Author Archives: Alan Brown

Reflecting on the recent election results brings me back to one of the more befuddling observations about trends in arts participation that I’ve been holding in my head since the late-1990s… the blurring line between fantasy and reality. The flourishing … Continue reading

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While most of my work focuses on research and evaluation, occasionally I get roped into strategic planning work, which is always fascinating. Some aspects of planning work look a lot like research, although the methods tend not to be as … Continue reading

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As the summer schedule of arts conferences draws to a close, I am left with many great memories and some lingering concerns. The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council, convened an … Continue reading

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What’s on my mind this month is ecological thinking. Researchers in the cultural sector have explored the idea that culture is a highly complex and interdependent ecosystem in which “resources” are exchanged between “species,” much like a rainforest. Bill Sharpe’s … Continue reading

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I don’t usually do this sort of newsy update, but it’s been a long time since the last issue of On Our Minds, and much has transpired. While audiences have been the focus of much of our research over the … Continue reading

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Our work in the classical music field deepened greatly over the past year, leading to more questions and a few revelations. One of those revelations, which arose from several studies of the music preferences and concert-going habits of younger adults, … Continue reading

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It seems that almost every live performance I attend ends with a standing ovation. My British friends, with a tinge of cultural imperialism, are quick to point out that this is a uniquely American phenomenon (another hypothesis to refute). I … Continue reading

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Several weeks ago in Columbus, Ohio, a group of leaders in the jazz field gathered together to consider the results of WolfBrown’s new study of jazz audiences commissioned by Jazz Arts Group. The Columbus Foundation supported the convening, and the … Continue reading

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Japan is on my mind, with great sorrow. It is hard to carry on knowing the devastation being endured, and the possibility of even greater catastrophe. Of course, the specter of disaster follows us all around, especially those of us … Continue reading

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This past Friday at the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in New York City, I was thrilled to participate in a forward-looking discussion about the pivotal role that venues and settings play in performing arts experiences.  … Continue reading

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