Sunday, May 08, 2005

Creating Theatre Addicts - the Benefits of the Arts:
Recently, the RAND Corporation released a report on the arts so surprisingly provocative that it caught the attention of not only arts administrators and foundation officers, but also the likes of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal. Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts lobs a grenade into the well-stocked arsenal of most arts advocates and brandishes an alternative rationale. At the very least, the study has reignited intense debate about how best to articulate the value of the arts.
As the characters in the movie Reefer Madness, frequent arts participants need to encounter a gateway experience that makes them want more. Truly positive arts experiences, the study elaborates, must engage us, captivate us - mentally, emotionally and socially. Once hooked, frequent arts participants consider their chosen art form to be central to their own identity. Often this sense of identification is extended to a particular organization - a specific theatre, for instance. This is the type of deeply engaged patron every arts marketer, every artistic director, every theatre artist longs for
(by Brad Erickson from Theatre Bay Area).

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