Kenneth Woods

I've added the blog of conductor Kenneth Woods to the blogroll. Mr. Woods has an interesting take on the the future of concert music. He asks the following questions:

  1. How are arts organizations affected by regulatory changes in publishing and broadcasting that have caused most formerly locally-owned and operated radio, television and newspaper outlets to become subsidiaries of huge national conglomerates? When so much of our media content is nationally syndicated, don’t local performing arts organizations get less coverage of everything that they do?
  2. How are arts organizations affected by the erosion of educational standards in all areas, let alone by the wholesale demolition of arts education?
  3. How are arts organizations affected by the national governments massive general reductions in humanitarian aid over the last 25 years? Funds to help victims of a tragedy like the Indian Ocean tsunami would have come from the state in prior generations, now they’ve come primarily from private foundations, foundations that used to fund arts organizations.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I think they push the issue in an important direction. In an earlier post, he discusses the relationship of the arts to the marketplace, and what state support for the arts means and, just as important, what it doesn't mean:

State support for the arts does not have to lead to state control of the arts. The (now nearly defunct) National Science Foundation in the USA provides a useful, and incredibly successful model. Instead of vetting funding requests through a central council or a legislature, NSF requests were always vetted via blind peer review. Decisions were made not on the potential market value of the proposed research, or the likelihood of outside co-funding, or the political popularity of the proposed research, but solely and exclusively on its SCIENTIFIC VALUE AS DETERMINED BY THE AD HOC COMMITTEE EVALUATING THAT PROPOSAL.

I've looked around his blog and his web site a little bit, and I think you'll find a number of items of interest.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Steve

    Thanks so much for this- I appreciate the kind words and the link,I'll try to make the next round of posts worthy of your recommendation. I've been reading your page for a while- great stuff.

    Cheers and many thanks again