Opera’s push into the mainstream

Interesting article on the BBC website by Alex Stranger on how Opera is changing it’s image through new initiatives. One quote stood out for me early on in the article: La Scala spokesman Carlo Maria Cella saying “Every theatre has to cultivate a renewal of its audience. As someone wrote: new blood for the old ceremony.”

Neutral Ground = new audiences

The Dwyer builds new Harlem audiences

Seeing as we’re all concerned with reaching new people in new ways, here’s a very recent example from NY.  The Dwyer Cultural Centre opens in Harlem this week. Its remit is to work with the large cultural organisations, the local arts services and to support the local artistic community.  Its born out of experience – a 20 year old community organisation called Community Works. And so far its being praised by cultural professionals for its ability to represent a very distinct neutral ground that successfully attracts new audiences.  Deidre Hollman at the Schomberg Institute describes:

It’s different from a library, and it’s different from an art institute.  It’s a middle ground where people can create, present and share the arts.

The value of these ‘middle ground’ organisations is evident in London too.  They come in different guises – through regeneration projects – as with Shoreditch Audiences to artist led programmes at All Change Arts.  What we know about this is that the challenge for cultural organisations is how best to work together, but where partnerships are thriving new audiences follow…