Every Arts Organization Must Become A Media Company, Matías Tarnopolsky (March 2020)
Arts organizations and expansive thinking, Christopher Tedrick (April 2020)
Fundraising in the Age of Coronavirus, Lisa Houston (June 2020)
Is New Philanthropic Income Replacing Lost Ticket Income?, David Brownlee (August 2020)
Arts and Culture Comeback Planning, TRG Arts (September 2020)
COVID-19 Sector Benchmark: Insight Report, TRG Arts (September 2020)
SDC Releases Sobering Study of Directors’, Choreographers’ Livelihoods, American Theatre (September 2020)
The Guardian view on saving the arts: what about the artists? (October 2020)
The cost of singing, Anthony Feeney (October 2020)
New Alliance Strategizes To Make Opera Bigger And Better In Texas, Catherine Lu (October 2020)
SF To Launch Universal Basic Income Pilot Program for Artists (October 2020)
The financial crisis for US arts organizations has not been distributed evenly, Karen Ho (October 2020)
Bay Area live theater industry sees bleak future, Carolyn Said (October 2020)
Sector Benchmark Insights Report: COVID-19 and Philanthropy — Who is Giving?, TRG Arts (October 2020)
Political Affiliation And Arts Consumer Trends During COVID-19, TRG Arts (October 2020)
Trends in Audience Behavior: Digital Performances, JCA (October 2020)
Voters in Jersey City Embrace a New Tax to Finance the Arts, Julia Jacobs (November 2020)
San Francisco Symphony Plunges into a New World, Joshua Barone (November 2020)
Even When the Music Returns, Pandemic Pay Cuts Will Linger, Julia Jacobs (December 2020)
Arts Marketing Association COVID-19 Resources
Artist Relief Tree
Building Blocks for Reopening, Spektrix
Culture Track COVID-19 community survey
Culture Fix
Navigating Uncertain Times: Scenario Planning for the Arts & Culture Sector, Wallace Foundation
SF Arts Commission COVID-19 Resources
Transformed by crisis, arts criticism may never be the same…, Philip Kennicott (November 2020)
The Sitdown with LB – Inside the Industry: General Directors (February 2021)
A Colossus Crumbles, Fred Cohn (March 2021)

Strategic planning for arts organizations

The Art of the Turnaround, Michael M. Kaiser 
Strategic Planning in the Arts: A Practical Guide, Michael M. Kaiser 
Curtains?: The Future of the Arts in AmericaMichael M. Kaiser
The Cycle, Michael M. Kaiser
The Art of Relevance, Nina Simon
Strategic plan example: SFGMC (2019-2023)
The Engagement Revolution: James Irvine Foundation (2013-2016)

Arts marketing

Capacity Interactive downloadable content
Capacity Interactive social media calendar and tools for arts marketers
National Arts Marketing Project resource library
Slover Linett audience research
Study: Audience churn and retention, JCA
Case study: TPAC achieves huge subscription ROI via segmentation, JCA
AMA: Growing your subscription base, JCA
CRM optimization, JCA
Case study: Setting the Stage for a Sold-Out Nutcracker Production, CI
Improve Organic Social Content Performance with Data Insights, CI
Are We All Using the Wrong Tools?, Sam Freeman
Arts Marketing’s Technical Problem, Sam Freeman
Arts Marketing: How Do You Segment?, Sam Freeman
Theatre Marketing: A Brochure Conundrum, Sam Freeman
Predicting the Future, Sam Freeman
The Long Haul Model: Operational Implementation, Aubrey Bergauer
From “Outreach” to “Civic Practice,” Heidi Waleson (April 2020)
Supercool’s Spektrix-integrated paywall (October 2020)

Anti-racism in the arts

Lift Every Voice: A Conversation Hosted by J’nai Bridges (June 2020)
Outsider art, Callum John Blackmore (June 2020)
Theater Artists of Color Enumerate Demands for Change, Michael Paulson (July 2020)
#passthebaton (July 2020)
Bay Area theater artists of color demand bold steps toward racial justice in online documents, Lily Janiak (September 2020)
Orchestras are Rushing to Add Black Composers. Will it Last?, Joshua Barone (October 2020)
Ringside: A Conversation with the Artists of ‘Champion’ (October 2020)
Are art museums still racist? The COVID reset, Carolina Miranda (October 2020)
The Oral History of The Scottsboro Boys, Felicia Fitzpatrick (October 2020)
James Conlon’s Program Note on “The Anonymous Lover” (November 2020)
Expanded Leadership for The Industry: An Artistic Director Collective (November 2020)
The Metropolitan Opera Hires Its First Chief Diversity Officer, Joshua Barone (January 2021)
For Diversity Leaders in the Arts, Getting Hired Is Just the First Step, Robin Pogrebin (January 2021)
Black Opera Alliance
Asian Opera Alliance

Cognition and biology

Synchronization, Attention and Transformation: Multidimensional Exploration of the Aesthetic Experience of Contemporary Dance Spectators, Coline Joufflineau et al
When we experience arts together, our bodies synchronise, The Alternative UK
Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation, David Huron
Music, Language, and the Brain, Aniruddh Patel
Inside the Brain of an Opera Singer, UBC Music
New Multi-Faculty Research Weaves Notes and Neurons, UBC Neuroscience
Sound Health, The Kennedy Center
What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body, Melissa Malde et al

Music and performing arts history (highly abbreviated list)

Classical music and opera

A Mad Love, Vivien Schweitzer
The Classical Style: An Opera (Of Sorts)
The Opera House
The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross
Wagnerism, Alex Ross
On Late Style, Edward Said
Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music, Renée L. Packer and Mary J. Leach
The Queen’s Throat, Wayne Koestenbaum
Mad Scenes and Exit Arias, Heidi Waleson
The Impossible Art, Matthew Aucoin
“Einstein on the Beach”: How One Opera Changed Everything, Mark Swed
Deviant Opera, Alex Englund
Still Songs: Music In and Around the Poetry of Paul Celan, Alex Englund
The Hidden Costs of Streaming Music, Alex Ross
The Rise of the New, Vivien Schweitzer and Fred Cohn (Opera America)
The 2010s: A Decade of Change, Heidi Waleson (Opera America)
The American Singer: 1970 to 2020, Fred Cohn (Opera America)


Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination, Brent Hayes Edwards
Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century, Nate Chinen
In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Fred Moten

Musical theater

Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy
Mainly On Directing, Arthur Laurents
The Collected Lyrics of Stephen Sondheim
Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies, Ted Chapin 

Popular music

Hava Nagila: The Movie
A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, Taylor Mac

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