Collective Arts Think Tank is live

Collective Arts Think Tank has unveiled itself!

What does that mean?

A few months ago, a blog exchange among a couple artists, a couple presenters, a journalist, sundry arts professionals and a funder or two, about the state of contemporary live performance, took place on WNYC’s Performance Club blog (

A few of us were charged up enough by the exchange to get together, and we met to try and come up with some observations, and recommendations to the field. We invited funders, audience members and other artists and arts professionals in; we hashed out our common ground as well as our uncommon ground; and then we wrote up the results.

The group right now includes Lost Notebook’s Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, The Chocoate Factory’s Brian Rogers and Sheila Lewandowski, The Field’s Jennifer Wright Cook, PS 122’s Vallejo Gantner and others. Individually and sometimes together, we have served on panels and town meetings. We came together out of a shared set of concerns about what we see as systemic problems facing the field of contemporary live performance. We plan to keep meeting regularly.

What came out of our meetings so far is now up on its very own blog:

Did we find all the answers? Likely we didn’t. Did we try to go beyond merely complaining, or wishing we were Europe, or blaming one or another party completely? We did. We think of ourselves as stakeholders, and I’m writing to you because you are a stakeholder, too.

Some of my thinking on these subjects has been informed by my work with Creative Capital’s amazing Professional Development Program, some by my work with Elevator Repair Service Theater, and some by my own experience as a theatermaker, fundraiser and panelist since 1993. I hope you’ll read, respond, applaud, take-us-to-task, take us out to lunch, and think about this stuff with us.

Our hope is that CATT becomes a fulcrum for ongoing, productive and rigorous conversation about our field, what we can do to make it better, and what already makes it so great.

Best wishes for a righteous, raucus, revelatory new season.